Wednesday, December 31, 2008

nightmare

i have had this nightmare, just beginning this last week.

i am in a cold, snowy, wooded place. there is a hill, with a road covered in snow--impassible to cars. my dad is standing there. we are inside a room i am surrounded by four other women, girls really, girls i don't really know. i am trying to tell my dad something--i am in danger. he knows something is wrong. i can't say anything to him verbally, i am trying to communicate with my eyes. my dream self is terrified, my actual self doesn't know why. my dad smiles at me, but with concern in his eyes, and leaves. i don't know why he leaves. but i think he has to--he doesn't want to. my dad has always wanted to protect me.

i find out from the other girls there is a man taking things from them. in my dream, he is taking literal things from them. i find out they are kept in a fridge, at the bottom of this hill, where the man is outside in a clearing. the other girls are sitting in a car at the top of the hill. i am able to steal back one thing from the man out of the fridge without him noticing. inside the fridge are little tupperwares, clear with a blue lid on each. inside is white frosting. (it looks like frosting.) i get away with a small one, slowly sneak up the hill and get to the top to meet up with the other four girls, who are still sitting in the car. it is a convertible. i give the tupperware back to the girl it belongs to. i tell them to leave, to run away. then the man comes up the hill. (my dream self does not recognize this man, he had a face, but it was no one i know.) he pulls out a gun. i am standing on the sidewalk, screaming hysterically as i watch him shoot and kill all four of the girls in the car. i am left alone, realizing i am in what should be a busy place. it looks like a mall. he throws the gun down in the parking lot.

then he comes after me. i cry, i scream. there is no one around to hear me. he yells. his eyes terrify me. he beats me, he takes off my clothes, slapping my face. jerking me around by my wrists. (something i HATE...because i feel so powerless, i can't fight back, i panic when someone grabs my wrists to control my arms.) he starts to undress, threatening me, telling me what he's going to do to me. just before he rapes me, i wake up. sweating, breathing hard, sometimes crying, and always terrified.

i don't sleep well anymore.

new year's eve!

migraine.

i hate them.

and i lost a follower (oooooooohhhhh i want to cryyyyyyy)

and i have a migraine. on new year's eve. LAME-O!

i hope you all have a very happy new year's eve, playing games, hanging out, getting drunk, eating a lot, changing your calendar, whatever you all do for fun on the last night of the year.

here's to hoping 2009 brings joy, and health, and healing!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

c-e-l-e-b-r-a-t-i-o-n-!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME-EEEE! yep, it's true. today is the anniversary of my birth. 23 years ago...in a blizzard...a beautifully fat baby girl was born to my parents. and now here i am, blogging for you, oh members of the blogging world.

i also just realized that i have posted to this blog over 100 times now. wow! crazy! i swear i just started blogging here.

so, since i totally missed it, happy 100th post to any of you three people that read my blog and comment on it. (i love you more than you know. seriously. i anticipate your comments! i go to bed thinking about it! i wake up and skip to the computer to read them! i continue writing hoping and waiting for the wonderful validation you give me!)

so, in honor of my 100th post (which was a few posts ago) AND MY 23RD BIRTHDAY, i'm providing you with mindless self-centered rambling. (oh wait...you get that daily. haha!)

100 random things you may not know about me:
1. i am married to the sexiest, most wonderful man in the world.
2. i know without a doubt that my calling in life is to be a mother.
3. i used to have a terrible habit of biting my fingernails, until i got to be about a senior in high school. then i just...stopped. don't really know why.
4. when i was a baby, i was so stubborn i got to the point that i'd freak out if my parents didn't let me change my own diapers.
5. i love coconut so much i eat baking coconut straight out of the bag. same for cream cheese.
6. when i was in preschool i wanted to be raphael (tmnt) for halloween really bad--but my mom said it was too masculine and i was a butterfly instead. BORING! (side note: she bought me the dvd of the latest tmnt movie for christmas this year. silly mom.)
7. i started reading shakespeare in 5th grade, after my grandma went to london and brought back a "shakespeare for kids" book. still have it, actually. i have since moved on to the real thing.
8. i am scared of nursing homes. i do much better in them now, but i had a negative experience once with an old lady and a nurse yelling at me for something i don't remember when i was about 13, volunteering there for young womens.
9. i spent two days in AP Art my freshman year of high school until the teacher realized i was a freshman and put me in honors art instead.
10. my junior year of high school, i won an award in the spring art show, and the school bought one of my pieces for $100. it is still hanging in the auditorium foyer with a gold plate with my name on it. they spelled my first name wrong originally and it took my parents three years of hounding the art teacher to get it fixed.
11. one summer in elementary school i was in a play called "the pied piper of scotland" (with kaitlyn...remember that?). they had all of us draw pictures to put in the program, mine was picked to be on the cover.
12. i TAed for the 7th grade orchestra when i was in 8th grade
13. i have read nearly every book in the babysitter's club series, and most of the ones in the babysitter's little sister series as well.
14. one of my all-time favorite tv shows is daria.
15. i love getting mail. it is one of the best things in the world, to get a letter or a package in the mail. especially if you weren't expecting it.
16. music is something i seriously can't live without--when i did something wrong, my punishment was usually having my cd player taken away. boy did my parents know what would really be hard for me!
17. when i was a baby, my mom used to put me in front of the nba games to calm me down.
18. i have no allergies.
19. i remember my mom's 29th birthday. i don't have very many memories from that period of my life, so it's kind of a random day to remember.
20. i rode my first horse when i was about 8 months old.
21. i support gay marriage--and i'm mormon. go figure. :)
22. i hate raisins. really, really, hate raisins. they stink. they squish. they leave a weird residue on your fingers. gross.
23. when i was 13, i decided i was never going to have (biological) children. my mom got me to sign a "contract" saying for every kid i have i will pay her $100. lucky for me she just gave me crap about it constantly...never forced me to pay up. (although she says she still has that "contract" somewhere.)
24. my name is a combination of my parents' names: but i'm still not going to tell you what it is, since i'm staying anonymous here. so sorry! :)
25. i got into a fight with my sixth grade teacher and was sent home for the day. (i hated her.)
26. once i bit a girl on the playground when i was in....4th? grade...and got detention for it. in my defense, she came up behind me and bear hugged me and wouldn't let go.
27. i wore tennis shoes to my first formal dance
28. i went almost two years without drinking anything carbonated in high school
29. my favorite food is spaghetti, my mom made it for me every year on my birthday, with cheesecake for dessert
30. i always wanted to live in paris. i even took french in high school and college so that when i moved there i would know some of the language.
31. two things i've always wished i could do (and never had the talent): sing and dance
32. my favorite search engine is yahoo.com. i don't like to use anything else, except google images--i don't use yahoo images. quirky, i know.
33. one of my favorite cars that i have driven is my dad's old geo metro. so old it didn't have a seatbelt in the middle seat. i learned to drive stick in that thing.
34. i never really watched the news until i met my hubby.
35. one of my pet peeves is the incorrect use of apostrophes. seriously, it is not that difficult people.
36. i hate wearing bracelets. for some reason they just really irk me. but i will wear gigantic earrings.
37. i can type between 75 and 80 wpm.
38. i am terrified of natural disasters--and fires. (i think i watched backdraft when i was too young, had nightmares about fires after that. good thing i married a pyro--i mean, fireman. haha!)
39. one of my favorite places in the whole world is a local waterfall. ironically, that's where hubby and i had our first date. but it was one of my favorite places before that.
40. when taking notes in high school, i was almost OCD about copying what was on the board/powerpoint presentation word for word. i couldn't just summarize it.
41. my favorite teachers were the ones that pushed the hardest, graded the hardest, had the hardest curriculum, and all-around were HARD. i liked that i was challenged.
42. i ADORE roller coasters, but can't do anything that spins in circles. makes me want to puke.
43. i didn't see my first firefly until i was 18.
44. i loooove heights; i've never been afraid of them.
45. once i tried to do a backflip of of a diving board. i didn't jump far enough out and hit my head on the bottom of the board.
46. ponytail holders are one of the greatest inventions known to man.
47. my parents were originally going to name me "tiamo" which means "i love you" in italian. (my dad served his mission in italy.) apparently when i was born i looked nothing like an italian baby so that got nixed.
48. my favorite book is "beauty" by robin mckinley.
49. i used to hide under my blankets with a flashlight and read all night long.
50. i love fruit. all fruit.
51. i didn't get my first cell phone until i was 19 and a sophomore in college. my youngest sister just got one for her 16th birthday. har har, thanks mom and dad.
52. i once got thrown off of a four wheeler and cracked my head open on a rock.
53. i HATE the smell of coffee. it is one of the worst smells in the world. alcohol, too.
54. i didn't start wearing pink of my own free will and choice until i was 18.
55. i talk really loud sometimes and don't realize i'm doing it. i'm just a loud person.
56. i always draw pictures on the calendar when we get a new one.
57. i use smiley faces a lot when i type. :)
58. i really, really, really stink at video games.
59. i love those vanilla bean frappucino things (no coffee in them, i hate the smell of it, remember) from starbucks.
60. i don't like using phone books. what's the point when it's faster to use the internet?
61. my favorite flowers are daffodils and tulips
62. i can't drive and talk on my cell phone at the same time. i do better with a hands-free headset but still...not so great.
63. i don't really like spoons. i only use them when necessary (like for soup and cereal). i even prefer to eat my ice cream with a fork.
64. i love cats. if i could be a cat, i would be. i also like monkeys. but i wouldn't be a monkey.
65. i HATE diet stuff. and sugar-free, and lite, etc. i can taste a difference and it makes me want to gag.
66. i am stickler on having things organized...although i don't usually follow through with it. things always end up a mess again.
67. i don't like to capitalize when i type (as you can see) because i think it is a waste of time and effort where my pinky is concerned.
68. i spent two summers in san diego working as a graphic design assistant, which is what i used to want to be when i grew up.
69. i never actually applied for the art school in college, which i regret immensely. i decided that i would never get accepted anyway so i never turned in my application. i still think i wouldn't have been accepted, but it would be nice to know for sure.
70. i was a roadie for the high school band my freshman year, lugging around colorguard flags and water bottles so i could spend more time with my friends who were in the colorguard.
71. my favorite toy when i was little was a blue tractor. i still have it. my mom kept it for me to let my kids play with. she gave it back to me last year, when i was pregnant with little buddy.
72. i used to get up at the crack of dawn and go to the day-after-christmas sales with my mom every year.
73. i love crossword puzzles.
74. i have been pulled over three times but have only gotten one ticket. (all three times i was in high school.)
75. i am very nearly obsessed with modern art.
76. i always hated it when people bought art to match their furniture/decor. you should buy furniture to match your art.
77. i cry at art museums.
78. one year i had my birthday party in july because i wanted a pool party. i got fed up with the fact that my birthday is in december and you can't have pool parties in december.
79. in my single days i would spend $100 on a pair of jeans that were long enough without really blinking. (more than twice.) now i choke on even thinking about spending that much money on an item of clothing.
80. i hate shaving my legs.
81. one of my favorite things in the world is driving around (somewhat recklessly haha) with the windows down, blaring music and singing at the top of my lungs. i don't do that as much anymore though...something about growing up. :)
82. i played joseph in a nativity play once when i was little.
83. i used to hate that i didn't have a middle name, so i made one up once. it was jane.
84. i still watch sesame street, mr. roger's neighborhood, and lamb chop's play along for fun.
85. one of my favorite fair/carnival/amusement park rides are the ones that take you to the top of a really high tower then let you drop. but i've never been on the tower of terror.
86. some of my favorite disney movies are beauty and the beast, lilo and stich, and finding nemo.
87. i used to be a really good swimmer. (used to be = key words)
88. i love fall, and rain, and everything that comes with fall.
89. i was pretty mean to my siblings growing up. and i really regret that now.
90. i've noticed that time passes much more quickly as an adult.
91. i'm really good with directions. if i've been somewhere once, i can find it again without a problem.
92. i don't really like writing with black ink. i prefer blue ink. i think it's easier to read.
93. i can change a tire by myself without a problem. i also know how to change the oil in a car by myself.
94. i am not a morning person. at all. but i can stay up all night long.
95. i'm really bad at remembering things. i forget stuff all the time. drove my parents nuts, and drives my husband nuts. i don't blame them. it's obnoxious for me, too.
96. i hate it when someone tells me they'll call me and then they don't.
97. if i could move back to the town i grew up in i'd do it in a heartbeat.
98. i knew a great-great grandmother, two great-grandfathers, and three great-grandmothers--one of which is still living.
99. i love colored sharpies.
100. i used to do a little dance every weekend in jr high and high school when i could turn off my morning alarm.

well that's 100. and it took a long time. and if you made it this far...you must be really bored, because i'm not that interesting. :)

so tell me a random tidbit about yourself!

Monday, December 29, 2008

the story of beatrice cenci

from the archives of my private blog


Beatrice Cenci, 1860
Julia Margaret Cameron
Beatrice Cenci, 1857
Harriet Hosmer

this story is from wikipedia
(born 1577-died 1599) Beatrice was the daughter of Francesco Cenci, an aristocrat who, due to his violent temper and immoral behaviour, had found himself in trouble with papal justice more than once. They lived in Rome in the rione Regola, in Palazzo Cenci, built over the ruins of a medieval fortified palace at the edge of Rome's Jewish ghetto. Together with them lived also Beatrice's elder brother Giacomo, Francesco's second wife, Lucrezia Petroni, and Bernardo, the young boy born from Francesco's second marriage. Among their other possessions there was a castle, La Rocca of Petrella del Salto, a small village near Rieti, north of Rome.

According to the legend, Francesco Cenci abused his wife and his sons, and had reached the point of committing incest with Beatrice. He had been jailed for other crimes, but thanks to the leniency with which the nobles were treated, he had been freed early. Beatrice had tried to inform the authorities about the frequent mistreatments, but nothing had happened, although everybody in Rome knew what kind of person her father was. When he found out that his daughter had reported against him, he sent Beatrice and Lucrezia away from Rome, to live in the family's country castle. The four Cenci decided they had no alternative but to try and get rid of Francesco, and all together organized a plot. In 1598, during one of Francesco's stays at the castle, two vassals (one of whom had become Beatrice's secret lover) helped them to drug the man, but this failed to kill Francesco. Following this Beatrice, her siblings and step mother bludgeoned Francesco to death with a hammer and threw the body off a balcony to make it look like an accident. No one believed the death to be an accident.

Somehow his absence was noticed, and the papal police tried to find out what had happened. Beatrice's lover was tortured, and died without revealing the truth. Meanwhile a family friend, who was aware of the murder, ordered the killing of the second vassal, to avoid any risk. The plot was discovered all the same and the four members of the Cenci family were arrested, found guilty, and sentenced to death. The common people of Rome, knowing the reasons for the murder, protested against the tribunal's decision, obtaining a short postponement of the execution. But pope Clement VIII showed no mercy at all: on September 11, 1599, at dawn, they were taken to Sant'Angelo Bridge, where the scaffold was usually built. Giacomo was quartered with a mallet and had his limbs hung in the four corners; then Lucrezia and finally Beatrice took their turn on the block, to be beheaded with a sword. Only the young boy was spared, yet he too was led to the scaffold to witness the execution of his relatives, before returning to prison and having his properties confiscated (to be given to the pope's own family). Beatrice was buried in the church of San Petro in Montorio. For the people of Rome she became a symbol of resistance against the arrogant aristocracy and a legend arose: every year on the night before her death, she came back to the bridge carrying her severed head.

such a sad story. got me thinking though...was her crime warranted? her father was doing terrible, unspeakable things to her and her family, but she was still breaking the law in committing murder. or was it self defense? did the pope just want their money? or was he really punishing the crime justly? i love that she became a symbol of resistance for the regular people. i don't know what i would do in her place. if i had had the ability to end my abuse, and if the only way to do so would be to murder my abuser, would i have done it? if it were still going on now, would i kill him? would it be justified?

isn't it awesome what you can learn by looking at a piece of artwork? that is one of my favorite things about art history--you learn so much about the artist, historical facts, legends, controversy in the time period, and the emotional response of not only the artist, but those viewing the art at the time and how it relates to the present viewer and time. my most favorite thing is my personal emotional reaction and being able to relate to something that was meant for people hundreds of years ago. it really makes you think...even though times change, society changes, people change--the fact that something created in the 17th century (or whenever) still elicits the same emotional reaction of people in the 21st century is pretty amazing. the fact that these two separate pieces of art directly relate to me and my life.

do you think the artist knew that while it was being created?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

becoming Lazarus

when i was a senior in high school, i took an advanced lit class. one of the books we were required to read was crime and punishment, by fyodor dostoevsky. this is a pretty standard required read in high school and even in college. i never had a desire to read it, but as i got into the novel i was immediately hooked. i have since read it six times and it has become one of my favorite books. (if you haven't read it, i would highly suggest that you do.)

the novel follows a young man, rodion romanovitch raskolnikov. raskolnikov is a poverty stricken, intelligent, moody person. he hates being around other people. he has a theory that there are two kinds of people: the regular, common people, bound by laws. the second kind of people are the "napoleons" of the world, those who are not bound by law. these people can, and in fact are morally obligated to, commit crimes to provide a way to better the world. raskolnikov murders and robs an old woman and her sister in an effort to prove his a member of this elite class. the novel follows his thought process before and after the crime is committed, and delves into the psychology of a criminal.

another central character to the novel is sofya semyonovna marmeledov (sonia). she is also poverty stricken, and has been forced to prostitute herself to feed and provide for her father, a drunk, her step-mother, who is consumptive, and her three younger step-siblings. she is the savior to her family, although she is sinning to do so. raskolnikov befriends sonia. one day, he goes to visit her. he forces her to read the story of lazarus from the bible aloud to him.

"Sonia opened the book and found the place. Her hands were shaking, her voice failed her. Twice she tried to begin and could not bring out the first syllable.

'Now a certain man was sick named Lazarus of Bethany....' she forced herself at last to read, but at the third word her voice broke like an overstrained string. There was a catch in her breath.

Raskolnikov saw in part why Sonia could not bring herself to read to him, and the more he saw this, the more roughly and irritably he insisted on her doing so. He understood only too well how painful it was for her to betray and unveil all that was her own. He understood that these feelings really were her secret treasure, which she had kept perhaps for years, perhaps from childhood, while she lived with an unhappy father and a distracted stepmother crazed by grief, in the midst of starving children and unseemly abuse and reproaches. But at the same time he knew now and knew for certain that, although it filled her with dread and suffering, yet she had a tormenting desire to read and to read to him that he might hear it, and to read now whatever might come of it!...He read this in her eyes, he could see it in her intense emotion. She mastered herself, controlled the spasm in her throat and went on reading the eleventh chapter of St. John. She went on to the nineteenth verse:

'And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary to comfort them concerning their brother.

'Then Martha as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming went and met Him: but Mary sat still in the house.

'Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

'But I know that even now whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God will give it Thee....'

Then she stopped again with a shamefaced feeling that her voice would quiver and break again.

'Jesus said unto her, thy brother shall rise again.

'Martha said unto Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection, at the last day.

'Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me though he were dead, yet shall he live.

'And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?

'She saith unto him,'

(And drawing a painful breath, Sonia read distinctly and forcibly as though she were making a public confession of faith.)

'Yea, Lord: I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God Which should come into the World.'

She stopped and looked up quickly at him, and controlling herself went on reading. Raskolnikov sat without moving, his elbows on the table and his eyes turned away. She read to the thirty-second verse.

'Then when Mary was come where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying unto Him, Lord if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

'When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled,

'And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto Him, Lord, come and see.

'Jesus wept.

'Then said the Jews, behold how He loved him!

'And some of them said, could not this Man which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?'

Raskolnikov turned and looked at her with emotion. Yes, he had known it! She was trembling in a real physical fever. He had expected it. She was getting near the story of the greatest miracle and a feeling of immense triumph came over her. Her voice rang out like a bell; triumph and joy gave it power. The lines danced before her eyes, but she knew what she was reading by heart. At the last verse 'Could not this Man which opened the eyes of the blind...' dropping her voice she passionately reproduced the doubt, the reproach and censure of the blind disbelieving Jews, who in another moment would fall at His feet as through struck by thunder, sobbing and believing....'And he, he---too, is blinded and unbelieving, he, too, will hear, he, too, will believe, yes, yes! At once, now,' was what she was dreaming, and she was quivering with happy anticipation.

'Jesus therefore again groaning in Himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave and a stone lay upon it.

'Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto Him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.'

She laid emphasis on the word four.

'Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

'Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me.

'And I know that Thou hearest Me always; but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that Thou has sent Me.

'And when He thus had spoken, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

'And he that was dead came forth."

(She read loudly, bold and trembling with ecstasy, as though she were seeing it before her eyes.)

'Bound hand and foot with graveclothes; and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him and let him go.

'Then many of the Jews which came to Mary and had seen the things which Jesus did believed on Him.'"

this story meant so much to sonia, and eventually to raskolnikov, because they, too, would be resurrected from their sins. though dead, they would live again, through the healing power of Jesus Christ. i never thought deeply about the story of lazarus before i read crime and punishment. it was a miracle, and it was amazing, but it was (to me) like the rest of the miracles that Christ performed while on earth. after reading the story from sonia's perspective, it became much more three dimensional to me. suddenly, i was sonia. i was raskolnikov. i was lazarus. the Lord was raising me from the dead. the death of abuse, the death of depression, anguish, loneliness.

if i trust in the Lord, if i have faith in Him and his ability to heal me, i can be healed. i can be a new person, and begin my life over again. no matter our situations--for raskolnikov, it was repentance for a crime; for sonia, it was knowing that the Lord would forgive her in doing what was necessary to feed her family; for me, it is overcoming my abuse; perhaps for you it may be moving past the grief of losing a loved one, the difficulty of moving your family across the world, struggling with an illness, or feeling lost and discouraged.

"Said I not unto thee that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?"

Saturday, December 27, 2008

broken

please, everyone, take the time to watch this.

it just might change your outlook on your life at this moment.

it did for me.

thank you to mile 191 for sharing this.

i can't hide from my childhood

last night was....horrific. to say the least. it has been a very long time since i've had a night like that. flashbacks...nightmares...the feeling of fear. terror. loneliness. every time i closed my eyes, i was back there, six years old again, confused, hurt and scared. panic attacks...my chest hurts. i feel as if there is a huge void behind my ribs, and they are so constricted, so tight, i cannot breathe, my lungs will not inflate. i sob hysterically, which makes the breathing more difficult than it already is. i feel as if i might die. today i am still feeling the effects of it. i'm exhausted. i barely slept. my body is weary from the emotional pain. my mind is slower today.

london bridges falling down
like my dreams it hits the ground
crushed and broken with despair
they're left forgotten and dying there
rock a bye baby
in the treetops
please let me sleep so the pain will stop
i'm just so tired and sick of trying
of playing this game while my soul is dying
mirror, mirror, on the wall
i want to fly -- you make me crawl
how did i ever come to be
this person looking back at me
twinkle, twinkle, little star
up there in heaven, you seem so far
oh God above, take away these chains
cleanse my soul,
let me live again.

"not quite a nursery rhyme,"
written by a 13-year old abuse victim
(not me)


lucky for me....i have a husband who, middle of the night and all, woke up to comfort me. to hold me and tell me it will all be okay, that there is nothing that can hurt me. that he loves me. that he is there to protect me.

you know how they say God works through other people to help us? last night (and every night) God works through my husband.

Friday, December 26, 2008

another christmas, come and gone

happy day after christmas! i hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. hubby, little buddy and i sure did! we got some fun gifts and spent some time together and with our extended families.

hubby got the game endwar for his ps3. he has been wanting it for a long time. he knew i got it for him, and has been begging for weeks to open it. but i said no. i'm so mean! i made him wait for christmas. :) he also got a painting from his parents. this painting was done especially for hubby's grandfather, who was the captain of the fire department in his little town. it is a beautiful representation of the fire house, with an old-time fire carriage drawn by horses. the artist used tiny sandblasters to carve the design, including tiny little bricks in the building, then painted the details in. before he died, hubby's grandfather said he wanted the painting to go to my hubby. he was also a firefighter, and they had a really special relationship. it is already hanging up in our house.

hubby got me some fun new scrapbooking supplies and makeup. yay! my mom got me the teenage mutant ninja turtles dvd (because i looooved tmnt when i was a kid) and my grandma made me a new snow hat. and....my in-laws got us tickets to see wicked! can you believe it! i'm so excited!

little buddy was spoiled (and rightfully so)! he got some really fun new toys! his favorite is the little cell phone we got him. he loves phones, so it was perfect for him. he also got a walk behind wagon and an activity table, a little xylophone, some onesies and a penguin that is kind of like a little punching bag with balls in it, stacking rings, and a few other things. overall, it was a great day.

now i am looking forward to my birthday. it's only four days away now! i can't believe another year has passed. the weirdest part is thinking about where we were last christmas. i was so pregnant, so uncomfortable, and i thought that our baby would NEVER come. and now he is here, and i can't remember what life was like before him.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

originally posted at Modern Molly Mormon
I'm not going to take away from this poem with my personal commentary. I would like everyone to read it and gather their own meaning from it. I would love for you to share your interpretation and how it applies to you in the comments!

Autobiography
in Five Short Chapters
by Portia Nelson

I

I walk down the street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in
I am lost . . . I am helpless
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
II
I walk down the same street,
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
III
I walk down the same street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in . . . it's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
IV
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
V
I walk down another street.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

preparing for the day of st. nick

today is december 23. can you believe that means that christmas is the day after tomorrow??? i sure can't. crazy! (not me, although i'm crazy too, i mean, it's crazy how fast time goes.)

i feel like i have so much to do before christmas, but i guess i don't really. today i need to do the dishes and finish the laundry. (ugh. i HATE laundry.) and i also need to make cookies for santa, because it is santa's first year visiting our house and we need to impress him. the shopping is done...yay...and i vacuumed and swept last night. i probably could have cleaned the whole house top to bottom. i had a sudden rush of energy (i.e. manic phase, i'm pretty sure) and started to clean. hubby had to ask me to sit down and just be.

the good thing is that the house is pretty much picked up other than the dishes and laundry. well...except for one thing. one stupid thing. :)

hubby sometimes brings dishes home from work. they have a kitchen in the break room, and if he doesn't have time on his lunch to wash the dishes he uses he brings them home in his lunchbox. we have a little collection here now that has not been returned. i have asked him a number of times to return them but he forgets. so yesterday, i was tired of them sitting on my counter, and put them on the table. i attached a note that said, "please take me home! i miss my family in the [insert name of building here]. please be a nice person and return me."

he laughed at me, rolled his eyes, etc. so i go to bed thinking these dishes are finally going to be out of my house. we'd also discussed (ahem, i told) him that when he brings dishes home he needs to immediately return them. or better yet, don't bring them home.

so what did i find this morning? the dishes. with another note. this one says, "we got lost! we don't have a map or GPS!" and a little frowny face underneath. sigh. that man does love to tease me. cute, except that he has the next two days off, so i won't get rid of them until friday at the earliest....

well. the baby is down for a nap (yay!) and seeing as i have to work this afternoon, i better get crackin' and get the house finished and the cookies baked.

Monday, December 22, 2008

holiday edition of the child abuse awareness blog carnival

the most recent edition of the blog carnival is up! i have a featured post, picture of my most life changing experience. there are a number of posts dealing specifically with issues surrounding the holiday season, as well as other information regarding child abuse.

go show your support for survivors, and learn about child abuse, and how you can help others who have been through it.

there is beauty all around

i'm watching reading rainbow. i used to watch this show a lot when i was a kid. i think this particular episode is so old that it very well may be one i watched 15 years ago. lavar is whale watching, and they are showing beautiful humpback whales. they read the story of humphrey, the whale that swam up the sacramento river and got stuck.

i can't believe how beautiful those whales are. we are surrounded by beauty in nature. not only in nature--we are surrounded by beauty in everything!

let's stop and look around us, today, and notice the aestheic value of the world around us.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

finding joy

today i feel very blessed.

i am watching my beautiful baby play with a book. he is such a good boy--so well-behaved, and sweet, and such a happy, laid back baby. he is fun to watch and his smile makes my whole world better. he is strong, and healthy, and looks just like his handsome daddy.

i am so blessed to have such a hard-working, supportive, loving husband. i can't believe he is still here by my side after everything i have put him through. i have a lot of unresolved issues, as you all know, and the effects of those have been devastating to our relationship, to his feelings, and to me. but he is still here, still asking me what he can do to help me, and still loving me. he took the day off today to be with us and i am so glad!

i am amazed at how many gifts we have under our tree. we didn't think we would have much of a christmas because money is tight here (like everywhere else). but then some things worked out for us--i got a christmas bonus--hubby worked overtime--and we figured out how to get some gifts for each other. and some fun gifts for little buddy! (even a bone for the dog!)

i am so blessed to have such a beautiful home. i love this little house. i wish we could pick it up and transplant it elsewhere. but i am grateful that we have a house that we can pay the mortgage for. i'm glad we aren't one of the millions of people going through foreclosure. we have heat, we have power, we have running water, we have a roof over our heads to protect us from the freezing weather outside.

i am also grateful for my extended family. my grandparents, who are on a fixed income, sent us a check for $120 last week. i nearly cried. i am so lucky to have family who loves me so much. for my parents and my siblings. even though they can be crazy, i still love them. and i know they love me. they may go about doing things differently than i would, but i know they have the best of intentions and want nothing more than for me to be happy. same for my in-laws. i love them, too, and in some ways get along with them better than my own family. the crazy is there, too, but they still love us. and i know they love me. i have been surprised at how they have treated me like their own child.

i'm grateful for my dog. sometimes she is stupid. sometimes she gets in trouble. she is sick a lot, which is frustrating. she is almost always in the way, right under your feet. but she is a sweet dog, and she would do anything to protect us. she is so good with the baby. she gets so worried when he cries, and runs to him when he gets hurt. for the most part she obeys us, even though she hasn't had any kind of training.

i also have the best cat in the world. she loves to cuddle, she talks to me, she's good with the baby too (as in she runs away from him instead of swiping at him) and she is just so fun.

i'm grateful for my cell phone, for the internet, for this laptop i use every single day, for the tv, for the ability to learn, and grow, and change. i'm grateful for warm blankets and fuzzy socks. i'm grateful for hot water, bubble baths, and blow dryers. i'm grateful for food to eat and the ability to cook a decent meal. i'm grateful for my talents--art, music, writing. i'm grateful for beauty in the world. i'm grateful for good friends that stick by me through everything. some of whom have been there for me through my insanity since the second grade. i'm grateful for the childlike joy i get when a christmas card comes, looking at christmas lights, our christmas tree, and the pretty little nativity scene we have.

i'm grateful for the knowledge that i have of Jesus Christ and his atonement. not so much for repentance--although i'm grateful for that, too--but for the fact that he knows my pain. he knows my struggles. he knows exactly how i feel, and what i am going through. he has borne my cross, my cross of depression, of the pain of abuse, of the self-hatred and of the self-doubt. i know that i am not alone, even when i feel so alone and cut off from every other human being on the planet.

i'm grateful for christmas, for the constant reminders of Christ we get at this time of year, for the opportunities to serve others.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

looking up

i am feeling a bit better today.

yesterday i called a whole slew of therapists. and left just as many voice mails. when what to my wondering ears should appear but just as many calls back! i have two appointments set up, with two different therapists, and a third that i can see if the first two don't work out. finding a good counselor can be difficult. so, january 5, i will be back in therapy. this is a very good thing.

i think maybe i'm starting to start on the upswing here. since i have fallen so far down, i have a long way to go to get back up. and uphill is always much harder. but at least i am feeling hopeful. that is huge...i haven't felt hope in a long time.

i've been spending a little time over on the child abuse survivor network recently. i think that has also helped me a lot. i've been able to learn about other people's experiences, and their healing, and how they deal with things. people who have been through much, much, much worse than i have. i have been amazed at how supportive they are to me, even as a complete stranger. it's been really good for me, i think.

i also didn't have to go to work yesterday. the weather was miserable, and the roads scary, so i stayed home and just relaxed with the hubby, which was very nice. later we went out grocery/christmas shopping. and i got a new purse with some birthday money that my grandparents sent me. (i freakin' love it!) we also bought trivial pursuit because it was on sale at wal-mart. we played a bit before hubby had to go to bed. (poor guy has to get up at 5 am to get ready for work.) it was nice to just chill out. and i was already feeling better after having made an appointment with a therapist.

so things are looking up. at least for now. i'm going to do my best to hold onto this little shred of hope as long as i can...

Friday, December 19, 2008

maybe a breakthrough

have you ever felt like you're trapped inside your own head? inside your own body? like you're not really meant to be there, you're struggling to get out, but you are locked in?

i'm not sure how much of this is depression, how much of it is personality, how much of it is because of normal life struggles. and how much of it stems from abuse. but regardless of where it comes from, it's frustrating. and difficult to handle.

last night hubby tried to get me to open up. i can't. i just...can't....lately. i am so lost inside my own mind that it is impossible to find a way out. and i'm scared. downright terrified to deal with all of the dark corners inside myself. if i open up a little, i'm afraid the floodgates will come crashing down and i will seriously lose my sanity. as it is, i'm barely holding on to it. i get defensive, and angry, and agitated when he pushes me to talk to him. part of it, too, is that i don't want him to see what is going on inside my head. i am scared that he will run away screaming. that he will stick me in a hospital. that he will wonder why he married me.

throughout my life i have had periods of time like this. dark, scary, lonely days and weeks and months. i had different ways of dealing with it. hiding (which i still do) in my room, under my covers. fought with my mom. acted out toward my siblings. did stupid things with my friends. (like jumping out of a tree into a river in the middle of the night, when i had no idea how deep the water was or where the rocks ended and the river began.) played the piano. wrote in a journal. created dark and scary works of art....illustrations of the inside of my mind. a lot of people have been disturbed by them. but one of the scary things about them to me is the way that others have been able to relate. to look at them and understand. i don't want anyone else to feel the way that i do.

last night i couldn't sleep again. i am always exhausted, always feeling lethargic, and sometimes i can sleep for 15 hours straight without a problem. then other nights, most nights, i am totally exhausted and my brain is going so fast there is no way i can sleep. so i got up and went downstairs. and then it hit...inspiration. not the regular kind of inspiration. the kind i haven't experienced in a few years. artistic inspiration. i found a pen and i started to draw...and suddenly i had an illustration of the inside of my mind again. just like i used to. just like when i was 18 and i had a million ideas forming in my head. just like when i believed i could really make it as an artist. and then the words i'd been searching for came to my head. the words i couldn't find to describe my feelings: suffocating. helpless. trapped. alone. struggling.

when i was done, i actually felt better. lighter. not happy...but not so dark and depressed, either. for so long i have had the desire to return to my art...but no desire to put the effort forth. i haven't had the desire to put forth effort in much of anything for a long time. perhaps this is a breakthrough. perhaps this one drawing will spur me forward.

i sure could use your prayers. and so could my hubby. i know he is just as lost, feeling just as helpless as i am. he is frustrated and hurt by my behavior. in fact...send your prayers to him. he needs them more than i do.

and the quest for happiness continues. the quest for normalcy continues....the quest for therapy continues.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Obedience Can Bring Us Peace and Comfort: Part 2


originally posted at Modern Molly Mormon

So what does the word "obedience" mean to you? The connotation of the word "obedience" varies by person. For some, being obedient is synonymous with blind following. For some, it is doing what is asked. For others, it is joyful to be obedient. And some of us see obedience as being forced to do something.

We have been taught that being obedient to God's commandments is the way to show Him our love and respect for Him. Being obedient is difficult. Sometimes extremely so. But the peace and love we will receive at the end of our journey is worth more than the pain and obstacles we will experience in reaching the end.

The following excerpts are from a talk by Conrad Schultz, called "Faith Obedience," published in the May 2002 Ensign.

"One of the sneaky ploys of the adversary is to have us believe that unquestioning obedience to the principles and commandments of God is blind obedience. His goal is to have us believe that we should be following our own worldly ways and selfish ambitions. This he does by persuading us that 'blindly' following the prophets and obeying the commandments is not thinking for ourselves. He teaches that it is not intelligent to do something just because we are told to do so by a living prophet or by prophets who speak to us from the scriptures."

"Our unquestioning obedience to the Lord's commandments is not blind obedience. President Boyd K. Packer in the April conference of 1983 taught us about this: 'Latter-Day Saints are not obedient because they are compelled to be obedient. They are obedient because they know certain spiritual truths and have decided, as an expression of their own individual agency, to obey the commandments of God....We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see.'"

"We might call this 'faith obedience.' With faith, Abraham was obedient in preparing Isaac for sacrifice; with faith, Nephi was obedient in obtaining the brass plates; with faith, a little child obediently jumps from a height into the strong arms of his father. 'Faith Obedience' is a matter of trust. The question is simple: Do we trust our Heavenly Father?"

I find it very interesting that as children we are so trusting, and as adults we are quick to be cautious and distrustful. Even more so for those of us who have been through something traumatic, like abuse. If our trust is breached in such a horrific way, it can be difficult to trust anyone, including the Lord. So just like Brother Schultz asked, do we trust our Heavenly Father? Do we trust what He has said to us through the scriptures, through our prophets, and through our own personal revelation? We have been given agency, one of the greatest gifts we could receive. We need to use our agency, our intelligence, our ability to make choices for ourselves, to decide to be obedient to the Lord's commandments.

We may not always know why the Lord asks us to do something. Abraham, for example, did not know why the Lord asked him to sacrifice his son Isaac. He did not want to do it. But he had faith in the Lord. He trusted the Lord. And he was blessed beyond measure. We can also be blessed beyond measure, if we trust in the Lord and do as he asks. These blessings will include healing. These blessings will include peace. These blessings will include comfort, increased knowledge, increased faith, the ability to learn and grow as a person.

The Lord loves us, and He is constantly with us. He will guide us and love us every day of our lives--and beyond. He loves us, because we are His children.

I have expressed my love for this scripture before, but I want to share it with you again. "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful in a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of the Lord."

I long for the day that I will hear that. I long for the day, after doing my best to be obedient, that I will be allowed to enter into the joy of the Lord.

I know that we all have the opportunity to reach this beautiful end. We are all given the opportunity to be obedient. The rewards of obedience will far surpass anything we can even begin to imagine.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

resources for child abuse survivors/supporters

there is a new network for child abuse survivors that is great. it was started by the person who runs the child abuse survivor site (blog, resources, news, etc). there is a group specifically for the spouses, friends, and loved ones of people who have been abused as well as forums for abuse survivors.

also, there is a blog carnival against child abuse going on. i submitted my post picture of my most life changing experience. go check it out, there are a number of posts to look at.

even if you have not been a victim of abuse, chances are you know and love someone who has. and if you don't (or are unaware of it), chances are extremely high that you will. as parents, as aunts, as uncles, as siblings, we all pray that nothing so terrible will happen to the beautiful children in our lives. the sad truth is that it just might. don't be caught unaware. do everything you can to prevent abuse. do everything you can to learn about ways to keep it from happening. but, because there is no possible way for us to completely prevent this horror, also do everything you can to learn about how to help those who have been victimized. check out my sidebar--i have links to some various other resources that you can look at.

don't become complacent. don't put off your own healing. help those around you heal. none of us can go through something so horrific alone.

if you are aware of any other good sites for child abuse survivors, please share.

i know i've said this before, but...

...i hate laundry.

yeah, it still hasn't been finished. i did clean the upstairs of the house yesterday, and put a few more loads through the wash. the folding? still haven't started. but today i will do it. i WILL. i swear i will. (okay, i hear you snickering, saying, "yeah, right, cornnut, you've been saying that now for 8 days..." but i really will. just you wait and see.)

we took little buddy to see santa last night. (and mrs. claus, and the reindeer.) he's still too little to understand, but it was fun anyway. he was so good! the photographer couldn't believe we got a good shot on the first try. and mrs. claus told me he was absolutely adorable and such a good baby! talk about a proud mama! he smiled at santa, tried to pull his hair, reached out and touched his face. not a single tear, he didn't reach for me, he didn't get upset at all. i have the best baby ever, i tell you. :)

and the best part? little buddy told santa he wanted a million dollars for his daddy. (okay, daddy, told santa little buddy wanted a million dollars for his daddy.)

do you think it will be stuffed in our stockings on christmas morning?

Monday, December 15, 2008

did i ever mention that i hate laundry?

i think i am the only living thing in my house that is awake right now.

the baby is in the crib, napping.
the cat is on the floor, snoring. (our cat snores. funny, huh.)
the dog is on the floor, slightly twitching because she is dreaming.

and here i am, exhausted, and i probably should be taking a nap. instead i am eyeing the pile of laundry that has been on my couch for six days. i have had the best of intentions in folding it and putting it away. but, like usual, i find excuses not to. or i just dont, and don't make excuses. i also have a bunch of dishes that need to be done. bedrooms to pick up. more laundry to put through the wash. bathrooms to clean. sigh. i HATE cleaning with a passion. it stresses me out to have a dirty house but i have such a hard time keeping up with it. a lot of it has to do with the fact that when i clean, it takes about 20 minutes for the house to be a complete disaster again. i clean, i leave for work, i come home, the house looks like a tornado hit it. (again.) sigh.

so i downloaded the twilight soundtrack, and can i say, i adore it. as you know, i wasn't too thrilled with the movie (although i've heard it is much better the second time and i really want to see it again) but the soundtrack is awesome. not only are the instrumental piano pieces beautiful, but i have discovered a new band called paramore that i love. and there are some good rockin' out in the car songs. (i tried them out last night driving home from my parents' house.)

so, can you believe that christmas is NEXT WEEK? seriously! it's crazy. hubby and i are going to finish our christmas shopping this saturday. yes, that also makes us crazy. the last saturday before christmas....ha. we're nuts. i know it. :) i'm really looking forward to christmas. even though i have to work christmas eve...and the day after christmas....lame. there are some law firms that we do business with that closed last week and won't reopen until january 5. wouldn't that be nice!

well, i suppose i should get to the laundry now. (ha. i say that...but we'll see if i really make myself do it!) so i hope you all have a wonderful monday!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

the best songs to rock out to in your car

one of my favorite things ever is singing loudly when i'm driving. only if the music drowns out my voice, that is, since i seriously can't sing. if you don't do this, i would highly suggest that you try it. the music i listen to depends a lot on my mood, but here are a few of the best ones (in no particular order):

1. "cuz i can" by pink. okay, anything by pink, really, i love "u + ur" hand and "who knew" as well.

2. "let's get it started" by the black eyed peas. (remember that, miss kaitlyn? in your stang?)

3. when i'm upset/angry/in a bad mood i adore evanescence. i really like evanescence when i'm in a good mood, too, but i've found i listen to it more when i'm upset. my song(s) of choice? "tourniquet" or "haunted."

4. "barbie girl" by aqua

5. "toxic" by britney spears. i would also say "drive me crazy" and recently i've enjoyed "circus."

6. anything gwen stefani. this includes anything no doubt. "i'm just a girl" is awesome. i like "rich girl" and "ex-girlfriend" too.

7. the pussycat dolls--"buttons" or "don't cha."

8. "carry on my wayward son" by kansas

9. remember that one scene in drive me crazy? yeah, the one where they're cruising? to "keep on loving you." reo speedwagon classic...it really is a good one to cruise to.

10. linkin park. i love linkin park. like, seriously, love them. pick anything by linkin park. literally anything.

11. "boys of summer." the original is great but i would vote for the remix by the ataris.

12. "criminal" by fiona apple

13. christina aguilera. "dirrty" is a good one. also i would go for "lady marmelade."

14. the beatles! i would venture to go for the "across the universe" soundtrack for cruising purposes, although i would go for the original "twist and shout."

15. more recently? i've loved "love story" by taylor swift and my new favorite song by linkin park (because i just love linkin park), "leave out all the rest." (which i shared with you all yesterday!)

16. "passenger seat" by shedaisy. i would vote for a lot of the shedaisy songs, too.

17. the soundtrack to "that thing you do!"

18. the soundtrack to "rent," but more specifically "out tonight"

19. "jesse's girl." you can't go wrong with "jesse's girl." ever.

20. queen. "bohemian rhapsody," "we will rock you" (of course) and yesterday i found myself be-bopping to "killer queen" on my way to work.

i could go onnnnn and onnnnn. what are your favorite rockin' out songs? i'm always looking to expand my horizons. :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

sometimes music says it better than i can


Leave Out All the Rest

by Linkin Park

I dreamed I was missing
You were so scared
But no one would listen
Cause no one else cared
After my dreaming
I woke with this fear
What am I leaving
When I'm done here
So if you're asking me
I want you to know

[Chorus]
When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I've done
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed
And don't resent me
And when you're feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

Don't be afraid
I've taking my beating
I've shared what I've been
I'm strong on the surface
Not all the way through
I've never been perfect
But neither have you
So if you're asking me
I want you to know

[Chorus]
When my time comes
Forget the wrong that ive done
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed
Don't resent me
And when you're feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

Forgetting
All the hurt inside
You've learned to hide so well
Pretending
Someone else can come and save me from myself
I can't be who you are

[Chorus]
When my time comes
Forget the wrong that I've done
Help me leave behind some
Reasons to be missed
Don't resent me
And when you're feeling empty
Keep me in your memory
Leave out all the rest
Leave out all the rest

Forgetting
All the hurt inside
You've learned to hide so well
Pretending
Someone else can come and save me from myself
I can't be who you are
I can't be who you are

annoyance: people who have very loud personal conversations in public (especially when it's quiet, like standing in line at the courthouse to file documents)

exhaustion: not sleeping in a week

beauty: listening to "bella's lullaby" that i just downloaded. i love classical piano.

regret: words and actions toward a loved one that can't be taken back

joy: watching my baby smile

sorrow: being unable to change

excitement: i can't wait to see my baby on his first christmas morning!

longing: to finish school

frustration: feeling like i'm not being listened to or heard

boredom: the only thing on tv saturday mornings are japanese animation cartoons

apprehension: for the future

loneliness: missing my friend

confidence: trying to find it!

anger: i can't figure out what the name of that song is that i love!

happiness: looking at my beautiful christmas tree

surprise: there is no downloadable ringtone (free one, anyway) for love story

fear: i will mess up my son

curiosity: i wonder what my baby will grow up to be

satisfaction: i found that song! "leave out all the rest" by linkin park. i love that song. i love linkin park.

unwind: by listening to really loud music in the car and singing at the top of my lungs.

love: my family

gratitude: for all of the second chances i've been given

what i'm going to do next: turn off all the lights. put on "clair de lune" and lay down. try to relax and push the depression out of my head.

Friday, December 12, 2008

it truly is a wonderful life...

"Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he? "

hubby and i watched this movie this week. one of my all-time favorites. i've been watching it every christmas since i was an infant. and, like every year before, i cried in the end. what a beautiful reminder to all of us. if you haven't seen it (and even if you have!) go watch "it's a wonderful life." because it really is. even if you have a job you hate, you struggle financially, you have a hard time with business relationships, you have a sick child, you are jealous of those who may be better off than you, you live in a drafty house with a banister that comes off all the time, you've lost a loved one. there is so much to be thankful for, so much to love. so much joy around you.

"Remember, no man is a failure who has friends."

thank you for being my friend!

------------------------------
and a few more fun quotes from the movie!

Zuzu: Look, Daddy! Teacher says, every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.
George: That's right! That's right! Atta boy, Clarence!

George: What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary.
Mary: I'll take it. Then what?
George: Well, then you could swallow it, and it'd all dissolve, see? And the moonbeams'd shoot out of your fingers and your toes, and the ends of your hair... Am I talking too much?
Old Man: Yes! Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death?
George: How's that?
Old Man: Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death?
George: Want me to kiss her, huh?
Old Man: Ah, youth is wasted on the wrong people!

Young Mary: George Bailey, I'll love you til the day I die!

George: I wish i had a million dollars! Hot dog!

Sam Wainwright: Hee Haw!

George: Look, who are you?
Clarence: I told you, George. I'm your guardian angel.
George: Yeah, yeah, I know. You told me that. What else are you? What...are you a hypnotist?
Clarence: No, of course not.
George: Well, then, why am I seeing all these strange things?
Clarence: Don't you understand, George? It's because you were not born.
George: Then if I wasn't born, who am I?
Clarence: You're nobody. You have no identity.
George: What do you mean, no identity? My name's George Bailey.
Clarence: There is no George Bailey. You have no papers, no cards, no driver's license, no 4-F card, no insurance policy...They're not there, either.
George: What?
Clarence: Zuzu's petals. You've been given a great gift, George. A chance to see what the world would be like without you.
----------------------------------------------
so what's your favorite part/quote from this movie?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Obedience Can Bring Us Peace and Comfort: Part 1

originally posted at Modern Molly Mormon

"Obedience is the first law of heaven, the cornerstone upon which all righteousness and progression rest."
-Bruce R. McConkie

Abuse may distort our perceptions about obedience. As victims we may have been taught to obey at all costs. Any mistake may have led to severe physical, emotional or sexual punishment. As adults we may have adopted perfectionist tendencies, or live in fear of punishments that may come if a mistake is made. Sometimes victims of abuse go to the other extreme and rebel against authority and/or God.

Many who have been abused find it difficult to feel the influence of the Holy Ghost as well as to feel answers to prayer. Although we may interpret this as a lack of Heavenly Father's love, there is another explanation. A basic defense children use against sexual abuse is to shut down their feelings, helping them to get through the trauma. Yet this response also cuts them off from positive feelings. As a result, those who have been abused may have difficulty feeling the love of Heavenly Father, His servants, and other nurturing people in their lives.

One of Adam's great religious acts has become the classical illustration of perfect obedience. This first man of all men was commanded by the Lord to offer the firstlings of his flocks as a sacrifice, which he did. "Thereupon an angel appeared to him and asked: 'Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord?' and Adam said unto him, 'I know not, save the Lord commanded me.'" Then the angel told him the purpose and significance of sacrifice. (Moses 5:5-8) It should be noted that obedience preceded receipt of the new revelation.

As shown by Adam, obedience requires trust and faith, two attributes that are often damaged by abuse. When we align ourselves with God, everything in our life will either fall into place, or it will fall out of our life.

I have found in my life that I do not feeling as if I am controlled by anyone or anything. This has been a major roadblock in my being obedient--to my parents, my leaders, and even Heavenly Father. I responded to the abuse by rebelling in many ways, which caused a lot of disharmony in my family relationships. Now that I am an adult, I can handle these situations more maturely. But I still don't like feeling as if I am being told to do something. I am continuing to work on the obedience aspect of the gospel.

Almost without exception, we are encouraged to seek answers and healing from scripture reading and prayer. It is almost a cliche and we may fear that as we seek help from a church leader we will be dismissed with an unsympathetic "read your scriptures and pray." Unfortunately, in many cases this is what we may encounter. Yet, as we humble ourselves and turn to the Lord through prayer and scripture study, we can receive help we wouldn't have found otherwise.

President Benson said, "'From a child thou has known the holy scriptures, whicdh are able to make thee wise unto salvation' (2 Timothy 3:14-15). My dear brethren [and sisters], this is an answer to the great challenge of our time. The word of God, as found in the scriptures, in the words of living prophets, and in personal revelation, has the power to fortify the Saints and arm them with the Spirit so they can resist evil, hold fast to the good, and find joy in this life."

I have found in my own experience that my greatest joy comes from doing the things the Lord has asked of me. Lately I have really struggled when it comes to scripture study--and even my own personal prayers. It has been a rough couple of years and my faith has really been tested. It is still being tested. I am making a goal right here, right now, to get myself back on track, to facilitate my continued healing, to progress in my growth as a person, a wife, and a mother, by obeying the Lord's commandments.

"For verily I say unto you, blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether in life or in death; and he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven." (D&C 58:2)

I would like to challenge each of you to do your best in keeping the Lord's commandments. We each struggle with something different. For me, it is scripture study and prayer. For someone else, it may be swearing. For another, the word of wisdom, and for another, it may be something very different. I know that the Lord loves all of us. He wants us to be happy. He has told us that happiness comes from obedience. He has given us the way, now we just need to follow it. We are His children, and He wants only the best for us. Let's live up to our potential as His children and work hard to do as He has asked.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

the shepherds

go check out this post at modern molly mormon that was written by my little sister, about the shepherds present at the birth of Christ.

observations

have you ever noticed that when you are required to do that word verification stuff when leaving comments that the letters almost make an actual word? i have noticed this a lot. today i left a comment on my sister's blog and it was "mismook" which is almost "mistook."

one of my favorite things to do at christmas time when i was a kid was cut out those snowflakes from white paper. i saw this post today, with GORGEOUS templates for cutting out snowflakes. go check them out!

red cream soda is yummy.

apple beer is even yummier.

apple beer is yummiest when taking a hot bubble bath.

my house is cold. i hate being cold. i am always cold. it stinks.

i love that comcast commercial with the caveman and the beaver thing. i snort every time.


i HATE doing laundry.

most of our dishes consist of bottles.

we watched "merry christmas, charlie brown" last night on tv. that is one of my favorite christmas shows ever. then they showed some newer peanuts christmas thing. the voices were ALL WRONG. all wrong, i tell you! we only watched a few minutes of it. originals are almost always better.

i need a nap.

Monday, December 8, 2008

reaching a turning point

the depression has kind of been kicking my butt the last few days.

man, i sure hate this.

but i'm looking forward to happier days....

can you believe there are only 17 days left until christmas? i sure can't. time goes by so quickly. we went christmas shopping for little buddy on saturday. poor kid saw his presents while we were wrapping them and was MAD when i took them away! good thing he's too little to remember them. we got him some fun toys that i think he will love.

his grandma and grandpa bought him this beautiful music box. it plays music accompanied by the chimes on the top. you can pick from 25 christmas songs and 25 "all time favorites," including a few of my favorites: beautiful stranger, let me call you sweetheart, oh you beautiful doll, and blue danube. little buddy's has a train that moves in the scene (i couldn't find a picture of that one, this picture has children in it.)

i'm in the process of getting myself back into counseling. it has been a long time coming...i've really needed it. but i've had a really bad attitude about it/it costs a LOT so i've been putting it off. but hubby has finally convinced me i really need it. and i'm at the point where i am ready to go back. i hate finding therapists. i mean, HATE it. i have seen a total of...let's see...have to count....12 different therapists in my life. the majority of whom i only saw once or twice....maybe three or four times. it is important to see a counselor that i like, that will really help me. most of those that i've seen did not help me. but there were two that really did. that helped me a lot. a ton, in fact, and i am a different person today because of what they've done for me. but the fact that there were 10 that didn't do anything for me and only 2 that did is frustrating. because even those one or two visits cost. time as well as money, emotional as well as physical energy. i am hoping that i'll get lucky here and find one that i really like right off the bat, because we really can't afford to pay six different therapists until i find one i like. my old therapist from high school agreed to look over our provider list and give me a referral for one that she thinks will really help me.

so i've reached a turning point in my life. another one. i am anticipating that this will be a positive thing, that this will benefit me and my family. it will be a lot of hard work...and at times is really scary. but from past experience, i know it will be worth it!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

me, a slacker? i don't think so-oo!

whew! what a busy week it has been. i know i have been slacking here in the blogging world but i've been working my butt off in the real world. so sorry for those of you who care that i've been absent. :)

last night was our christmas party, and if i may say so, i believe it was a smashing success. i was a little worried about where we were going to put everyone, but it turns out we had just enough space! we had yummy food that our guests brought and played some awesome games. charades (always a classic), a gift wrapping race and some trivia games. and then to end the night a white elephant exchange. i think our guests had a good time. i know i enjoyed myself, and so did hubby. and little buddy miraculously slept through it all!

today we went christmas shopping for little buddy as well. it was fun to find gifts for him then bring them home to wrap. we have gifts under our tree now. now we'll have to see if they can stay there, because i'm pretty sure little buddy will want to unwrap them.

tonight hubby is out with some friends. he is looking at joining a local masonic lodge. one of his good friends/coworkers is a mason. hubby has been very interested in it for a long time--before he met his friend. he is really interested in the history, and tradition, and comraderie that comes with being involved in the lodge. he is also looking for something to help him become a better person, husband, and father. the masons do a lot of community service. he's checking things out, meeting the members of the lodge, and learning more about it. i'm glad that he is doing something for himself, something that will help him be happier. i don't know a whole ton about masonic beliefs, but what i do know is positive. (the feminist in me is a little ticked that it's a fraternal group, but if it makes my hubby happy then i'm good with it. :) i tend to get a little bent out of shape over dumb things like that...)

so while hubby is out making new friends i'm chillin' at home. poor little buddy had kind of a bad night, and i'm not really sure why. he normally doesn't cry at bed and he just howled for 45 minutes. he wouldn't really eat before bed, either....poor kid. he finally fell asleep and he's been sleeping like a rock. my guess is he's growing and was totally exhausted. it's so hard to listen to my boy cry, especially like that. it's even harder when i get frustrated. i'm not a very patient person, but i have been amazed at the patience and understanding i've had with little buddy. but for some reason tonight i was lacking in the patience department. i finally put him in the crib, sat downstairs and listened to him cry...and get more and more anxious and frustrated. then he fell asleep and i sat feeling like a terrible mother for getting so worked up over something so small. so now i'm watching law and order: svu and hate/loving it (i always hate/love the episodes having to do with sexual crimes....hate watching it and reliving my own issues and love watching those bastards get what they deserve in the end) and waiting for hubby to come home.

so now i'm off to chug-a-lug the leftover pepsi in the fridge and do some more hate/loving while watching l&osvu.

happy 1st anniversary, mmm!

modern molly mormon (where i am a featured columnist) is having an anniversary! lots of give a ways and fun stuff to check out, including a whole new look! go check it out and enter the contests. join the forums and meet new friends!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

happy SITSmas!

Merry SITSmas to my SITSahs!



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i hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

(for those of you who don't know what SITS is, go here and check it out)

and...don't forget about the give a way!

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