Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Movies, Friends, and all things Frustrating

First on the list - Movies.

I've noticed something incredibly appalling in recent movies that involve violence.

It is no longer ok to just kill people on screen and imply other things. It is now apparently necessary to rape, too.

As interesting as the movie Law-Abiding Citizen was, they didn't need to include that.

Its so strange. My reaction to these scenes, you'd think I'd been raped at some point in my past. I go into hysterics, shaking and suddenly feeling absolutely freezing cold while sobbing. I'm ok with this reaction. Now, movie producers can go back to leaving stuff like that to people's more sinister imaginations.

Second is Friends.

I've lost the only two followers to this blog that I had. Both were college friends. One significantly closer to me than the other. Or at least used to be. Though the 2nd follower doesn't bother me that much (we were never really that close - we love Jane Austen and music). Its the first one that does.

I understand that I wrote something offensive to her that was inappropriate to post on a blog. I also understand that my dogmatic view on feminism has been causing some tension and that the blogs I link to, she has found appalling. But rather than engage in healthy debate, she makes a retaliation post on her blog and never responds to comments.

Because of the (specifically) two posts she found offensive, we haven't really been on good terms lately. And this seriously bothers me.

I don't understand it. She was one of my closest friends in college even though we didn't agree on feminism. There were a lot of people who no longer talk to me who I had considered my closest friends in college. And the ones that were not that close are the ones that still call me up, send me messages on my birthday, and more readily engage in debate without walking away with hurt feelings. I guess that's why I went with someone who wasn't so close to me to be a bridesmaid for my wedding.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What is "Realmannspracht"? can get a good idea from this blog posting at one of my favoritest blogger's sites: The Spearhead

I left a comment there but its an old post, so I don't think anyone will really see it. But I think it was a good one and should be read. I believe it is fair and balanced to both sides - it also is disagreeable to both sides...

Like EW, I reference God of Christianity as the moral backdrop to my life, so keep in mind that what I am saying comes from this worldview.

Pro-Male / Anti-Feminist Tech said the following:

So much realmannspracht is defined based on women’s choices (i.e. if a woman marries you for socons or if a woman has sex with you for guys on the other end). This like so many other definitions of a “real man” (TM) fail all objectivity since they’re dependent on women.

This is very similar to what I’ve seen on some feminist blogs when it comes to the definition of physical “femininity”. Why is femininity always coming from the stance of what masculinity likes?

Renee said this on modesty…

Honestly, I think this all goes back to society attempting to control female sexuality and how female sexuality used to be (and today still in some circles) feared and seen as evil. It was a form of control in a way.

She’s absolutely right that modesty for women is a form of control on sexuality. But she’s wrong in thinking its a bad thing.

I also think she’s wrong that there is no modest code for men…there is. I’ve seen it first-hand – and I’ve seen immodest men aplenty on tv without nakedness.

You can’t use victorian definitions for applying modesty to chests, so you can’t use a man without a shirt vs women and breasts as an example of victorian modesty controlling female sexuality because women’s breasts were as everyday then as a man’s bare chest was – if not more. Necklines were so low to make breastfeeding easier (pop one out via style of the ‘immodest’ extreme la leche clubs that EW loves so much – amazing the tidbits of info you garner when researching breast feeding and renaissance gowns!).

But men were also held to modesty standards. Their trousers didn’t hang loosley around their hips so you could see the abdominal muscles as they trailed to the genital area like you see today in Abercrombi & Fitch adverts (and yes, that’s immodest and does make a girl stare); they were practically around their chests. For the longest time, men would only go shirtless in the company of other men or around their wives – if a lady was present, on came the shirt. It was immodest to be caught in your skivvies around a woman and to have bare leg showing (keep those stockings and garters on, men). It was also customary to show modesty in speech and behavior – you didn’t drink strong drinks or smoke cigars around a lady (brandy was reserved to after-dinner hours in the den where women were not allowed) nor was it acceptable to be vulgar, lewd, or brawly around a woman. There were standards for male modesty that controlled their sexuality just as much as women – its just that the modern day woman is not so readily willing or able to recognize the examples that history gives us of this.

(However, we also know that whorehouses were places where men could do all these things in the presence of a female without censorship)

Now my actual point – my argument against both Pro/Anti and Renee is the same – God did not create man (or woman) in a vaccuum. First, he created us for HIM. But he created us both male and female for eachother.

Its not a popular thought in today’s society to think that the female gender was created for men (for God saw that something was missing in just creating one gender) and that the female gender also requires the male to reciprocate. He created exactly what the male needed to make the world perfect when he created women by creating a gender who needed him.

And I think that with this world-view, it is not inappropriate to define certain aspects of masculinity and femininity; manhood and womanhood; male modesty and female modesty within a framework that considers the gender whose needs they were meant to fill.

So men will continue to shave their faces if their wives (or girlfriends or the female populace they care about) find this attractive and women will continue to shave their legs and armpits for the same reason. (Sorry for the simplistic example)

I just think that defining manhood and womanhood completely without consideration for the opposite results in an incomplete picture.



Last trip of the year, though...and its only a week this time.

It sucks because I am so unhealthy when he's not here! Its a miracle that I stay alive. I don't eat right, I don't sleep right...the only one who wins is my new bed companion - when I make it into bed. You see...that means he eats all night.

At least one of us is well fed and well rested...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Morning Sickness Association

It has been absolutely wonderful not having to deal with morning sickness.

Some things, though, have become so associated with the sickness that they still bring back memories and a bit of a tummy ache - like the smell of hotdogs, Smallville, and my brand new Mustang.

These things I can avoid, though. And I do. While pregnant and confined to a couch because getting up meant needing a bucket attached to my neck, I watched 4-5 seasons of Smallville. My car's smell made me unbearably sick, and though I craved them for all of 5 seconds at a time, the smell (and thought) of hot dogs made my tummy turn.

But here's the kicker. My morning sickness went through the entire winter months. It started in early October and lasted till February.

So now that the weather is cooling down and October feels like October, I find myself having a queasy tummy thanks to association.

How long is this supposed to last? This used to be my favorite time of year - am I going to be adverse to it for the rest of my life?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


So, I discovered broccoli from last night in the left-overs.

And in the refrigerator, I have 1.5 heads of lettuce that are going bad...

On top of that, last night was the first meal in over a week that I've cooked.

As I walk out of my kitchen, I'm thinking to myself how horrible I am at this whole adult thing...I mean, who am I kidding? I can barely take care of myself and I'm caring for a baby.

And then I sit down to finish cleaning out the diaper bag and re-filling all the diaper wipe containers and it dawns on me. I would much rather be reading my book or playing a video game than doing what I'm doing, but here I am doing this. I'd much rather be watching TV than going shopping for food and clothes for Ethan, but I went shopping. And yeah, I slip up a LOT and do what I would rather be doing more often than I should, but I have a decently clean house, a well fed and clean baby and there IS food in the refrigerator.

Adulthood - you know when you are there when you choose to do what NEEDS to be done before you do what you WANT to do - and that is something that comes with age and maturity.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Twilight Saga

Strange that I'm reading these books. I'm not much for following trends and even more so, I tend to avoid books that are recommended to me (I'm a rebel, what can I say).

Initially, I deeply mistrusted the source of the first recommendation, knowing full well that I had a lot of issues with her reading choices. But I got so desperate for books that I started reading the Harry Potter books (again) while taking brief stints into Historical books like The Battle of Salamis written by a Cornell University History professor and The Eight Wives of Henry VIII.

Finally, one more person suggested I read it - and the source was one I felt I could trust. So...I've read the first two books.

They are addicting. Woefully so. Frustratingly so. And if I were a member of the target audience, these books would be so incredibly unhealthy.

Luckily, I'm older and wiser and am in a healthy relationship, so I recognize this girl's obsession as being unhealthy. I'm wise enough to recognize how wrong the dynamics are playing out and it bothers me that these books were written for young adults that don't know better.

Its such an oxymoronic relationship - on one hand you have a girl in a relationship with a guy who is a gentleman - but her obsession with him would make you think it was an emotionally abusive relationship. Her dependence on him is excruciatingly painful to witness. And then the male half of the relationship - he has the wisdom and maturity to know that this relationship isn't a good one but acts as a selfish child in fulfilling his selfish desires to be with her.

All in all, I wouldn't mind that part so much if the girl was more capable of healthy, emotional boundaries - alas, she's not.

And in the 2nd book it gets even worse when Edward leaves Bella and she's convinced he doesn't love her anymore...and in her attempts to recover over her loss of him, she becomes attached to another boy who loves her - and she loves him, just not as much as she loved Edward - who, by the end of the book when Edward comes back because he can't live without Bella, this boy is ultimately crushed.

Its hard to watch and it makes me uneasy with how careless the author treats her characters and how irresponsible she is towards her target audience - an audience who doesn't know better when it comes to developing healthy emotional boundaries in relationships.

The author likes to say she is influenced by L.M. Montgomery and Anne of Green Gables, but while I was reading these books, I didn't see it - Bella may be learning what is unhealthy and self-destructive, but she does nothing to put a stop to her self-destructive behavior - unlike Anne Shirley, who, upon recognizing a poor choice, does her best to avoid such trouble in the future. And Anne maintains proper boundaries to a well-enough extent that you don't feel hurt for a rejected suitor...he's left with enough of his heart to more easily move on.

However, i did come across one quote from the author that I find is a good thing and her books to a good job of illustrating it -
Other major themes of the series include choice and free will. Meyer says that the books are centered around Bella's choice to choose her life on her own, and the Cullens' choices to abstain from killing rather than follow their temptations: "I really think that's the underlying metaphor of my vampires. It doesn't matter where you're stuck in life or what you think you have to do; you can always choose something else. There's always a different path."

(From wikipedia)

Unfortunately, this theme is really subtle and would require discussion on the books with an older/wiser for a younger audience to really pick up on it.

And to be quite frank, as I stated in another blog post on this subject, I think parents nowadays are too lazy to engage with their children on this stuff.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Interesting post

I'll provide some more info later - baby is demanding today...
Feminism and Christianity

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Back to the Point

You know, I had originally started this blog for a friend of mine who is a feminist.

I really have gone in the wrong direction on it, but it started pretty well. Pretty much, the idea was to do a Bible study through scripture, highlighting the parts that talk about womanhood and manhood.

I'm not much into the minute details of specific passages - I hate tearing a passage to pieces to find out its real meaning instead of using its context for meaning. I find it tedious and pointless. Context is more than just the surrounding verses - its the entire book. The whole thing paints a picture and if two parts seemingly contradict, then you have something wrong in your thinking.

I've trained myself to rethink when i come across things that may appear to contradict so that I may better understand - and I have no need of a ton of language lessons to figure this out.

Problem with pursuing this is that more than just Feminism makes my skin crawl - a world that ignores consequences also rankles me - and so do parents that over-shelter rather than educate their children. I get off track a bit...

I also want to take a less (and more) critical look of feminism - what it is, how its used, and all its different forms - the less evil-intentioned of this group believe there's a need for it - and it has nothing to do with making men subject to women and everything to do with protecting themselves.

I will never change my mind that feminism is a product of a lack of trust. Its a lack of trust in God, foremost - because to obey him means to subjugate herself to a man (a father or husband) and let him be the ruler of her.

Considering how difficult it is to learn to trust the people around you who clearly love you, I don't find it at all out of scope that it would be difficult to learn to trust God...trusting that he has plans not to destroy you but to give you hope and a future.

It also is a lack of trust in men in the general, husbands specifically. History has marked men as taking advantage of scripture that gives them power. From laws to lack of laws, moments in history have taken advantage and abused women.

It is true that feminism has left a mark on history, as well - a mark that generally goes unrecognized when it shouldn't. The decades prior to the fall of the greatest empire the world has seen was prolific with Feminism - in a very bad way. Its just that those moments have been shortlived, so don't garner much attention.

I believe, strongly, that scripture is the only source of equal treatment of men and women. It outlines how we should live with eachother. Its not all that we want to hear - there are some very difficult things to swallow in it - but it is the best way. Its not just women that have difficult things to do - men do to. Both sides.

But in a world where one or the other can take advantage of an imbalance in power, how do you promote laws that protect both? Women write laws that protect women and shame men. Men write laws that protect men and shame women. They both have evil tendencies to be selfish and protect ways of life that benefit one over the other. They also have a tendency to protect evil desires of their gender to their own demise - such as protection of sexual freedom (both genders are guilty of this).

I came across this idea not so long ago as it applied to Captialism - it can not exist in a world void of moral and ethical values. The same goes for gender equality.

Where do we go from here?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Book Banning or Education?

There's some parents in Leesburg that are all upset about some books in the public library that involve teen drug-use and sex that were put into the young-adult (teenager) section of the library.

Funny, cuz the books are the literary version of the popular CW show Gossip Girl.

There's other merchandise out there with the Gossip Girl name on it to - its like a more racy version of Hannah Montana in the marketing they have going on.

TV shows spawn books due to frenzied popularity - and who do you think is watching the 8:00 show on weeknights and buying the Gossip Girl logo on their clothes?

Oh...the teenagers that these parents are attempting to protect by banning the exact same content from the library.

On a post about Credit Cards at Boundless, Heather had this to say and it echoes my sentiments nearly perfectly:
I'm a little ambivalent. One side of me says that we should educate college students (and high school and middle school students, too) and then let them make choices and deal with the consequences. But the other side says that yes, someone should have to prove that they have a self-produced income stream before being allowed to enter into the adult financial world.

I can't help but feel that these parents are being lazy in pursuing book banning rather than teaching their children how to make good and wise decisions in the media they choose to entertain themselves with and the choices they make in how they live their life.

After all, the tv show was inspired by the incredible plethora of sex and drugs in the school system now - pursuits that surround the children of these over-the-top parents.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Income Adventure!

So, FINALLY, I have things put in place to start an At-Home-Business to help pay off those horrid student loans!

Stina's Web Design

I'm excited. In web portfolios, I have one more site that will be added very very soon - but the client is trying to find his hosting information =p

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Strange Dreams

You know, I hate it when my husband is on travel. Going to sleep is the worst, though.

Lately, I've been having the strangest dreams that make me incredibly uneasy. And I dont' feel rested at all in the morning after them.

Pretty much, in my dreams my husband doesn't exist. And I live my life as if he doesn't - but the entire time I have this nagging feeling that something isn't right...that something important is missing. Its like a craving for something that I don't know yet.

So, I'll end up dating someone and not feeling right about it because its as if they aren't the person I'm supposed to be with...I feel uneasy and push them away, not certain what it is I'm looking for.

Occassionally, I'll find him and I'll sleep peacefully the rest of the night...but most of the time, he's not there...

/sigh - I wonder how military wives handle this...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Christian Debate and Accountability?

Ever since I wrote my post to "my feminist friend", I've been seriously struggling with some issues.

I caught some flack for it, which is why its down now. I have my reasons for capitulating -
1) It wasn't right for me to attack this person's beliefs in such a public forum. I'm not quite certain what provoked me to do it, but I don't think it had much to do with her...other than her stance on the issue is constantly in my mind - CONSTANTLY.

2) Her faith in Christ is real and holding to something in a dogmatic way and allowing that to destroy a friendship isn't worth it. In essence, I was attacking a belief she has that has no bearing on her eternal soul - just a disagreement on an issue that I believe my way will lead to an easier life and she believes her way is the easier life.

How, as christians, do we proceed? I find myself with butterflies in my stomach wondering if i should go to a function tomorrow where she might be (and the other person who attacked me for that post) and i don't know how to proceed.

A part of me wants to debate this issue...the other part wants to forget about it.

For some reason, I'm more able to let go of political differences than this one (and abortion). I don't really know what to do...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Grumpy 5 Month Olds

I hate teething.

He's such a sweetheart, but now he's grumpy all the time! It sucks cuz there's nothing I can do about it and his mouth is too small for all his teething toys.

Poor lil guy.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Paranoia I woke up with a sore throat.

My eyes are heavy and my forehead is warm (not hot...I doubt I have a fever).

Ethan has been cranky for the last 2 days which is totally unlike him.

Are we getting sick?

What if its the swine flu?

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Old Treasure Recovered

Come hither, my child
And listen to my tale.
A story so fleeting it flies on the wings of Wind,
So beautiful that it only is percieved at that infinitesimal moment of twilight,
So innocent, it has yet to be concieved by the minds of men.

I will take you first to the light of day
Where paths of sunlight guide you to fields of rubies
Sapphire greets you from heaven above and cloud's soft shapes take form
The sunlight dances as you prance barefoot through emerald grasses
Then notice the fire glinting off wings of sprites with long golden hair and mischeivous eyes.

Next you will see the soft glows of sunset
When day kisses the earth goodbye
Colors of roses sing sweet songs of love as sun gives way to moon
Though dazzling sun gives eyes delight, be weary of the artists
Who, with small brushes in hand, paint hues of time upon their tapestry - the sky.

Swiftly, be quick, as setting sun turns dark!
And catch the first sign of twilight - a star shining in deep blue abyss
Avert your eyes not or you might miss the last sign of twilight - the first star of night
And once your eyes catch sight of the first light of dark, look quick for the culprit who sees fit not to let night be black.
There he will be, skipping specks of light across the deepening sea of ebony.

Last of all comes the glory of night.
The moon sketches paths of beauty and light.
Her coolness brings peace and sparkles like diamonds upon dew covered grass
Though Jasmine may cause you to drift on sweet dreams, take heed first to small feet
Who kiss sleeping earth with droplets of love and gaurd her til her lover returns.

At last my tale is told and done
My child, I hope you believed the fairies all told
And your innocent eyes alone will catch glimpse
For as years pass by the fairies will hide
And all you will see is the beauty left behind.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

A Defense of Infant Baptism

I've been challenged to provide a biblical defense of the Catholic Tradition of baptism (as opposed to the Baptist Tradition). Pretty much, Catholic Tradition is Infant Baptism and Baptist Tradition is Believer's Baptism.

Many people have attempted this before and failed, so I don't expect that I will succeed in changing his mind that Infant Baptism is just plain wrong. I do want to make it clear that my purpose is not to claim one wrong and the other right; or to claim one is better than the other. After long thought and prayer, I have determined that the theologies behind the two traditions of baptism are very different.

Baptists and those who believe in Believer's Baptism believe it is just that - baptism once you believe. Some of them will even claim that you aren't really saved unless you've been baptized after confession. I don't agree with that group of people - I strongly believe that salvation does not require baptism to be true. I believe that baptism is simply an expression of faith, like fasting and long hours of meditation.

To those that simply believe baptism shouldn't occur until after belief is established, I don't disagree with you and your theology. I find it a good thing. However, I also find that Infant baptism serves its purpose, as well - and is, in fact, biblical. It simply derives its theology from something much older.

This is in two parts. The first addresses the theology behind infant baptism. The second tackles some conceptions that I think are false when it comes to belief in Christ.

First, when Christ came, he made it clear that he was not coming to abolish the law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). There were commandments that were given in the Old Testament by God to prepare the people for the coming of Christ. Examples are the command to never forget the passover - for the signs given at the passover were repeated when Christ died...and anyone who religiously practiced the passover meal would have recognized those signs (Exodus 12:14). There are others, but hashing this point isn't relevant to this argument.

Another command that was given was that when a gentile chose to become a follower of Jehovah, he had to be circumcised (Genesis 17:10-11) - and so did his whole household (Genesis 17:12-14). In essence, when one chose to become a part of the covenant, his entire family was commanded to become a part of the covenant - regardless of their own feelings on the issue. Examples of this being carried out in scripture include Dinah's lover and his kingdom (Genesis 34) and the risk of Moses' son's life due to his lack of circumcision (Exodus 4:24-27).

Because the Catholic Tradition of baptism is one of a convenantal nature, its theology derives from the Old Testament's method of entering the covenant.

Where Believer's Baptism is an expression of faith of the person being baptized, Infant baptism is an expression of faith of the parents of the child being baptized. To them, this is their declaration of their covenantal bond with Christ a promise to do as God commanded in Deuteronomy - not once, but twice.
5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
~Deuteronomy 6:5-9

18Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
~Deuteronomy 11:18-21

In the Catholic Tradition, parents take full responsibility for their child's faith until they are adults and can claim responsibility for their own faith - just as the jews did and still do when their children come of age. In the Catholic Tradition, it is Confirmation. For the Jews, it is a Bar or Bat Mitzvah - a ceremony where the now young adults take everything they have learned from their parents and accept it as their own faith.

And this brings me to the second part - the matter of belief. Many who believe in the Believer's Baptism believe that only when a person reaches an appropriate age of responsibility can he make a concious claim of faith. The Catholic Tradition doesn't place that stipulation on belief. An 18 month old singing songs in her crib as the sun pours through, conciously aware of the one who created the sun, is capable of true belief. The 4 year old who cries when Jesus dies in his children's bible and shouts with joy that "Jesus is alive!" when he comes back to life is just as capable of true belief. The 6 year old who gives her favorite bible away to a girl whose parents are atheists because she was asking questions about God and Jesus is just as capable of true belief. Even Jesus claimed that more people should have faith like children. If we all had such blind faith like children, wouldn't that mean that none of us should be capable of a concious, reasonable decision of faith? (Matthew 10:15)

For those raised in Christian homes that are taught daily the Christian faith, a child can come to an adult understanding of Christ without ever having that "pivotal moment" of confession and faith. For them, every day is a living confession of faith and there is no remembrance of a life without Christ because he has always been a part of their lives.

And to these children and their parents, Infant baptism is a valid and even right and true expression of faith.

I don't intend for the one who challenged me to change his views on baptism in so much that Believer's Baptism is what he chooses to follow. I do, however, wish to bring about an understanding and graceful acceptance that those who practice infant baptism do so believing it is right and true and that it is just as valid as believer's baptism. And that those baptized as infants do not need to be baptized a second time.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Weight Loss Woes

So, I've been trying all month to lose weight. I have like 15lbs to lose to get to pre-preggers weight and over 30 to get to my goal weight.

After working out almost every day for a month and watching how much I eat, I lost a glorious 1lb.

I gave up and doing things the "balanced" way and decided to tackle this problem via the only method that has helped me lose weight in the past...

And I'm not going to share what it is because that method is tied up with so much slander that every one is going to think I'm doing something stupid.

Its the end of day one and I feel horrid. I have a headache and just want to go to sleep. Luckily, I only have one more day of this to go.

And when its up, I have a baptism post to write.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Beauty and the Beast

My freshman year of college, I met this young man who prided himself on being contrary. He was cruel, rude, and totally self-absorbed.

I was feeling a bit risky and college freedom was getting to my head. I did so many things in the first 3 months of college that I had never done before - one being I tried out for the Dance Team...

When he was being rude and boarish, I was being optimistic, friendly, and persistent. In other words, I was being annoying because he was being annoying. For some reason, he liked it and I started to see a different side of him.

We started dating. And as much as my friends hated him because of how rude and mean he was, I justified it because he was someone else with me.

I thought that if he cared enough about me and I was nice enough to him, he would change.

So many girls out there think this - that if a guy is "broken" in their eyes, they can fix him by loving them and being loved by them. Its frustrating to nice guys, because nice girls will fall for the "bad boys". It leads to unhealthy relationships later when the "bad boys" don't change and wives become angry, bitter, and nagging - and those men get distant and self-absorbed.

One of my favorite movies as a little girl perpetuates this thing about love from a woman can change a man - Beauty and the Beast. I was watching it today and there are so many unrealistic expectations in it, its ridiculous. Thing is, Belle doesn't think she can change him...she just does with no real effort on her part. She doesn't give him any opportunities thinking he might change - he changes before she falls for him. And he changes because he wants her to fall for him.

Grease had the same dynamic. Sandy thinks Danny is a very nice guy (and he is when he is with her in Austrailia). When she sees him in the states, she discovers he's not such a nice guy and gives him the cold shoulder most of the time. Its not until the end that Danny finally gives up and decides to be the nice guy...only Sandy decided it was easier to join in.

You don't fall for a guy thinking you can change them. You don't marry a guy thinking you can inspire him to be better. If he's going to change with you as inspiration, he's gonna do it while you refuse to give him the time of day because he's such a "bad boy".

Friday, August 21, 2009

Worth it?

Ok. I'm really bad at doing cost estimates.

I can call around and ask for an estimate, but if someone has to come out and give me an estimate, the only way I'll say no is if I already know what a reasonable cost is for the circumstances.

Maybe its bad money sense, but I feel rude having someone come out, inspect, give estimate and tell them "no" when I might not find a better deal (because I just don't know).

And I hate this not knowing stuff. They should have some kind of a website for homeowners where they document how much they paid for a certain service (and for car owners) so they have an idea of what to expect for a ball-park figure.

Anyway, my sewage backed up today while I was washing Ethan's laundry...and the toilet overflowed all over the carpet.

I called the plumber and carpet cleaners. The plumber dug up our pipe (in our beautiful garden, though he was respectful of the plants) and found a pipe with no cap on was clogged by MULCH from the garden. It cost $249.00 to "snake" the pipes. I wonder if I can find out who laid our sewer line and request a reimbursement for the lack of a cap? Probably. I'll try that.

But here's the thing - the only other estimate I got was a ball-park figure based on the length of the lines and stuff - she said $165 - 250. So...because I ended up at the far end of that estimate does it mean I coulda gotten cheaper?

Now I'm waiting on a cost estimate from the carpet cleaners for carpet replacement - because yes, when there is a sewage back-up you WANT to replace the carpet. Ewww for other people's feces all over your carpet.

Now - for any new homeowners, when your toilet starts bubbling while your doing laundry, get your pipes looked at to avoid the mess that results.

A Morbid Post

I just spent 5 hours driving from Savannah, GA to Orlando, FL tonight. It was...FUN!!!! (not so much) Needless to say, I'm happy to be home.

The trip up was incredibly easy cuz I had a good source of entertainment - I listened to Rush Limbaugh for the first time in my life. I couldn't help but brag to my dad afterwards. He was very proud of me =p

Anyway, all that time in the car gave me the opportunity to let my brain wander. Among the topics that crossed my mind were my arguments for infant baptism, sanctity of motherhood, and fear of death.

Baptism can wait. Seeing as this is a morbid post, we'll go with the last two =p

First, fear of death. I have NEVER been afraid of death in my life. I just wasn't worried about it. I knew where I was going. I still do, but its more complicated now...and it really shouldn't be. However, I'm no longer this independent creature who, when death comes, will only leave behind aging parents and separated siblings and a handful of friends (I'm so cold, I know - I realize they love me very much and my death would be hard on them, but its really different now). When I became a wife, things started to change. Ok...engagement and the prospect of motherhood really began the change. But the marriage and house actually solidified the first part and the birth solidified the second. First, here was this man who had just given up everything for me. He has invested the rest of his life in me. He loves me. Not because he has to because he's a good person. He loves me because he chose to. I don't want to die anytime soon because of that - I don't want him to be left behind with all this stuff he put together for our life together with no life together.

Then there was Ethan. And every time I think of dying now, it involves Ethan crying for me and my not coming to him. And that just tears me up inside. IN a very bad way.

And then this went in a new direction - abortion and all these stories of mothers hurting their children. And I finally understand why mothers doing this appalls me so much more than hearing about fathers doing such things.

You see, from the moment of conception to birth, a baby is relying solely on its mother for survival. Its life is so utterly dependent on the mother. And here is this woman, with this child in her safe-keeping, who violates that protection that her body is providing for her child - violating the very purpose of her body at that point in time - and destroying it for some stupid, selfish reason.

And then, after birth, that child so naturally and instinctually trusts implicitly and loves unconditionally this woman who has just given birth to him. Fathers, they learn to trust in those first days, first weeks, first months - mothers = trust to them.

So when a mother harms her child, she is violating and betraying that trust. She throws away the only one who truly loves unconditionally.

Its horrid.

Enough. I'm going to bed with my hubby now.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Baby Juggle does one go shopping with a baby in the rain?

I find myself limited in ways I never really comprehended before motherhood...

Odd the things you give up.

Some Updated Pics of Baby

From Ethan

Mother and Son ;)

From Ethan

One of my favorites...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Edmund, Lucy, and Extending Grace

I have been watching Prince Caspian like every night this week.

Movie channels keep playing it at the same time every night and I tend to like having something playing in the background - a habit I picked up from a college roommate and a life of younger siblings.

In this story, Peter and Susan are told that they will not be returning to Narnia again. Reason is, they've lost their child-like faith. Its not that they are "too mature" to be there - its that they don't believe the way Lucy and Edmund do.

And then that brings me to something else. Lucy, everyone gets. She's the child-like one who ALWAYS believed even when criticized for it and told she was being childish. Everyone knows why she gets to return to Narnia.

But Edmund? He had the most shocking transformation between the first and second books. And in Prince Caspian, he comes off as a thousand times more spiritually mature than either of his older siblings. Between him and Lucy develops a bond that transcends earthly brother/sister status. They are kindred spirits who truly recognize the grace that has brought them to Narnia. And Edmund's transformation and wisdom comes from the acceptance of a gift that he truly understands as such - because his sin was so obvious and so big by our standards that when forgiven of it, he knows he is not worthy of it but desperately wants it.

That is one kind of Grace - the grace of God.

The other one on my mind is that between Christians.

I've been trying to figure out how to make a case for infant baptism. Its not that I think later baptism is wrong - in fact, I think it is just as good, if not better. However, there is a statement that I am making in having my son baptized that I WANT and NEED to make. And it is an expression of my faith that I would want to bring my son into the covenant that I share with God.

People may find me theologically incorrect here - even though I believe that the OT gives me a case to support me. Thing is, I don't really care - whereas they care way too much (in my opinion). Baptism, to me, is simply an expression of faith. It is not a mandatory expression, it is simply one of many. Like fasting or volunteering in your church or being a missionary. It is not required for salvation.

And the argument that "Jesus did it, so should we" doesn't hold, either. If that were true, we should all go out into the desert with no food for 40 days and hang on a cross for the world's salvation.

I'm willing to give grace on the subject, but I sure am tired of people discrediting my own baptism or the theology behind my having my son baptized. It really is not that big a deal.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Change in Decorum

I've noticed something about motherhood...

Nursing makes you think less and less about modesty because your breasts are not associated with sex anymore.

Kinda like the late stages of pregnancy make all things vagina open conversation.

I've gone from Venus to Gaia. Nothing sexy here.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Amazing Quote

There are lots of people who hide their careers from their parents; hit men...exotic dancers...AIG executives...

Evan Lawson, CEO of HankMed, Royal Pains

Monday, August 03, 2009

A Thorny Issue

There's a passage in one of Paul's letters (I'm being lazy and not looking up the passage) that talks about a certain thorn in his side.

It is a sin that he struggles with constantly. He never says what it could be anything. All we know is its a sin.

He says that as much as he wishes this thorn to be gone, he is grateful for it...WHY? Why is he grateful for SIN??? Because through his weakness, God's strength is displayed.

Now, I'm not saying go out and sin and let God be glorified =p

I'm just saying that everyone struggles with something. For me, it was sexual morality I struggled with. No matter how much I tried, I always fell down. It was always painful and I've paid the consequences of it. But I have to say - I never really did anything wrong (not bad enough to really feel consequences from God) until the first time I did something sexual. And through the process of breaking down in confession and asking for forgiveness and going through that healing, I never really understood what Grace was.

And I think that for a lot of cradle-christians (christians from birth), they have a very limited idea of Grace until they mess up like that. And I understand what Paul meant.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Reality Sets In

So...Newborns are sooo easy. At least mine is.

Today was his first night of 8 hours and he's not 4 months yet. He's been sleeping 7 hours for over a month already.

Today I'm babysitting a 1 year old with my baby. And omg. He doesn't stop. I made the mistake of not taking a nap with them when they were both sleeping so now I'm chasing around a 1 year old praying my 4 month old doesn't need to eat for another 3 hours.


I wonder how many habits babies get from their parents?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Renewed Confidence in the Episcopal Church

Here is a letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury concerning the Convention of the Episcopal Church that was held sometime last month.

I found it to be solid and theologically correct. It was good to see we aren't totally corrupt.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A Double Take

Its been a glorious 12 weeks and I absolutely love my job as mother and housewife.

Turns out work didn't have any part-time positions to offer me so I'm quitting, especially since I know how full-time employees are pushed to work more than 40 hours. Because my husband travels so much, it gives more need to my being more available to my son. Unfortunately, I am now looking for other part time work in a really bad economy. WOOHOO!!!

Over the last 12 weeks, I've been spending some time thinking and drawing some conclusions that may seem like cop-outs, but I seriously doubt they are. There is a certain sect of feminism that I still detest and abhor with all reason and they are the ones that I so gracefully call "true" feminists by my definition of feminism: people who fight to increase the status of women at the expense of men. Since every sect of feminism drastically disagrees about their purpose and definition, I feel that I'm justified in providing my own definition.

There are those, however, who simply seek to be respected and valued as human beings. They fight to be seen as intelligent, resourceful, hard workers, and partners with a valuable voice. They don't seek to destroy manhood, or be disrespectful of men, or deny any responsibilities given them by God. Some would like to be wives and mothers, but if they can't accomplish that, they want to be Jane Austens instead - women who can provide a living for themselves and be respected for it - utilizing all the God-given talents they have at their finger-tips.

I wouldn't call them feminists. But they do. Simply because they define feminism as the idea that women are just as valuable as men. Which they are.

And I've discovered that in all my reading of certain blogs, I've started to question that. Yes, feminists that fight for abortion rights, think all men are pigs, scoff at women who shave their legs for men while ignoring that men shave their faces for women, and who think that any woman who wants to be a mother is socially conditioned to want to do that are women (and men) I strongly dislike and the devil can have them. But women are still valuable, they are still needed. Men still need us. That's why God created us. But he did give us a certain role in this mess. Not to be inferior, but to be different.

And as an aside, my parents were discussing Fireproof and they gave an entirely different perspective on that movie that I had never heard. Boundless never brought up any fault of the woman, the only thing others could talk about was the fault of the woman, but my mother said something that was completely and totally true:

You fight for marriage with all you have even when the other person is doing absolutely nothing to help and everything to justify a failed marriage.

They're right. And after 26 years of marriage, I think they are justified to hold that opinion.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Baby Story...

So, here's my baby experience for all those curious.

On Friday night, I was invited to dinner with a couple friends. Hubby and I went and had dinner and played Cranium til 11:30 at night then headed home. I think we were in bed by 12:30. Sometime around 9:00 that night, I was having contractions, but nothing regular and I just kinda felt crampy and uncomfortable the entire time.

5:30 am on Saturday morning, my water broke. After spending the last week wondering if I'd know if my water broke or if I was having contractions, I was very pleased that the water breaking WAS obvious =p Told Paul to get up and it was time to go!

I got to the hospital at 6:30 and still no contractions at all.

8:00 am, still no contractions and the nurse put me on pitocin.

9:00 am, still no contractions, so she upped the pitocin level.

10:00 am, still no contractions, so she upped the pitocin level. And at this point she checked me and saw I hadn't progressed any since I had come in. 2cm dilated, fully effaced.

11:00 am, the doctor comes in to examine me and sees me at 3cm. Oh gosh, this is going to take forever. I still was having no contractions.

Wait...I should probably clarify. I WAS having contractions, but nothing with a pattern or that I could really tell.

Then the doctor noticed I still had some membranes intact and decided to break my water completely...

Then the contractions started. All that pitocin from the get go had me in so much pain that I actually stomached the needle and got that epidural. That drug seriously was amazing. I went for about 90 minutes before I got it and I thought I still had to worry about the transition phase (the most painful labor phase). Turns out I was in transition that entire time...

At 2:00, I was 10cm dilated and ready to go.

2:30, I started pushing.

3:27, I stared in aww at how easy it was for the doctor to just pull out my baby after all that pushing. One second there was nothing and then suddenly there was a whole lotta baby.

So, 4 hours of "labor" ... Not too shabby compared to all the horror stories I've heard.

As for my condition? The anesthesiologist was impressed with how I handled my contractions (though I was starting to hyper-ventilate through them). The doctor was impressed with my pushing. Delivery wasn't so bad.

It was after when things got a little...weird. After Ethan was born and I had him in my arms, it kinda felt like there was another baby trying to get out. It was that dull pressure that you instinctually push for (for the guys, think something like a bowel movement). The nurses came in and felt my tummy and everyone got really worried. Paul told the nurses I was looking really pale. They took the baby to the other side of the room where the new dad watched him (and discovered later was taking great joy in distracting himself by poking his new son...)

I was apparently having clotting issues - and passed way more blood clots than any of you guys would really like to know. It was kinda gross looking and I could describe what it looked like, but I think I'll spare you unless you ask. I think they pushed out clots 3 times before I finally felt any relief.

I've been a bit uncomfortable all the way up until today, though the first 3 days were kinda rough (I hated sitting but walking/standing made me really light-headed). Wednesday, Ethan had his first pediatrics appointment and the doctor was impressed with how I was I'm doing great.

Baby blues have slightly kicked in, though not to the degree that I was thinking they would (and so grateful they aren't that bad). I feel good, I'm ready to start walking regularly, and after 5 days of struggling to feed my baby (he wouldn't wake up long enough to eat and he was lazy at sucking), we are finally in the swing of things.

I'm enjoying being a mother :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Announced: Easter Egg Hatched

So. Good Friday was the prelude to an interesting Saturday...

Ethan James was born April 11, 2009 at 3:27 pm.

Weight: 6lbs 3 oz

Length: 20 inches

Condition: Early, but healthy. And very quiet.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

This is probably one of my favorite days of Holy Week. I used to go to my Uncle's service and for some reason, I loved it.

Perhaps it was the reminder of what the Christian faith is all about.

I regret that I may not make it to a service tonight...but perhaps God has some other ways to make today a "Good" Friday :)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


How does one word evoke so much emotion?

Its such a tiny little word...but it encompasses so much.

Its not me. Its not him. Its US.

We. Ours. Us.

WE are having a baby.

He will be OUR son.

He's a little bit of US.

Its kind of overwhelming in sheer awesomeness. Is this how God intended it? The consummation of our marriage and our life together. The epitome of our love for each other takes on flesh and is going to bring us trials and joy, both...but blessings untold.


What about us?

Why is it that when the majority votes against a progressive measure, the courts will stand up and side with the minority?

And then when the majority speaks again, the minority gets all uppity about it and starts calling us all bigots and other bad names?

Well, at least you had the opportunity to give power to your voice.

My voice (and many others) is going to be shut down because they know they can't get the votes to pass it (what with the whole 2/3 majority thing).

Hello, those senators are the voices of people who our democracy doesn't let speak on these issues in any other way except through them! They are our representatives. We voted for them and put them in place to vote on things like this. If enough of the populace voted enough to prevent something from passing, then it shouldn't pass!

Have a little respect, please.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

This Just In...

Annoyed, pregnant woman with a naive view of child-birth.

At least that's what I feel everyone around me is saying. As the date gets closer (less than 6 weeks, now), there are certain things that people do that are starting to bother me.

And oddly, its not the standard things that most pregnant women complain about on the pregger boards. Standards seem to be belly-touching, constant asking if your pregnant...swiftly followed by all the other questions - do you know what your having? is this your first? how far along?

No, my issues as I get closer to the "most painful experience of a woman's life" is the barrage of baby stories (in infinitely excruciating detail) from other mothers (both new and old) and the constant (what feels like) condensation when I comment on how I'm hoping to avoid the Epidural.

The first one, I'm learning to handle. As much as I really don't want to hear horror stories when I have to do this anyway (and I'm expecting pain and torture all the way around, I did my research early on), I've come to the conclusion that their telling of the stories is as much for them as it is for me. I mean, after having a baby, there's only a select group of people who can share in that experience.

However, the second one is grating to no end! I am not set on "going natural". I simply have a strong fear of needles that I've learned to control over the years to the extent to be able to get boosters and give blood. But I have not extended that control to needles as long as my forearm that have to stay in me for ANY period of time. Hence why - as vain as I have been about my gorgeous stomach - I will NEVER get a belly button piercing to save my life.

But when I mention that I don't want an epi, people tell me how much pain I'll be in and that I'll change my mind and I shouldn't have that expectation because I'll only be disappointed if I cave (oh...and I WILL cave...). Well wait, I just told you I'm not opposed to using pain relieving methods, so why do you think I'll feel like a cop-out for caving to one? NO, I just don't want that thing IN me. Needles that big and catheters SCARE me. Got it? Well, not quite...but maybe they've caught on...maybe...

Cuz then comes the "you'll be in so much pain you won't CARE!" Well great. If I'm in that much pain, then sure! Lets do it. But what if I'm not? Lets say that the pain really is not EXCRUCIATING to the point that I can ignore this long needle going into my back long enough for the anesthetician to thread a little tube into my body. But it IS bad enough that I really don't want to handle it. What other options are there?

"Oh trust me, you won't be that lucky."

Well, pardon me for saying so, but I hear labor and delivery experiences are similar within families. Yes, there can be variations, but they keep telling us that if you want SOME idea of what your experience MAY be like, look to your mothers and grandmothers. Well, my reproductive history has always been a LOT like my mother's. Same excruciating menstrual cycles that we have had to learn to deal with through the years. So maybe our labor and delivery stories could be similar.

Her first delivery lasted 4 hours. She went through all of early labor not even knowing she was in labor. The rest of the delivery felt like a really bad period. all you people who say there's no way I could have such an easy delivery, apparently there IS a chance.

I don't care how small it is or how big it is, there is that chance.

So what are my other options? And if it hurts so much I cave to an epi, trust me, I will not be disappointed. Just in so much pain that I won't mind that stupid needle. But just in case...give me another choice.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I don't understand...

Some people seriously ask for bad stuff when they do stupid things:
Like meeting a stranger they met on IM in a non-public place at night.

No, no one deserves it, but seriously, play smart and you minimize your risk.

In other news, apparently the Pope got France all riled up when he made the announcement that fidelity and abstinence are a better solution to stopping HIV/Aids than freely distributing condoms.

Hmmm...lets look at the stats. Condoms have <100% chance of preventing aids when used correctly and abstinence has a 100% chance. Yup, abstinence is better. And which is easier to use "correctly"?

Rebecca Hodes, of the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa said: "His opposition to condoms conveys that religious dogma is more important to him than the lives of Africans."

And Rebecca Hodes conveys that political dogma is more important to her than the lives of Africans.

Go figure.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bad Person?

"We all want healthy, full-term babies, right?"

So says one future mommy on

Does it make me a bad person that (at 33 weeks) I'm ready to have him NOW? I don't want to wait 7 more weeks. Can I have him in 4? Please?

Monday, March 16, 2009

An Interruption

I interrupt this blog-free Lental Season (sounds like a soup) to bring you this interesting bit of information:

Between 1950 and 1970, some four million pounds of the pesticide DDT, illegal today, was dumped into the ocean in Los Angeles. Examples of eggshell thinning, gonad shrinkage and feminization in males, overdeveloped ovaries in females, and failure to thrive are some of the defects found in seagull studies at UC Davis by Michael Fry. In 1981, Fry published his research in the journal Science. Shrugged off for years by the scientific community, Fry's work is now being corroborated all over the world in dozens of other species.

(Source is found here)

I've been struggling with water retention and swelling for the first time since pregnancy started and am trying to keep it down to a minimum, so I've been trying to figure out the balance between water and sodium chloride. Came across this interesting little gem and was fascinated by it...

So we have trends of obesity, low reproduction, and male feminization in today's society...makes you kinda think...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Silly Dreams and Random Stuff before Lent

Dreams are getting RIDICULOUS. What is it about pregnancy that does this?

Unfortunately for me, most of my dreams are nightmares. Take for instance last night's where I ended up in a house full of "family" that wasn't my family trying to find a moment of intimacy with my husband. That was amusing, actually, cuz it kinda felt like the first week of my honeymoon =p

Another one involved Child Services kidnapping my baby... throw on top of that one a previous dream in which I nearly suffocated my baby because my nanny-cat moved him out of the basinet and onto a bed full of blankets and pillows, then I got breast-milk up his nose while trying to feed him, and being told off by the child in my arms, proclaiming in a tiny, high-pitched voice "YOU'RE A HORRIBLE MOTHER!!!"

Disturbing...definitely very disturbing.

However, I did have a gem of a dream...imagine one of those reality cook shows like Hell's Kitchen and they introduce the head chef in the midst of spouting fire and smoke and a drum roll...

Announcer: Nationally recognized, winner of the such-and-such...

The best cook in the world!

Chaim Giomama!

Do pronounce Chaim as "I'm" and remember that Italian single g's are soft.

Say that name out loud to yourself.*


Several topics have come up that have me realizing that something REALLY needs to change in the societal conception that its taboo to discuss sex with parents (Ewwwwww....Gross!!!!).

First of all, EVERYONE talks about how difficult marriage is going to be and that you are not always going to feel in love. But regardless, love them ANYWAY. Because love is more than a feeling. You're attacked with such advice as "Never go to bed angry" and "Do the dishes together". But no one ever talks about the sex-life. Maybe mothers really should.

Second of all, peer pressure and abstinence among young adults...I bet you anything that if parents and children were more comfortable about discussing questions concerning it, abstinence might be more doable.


And lastly, this little gem of a quote that had me laughing. I think its true, but to hear it stated in such a way made me feel so glad someone said it:

"Boundless does advocate getting married young"

From what I've seen, Boundless doesn't advocate "getting married young", Boundless advocates being mature at a young age so that if you are called to marry young, your own immaturity doesn't instantly rule it out.

Thanks, Daniel!


So, starting tomorrow, NO MORE BLOGGING.

In 40 days, I'll get back to you and let you know how it all worked out. Maybe share some of my devotional revelations :)

Have a disciplined Lent and a Celebratory Easter! (Or Resurrection Day, whichever way your convictions sway you to call, it'll involve Pasanki eggs, Deviled eggs, and haven't figured out which family, yet...I celebrate Resurrection Day EVERYDAY =p)

* Yes, I did just dream a "Yo Mama" joke.

I guess it fits...for all the best cooks in the world, nothing ever tops mom's home-cooking!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Long Distance Relationship

When I first started dating my husband last April, I was having a conversation with my dad and laughingly made the comment "I'm in a long distance relationship with a guy who lives 10 minutes away!"

Oh how things have NOT changed.

You see, my company is comprised of two primary tools of trade: Software Engineers and Systems Engineers. My husband is a Systems Engineer. But not just any Systems Engineer...he's in Integration & Test. Which means that in the later phases of system testing, his job takes him to the actual site that the program is running at. The first month of our relationship, he was gone for 3 weeks. I love my Dad - "Oh THAT'S why he's still dating you!"

The day after we returned from our honeymoon, he was leaving for a week. Not even a month later, and he's gone for 2 weeks. Over Valentine's Day (our first one). I guess to hold with tradition, we should spend it having a conversation on MS Communicator (FYI, that conversation last year made that day the best Valentine's Day of my life!).

He left this morning at 5:30AM.

You'd think I'd get used to it, but I realized the last time he was gone that it gets harder. And harder. And harder. This time, he wasn't gone for 2 minutes before I felt bereft. Luckily, my body is so exhausted from its creative work, that I was passed out before the tears stinging the back of my eyes had a chance to fall.

I've found, though, that the time he's away can be used beneficially. Its a good time for one-on-one time with God, a good chance for me to catch up with housework, and excellent time to spend with girl-friends, watching the movies he WON'T watch with me, and putting in overtime at work. And the next two weeks will involve extra work of packing and baby-registry shopping!

I guess these things help keep me focused and not too depressed. Though I know this time is going to be even harder. Its so strange what 5000 miles can do - I haven't gone without him any more than I do on a normal work day and I'm already missing his smile, his laugh, and his teasing.

Le is life.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Truth

To preface this post: I'm 100% anti-abortion, I love kids, I've spent the vast majority of my life wanting more than you can count on one hand, and have spent the last 12 years spending 1-2 days a month curled in a ball BEGGING God to let me meet someone, fall in love, get married, and GET PREGNANT...just to avoid those horrible, seemingly endless cramps.

Now that I'm there, I have to make a confession:

I hate pregnancy.

Ok, not as much as I hate menstrual cramps. It still stands that 9 months of freedom from THAT abomination is worth the 14-24-72 hours of pain that result in a precious gift from God. Vs the equivalent of 9*24 hours of pain with no benefit except an express need to take out the garbage.

But truth be told, pregnancy sucks. I want to know all those women who had such "wonderful" pregnancies cuz I swear, I don't believe them.

I'm not vain, I'm not that hung up over a gigantic stomach...not for aesthetic reasons, anyway...but I seriously have to say I feel deformed. For something that is so natural, I feel incredibly unnatural. I can't move without groaning, my mid-back is constantly sore, and when I'm lying in bed, you can play with my stomach like a Bozo Bop Bag. Bop me that way, I roll. Bop me the other, I come back. Just don't ask me to sit up, or you'll be waiting a while.

Maybe if the first 6 months hadn't been filled with unending morning sickness, I wouldn't have this attitude about it...But 6 months of torture to be replaced with a different kind of torture is just ridiculous. At least most women get 3 months off between morning sickness and playing "Bozo".

And this whole thing called an increased sex-drive during pregnancy? *Ahem* my husband hasn't seen any of that. More like me breaking out in unreasonable tears whenever he tries to make a pass. And do you know why I cry? Because I was so naive to think that I would never be one of those wives to turn her husband down and here I am so incredibly out of physical sorts that the thought of doing THAT turns my tummy upside down and has me begging to wait. Wait. Wait for...what is it? Six more months? No wonder I'm in tears. No wonder he waits til I'm asleep to come to bed.

And yet, the optimism for the end is very strong. I know that what my body is doing is good. That it is God-ordained that my body do these things. And I know it will be so worth it when we're done. And in spite of the 9-12 month dry-spell, I know God will give me back some physical desire for my husband =p

So until then, remember its worth it.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


I was reading this article and was immediately convicted...

Only its not an "Apple" Addiction - its a technology addiction.

I have been noticing lately that I've been shirking some responsibilities and old hobbies - cleaning my house, books, and sewing to name a few.

So I think its time for me to curb some of this. I think that I'll be giving up technology for Lent...with the exception of education (improving my website building, brushing up on Java or database design, and dabbling in my photography).

No internet, no video games. Goodbye Blogs and Blogging. Goodbye Zelda and Civ 4 (hubby will be crushed by that one). Hello British History, PHP, Brisingr, and, most importantly, GOD.

It will be good for me to work on time to start preparing for the upcoming arrival of the newest member of my family, as well.

So don't expect to see me much come February 25th.

I thought I was DONE!

I added a new name to my list...

Ethan James.

/sigh I thought I was done with this already...

Darn it for men that have no particular interest in baby names >.<

Monday, February 02, 2009

"Christian" Yoga and Other Eastern Disciplines

Someone on made a passing comment about "Christian" Yoga very very briefly and it brought to mind some questions I have on the subject.

It never bothered me to practice or learn Yoga, as long as the spiritual aspects of it remained out of it or neutral. But then, I strongly believe that the original concept of Buddhism IS religiously neutral...though it focuses on spiritual discipline concepts - like meditation, relaxation, peace, and openness.

Some of the things I learned in taking that required Yoga course in college (cuz I was NOT doing scuba diving thanks to a fear of water) helped in my own devotions. Breathing concepts helped me relax. Being able to open my mind helped me be more receptive to the scripture I was reading and hearing God's voice - I did less talking and more listening...something that is profoundly difficult for many people.

Yoga taught me how to "be still and know" that He is God by getting past my own physical tension and the clutter in my mind by FOCUSING on nothing but God. I could be a deer by still waters no matter where I was.

There are other Eastern Disciplines that focus on mental, spiritual, and physical discipline, too. Tae Kwon Do, Karate, and the other martial arts form practiced in China provide a certain amount of focus on something beyond yourself while moving your body through highly structured physical moves. The precision and exactitude, while not necessary to cultivate a meaningful communion with God, helps on some occasion.

For me, practicing discipline in other areas of my life helps and bolsters the discipline in my walk with God.

Is this wrong and blasphemous? Or is practicing meditative disciplines for the purpose of seeking His Face fully acceptable to God?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Food for Thought on Presidential Policies

Someone on made an interesting comment about how governments seem to prefer making policies that help in the short-term with little thought of the long-term consequences...

I realized the following and put it on another post:
Maybe that's a consequence of our 4-year election plan. Clearly, it wasn't Clinton that got the backlash for his poor legislation in the housing industry - instead, its all Bush's fault. There's no repercussions for Clinton (or Bush, or Obama) to make good, long-term decisions in their term...because THEY won't get credit for it when the policies start bearing fruit. Better make the quick fix to keep people happy while I'm president and let the next guy take the fall for it.

You didn't have that with life-long leaders that cared. They needed economic prosperity LONG TERM to keep life good for them. Short-term was short compared to a life-time of issues later on. I know there are democracies out there that elect only at the death of a leader. At least maybe a longer tenure would be better...things seem to go by decades. 10 years seems enough...and no re-election after =p

Monday, January 26, 2009

Baby Name Repeated


So, a decision has been made. Rather easily and without much deliberation at all.

Baby's name is going to be Ethan Matthias.

I really like it. It is definitly not the traditional trend I was going for for my first-born son, but dad is adament he doesn't get his middle name. So James Edward was out and that was the only other one I liked.

So there it is :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Cost of Education

In this article, you find out just what a calamity borrowing for education is.

Ok. So I can tell my brothers to work for the best grades possible and attend a public university on a 100% scholarship.

I can advise them that if they need loans to study independently for certain courses and CLEP them (Spanish, Algebra,'d be amazed at how many there are...).

Or I can advise them to simply choose a career that requires you to pass a test and study independently while living at home and working at Publix. Actuary, Pension planning, Insurance sales...even IT work if you pay for the Microsoft Expert courses.

But what about me? What do I tell myself now that I've accrued all that debt? What is the advice for me on how to pay it back? The best advice would have been to not get student loans. But in 2002, apparently the loaning industry hadn't been so Shylock-ish. So I have them.

What now?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rascism is not Dead

Rascism in America is not done with.

You see, the whole point of MLK was that we ALL be treated equal, right?

White, black. Man, woman. Disabled, Enabled.

Equality for all.

However, when we celebrate the elevation of one race to a platform, we are still being rascist. We have still made a big deal about something that we want to be treated as inconsequential.

So which is we make a big deal about skin color or not?

Do we celebrate a president based on skin color or not?

Priceless Moments

Finally, the groom his home from his 8-day business travel!

We came to work together and he forgot to drop me off at my terminal. Pulled out of a great parking spot and I told him I could walk.

"No you can't...I know you. You don't walk, you waddle."

So in the 3 week span since the wedding, I've lost the graceful figure and replaced it with a soccer ball for a belly. I'm mildly amused by the memory of me in an attic when I was 7 years old putting a soccer ball under my shirt...

Anyway, it doesn't give much perspective, but I shoulda gained around 15-16 lbs already and have only gained 9. Which probably means I've lost a total of 6-7 lbs of my own pre-pregnancy weight. I feel round and heavy in only one area of my body and its been difficult to maneuver with.

Bye bye, center of gravity!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Quote of the Day

Man will always be a man. There is no new man. We tried so hard to create a society that was equal, where there'd be nothing to envy your neighbour. But there's always something to envy. A smile, a friendship, something you don't have and want to appropriate. In this world, even a Soviet one, there will always be rich and poor. Rich in gifts, poor in gifts. Rich in love, poor in love.
~Danilov, Enemy at the Gates

Lets always remember the things that matter...the least of these is money.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Covering (Revisited)

In a previous post, I started toying with what these verses could mean:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.
-Ephesians 5:25-30

Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.
-1 Corinthians 11:3-10

I've heard of the "Headship" theology, that I suspect finds its roots in these verses. A part of it, I recognize as truth. But other parts of it are false. The theology assumes much that ISN'T true and has been blatantly contradicted in scripture. I could never figure out where the truth was or how to explain it...I just knew it existed somewhere in that mess.

I realize that the covering referred to in the 2nd passage is largely about covering one's head. I realize that from some "theologians" and exegetes (in quotes due to students I've heard speak of this and, frankly, I don't know what to call him), these are not referring to a man as a woman's covering. I am no exegete or theologian, but the intertwining of man as head of woman and the woman being required to keep her head covered lead me to believe there's some paralleling going on here. If I had the education that those people had, I'd probably attempt to prove that...especially with the knowledge that Paul DOES use parallels a lot.

Its so odd, but prior to marriage, my pregnancy and the sins that have led me to where I am now were something I struggled with. I felt ashamed and thoroughly unworthy. Yes, I'm definitely unworthy of God's love and forgiveness and all the gifts he has bestowed on me, but there comes a time when I should be releasing that shame and embracing his healing and forgiveness.

I was struggling with that...but on the wedding night, something just happened. It was as if my husband was providing me a covering from the shame that the world would lay on my shoulders if they knew. Finally, I could rejoice in the life God planted in my womb without feeling ashamed of how he got there.

Does that make sense? I'm still the one at fault, and yet my husband is a tool that God is using to provide healing and protection.

Well, John Thomas at Boundless said something that kinda explains what I'm trying to get at in his Answer column (found here).
Marriage is not only embracing another person's present and future, but also his (or her, in your case) past. One of the most exciting parts of marriage is partnering with God to bring healing to one another from past hurts, often caused by our own sin. We embrace this person who looks great from the front, and when we put our arms around her we discover all the wounds in her back, and she discovers ours. Guess what? You and God get to spend a lifetime enjoying the thrill of healing and restoration and being healed and restored. And what better way than through the warm, flesh-to-flesh, spirit-to-spirit bonding with another person?

I don't know, but that seems to explain for me somewhat my idea of what the husband as a "covering" would look like.

More Hope for Change?

In this article from the Wall Street Journal, I have to admit I'm gaining a bit of optimism (though no loss of wariness) when it comes to our President-Elect.

I was mildly impressed that there was no "Bush Bashing" going on concerning Bush's financial policies.

I did love the last paragraph...
In putting it back together, would retirees be willing to accept that idea of having more prosperous seniors pay a monthly premium to receive their Medicare health coverage? Would liberals accept cuts in their favorite social programs? Would conservatives accept the idea of a carbon tax, to both raise big money for entitlements and prod the nation to move more quickly away from fossil fuels?

Its looking like Obama is not going to be a favorite president of anyone, after all. While he's very good with words and incredibly charming, he apparently has no qualms with imposing sacrifices on his own party to make the playing field even. I will not wax over the "carbon" tax, though - if we are, indeed, needing to cut back on programs, wouldn't it be wiser to leave energy in the hands of the private communities? There are enough people incredibly interested to donate to foot that bill to private insitutions that are quite willing to do private research on it. Why does government need to be involved on that one? And to be quite frank, with the rise of foreclosures, there's a rise of people renting - people that have little choice in the energy their land-lords have available are still forced to pay the bill to whatever energy company will service them.

I'm willing to give a little on other things, but creating taxes to fund new programs when our economy is in the state it's in is not a wise idea.

Am I being overly optimistic, or does it really sound like Obama is making some shrewd and wise choices here?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Potential Baby Names

For those of you interested (which I know there are some girls out there that are curious), I've posted a list of potential baby names under the About Me section on the side-bar.

Perhaps closer to the delivery date, I may poll y'all for your own opinions on the top 3 or so choices, but for now these are just brainstorming. They're listed in alphabetical order so no ability to glean which ones I favor over others ;)

Feel free to leave your opinions on this post :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Feminism: Pride or Ultimate Humility?

Yes, I'm being facetious.

In a rather indirect way, I owe this finding to Elusive Wapiti. He is right that when the it truly feels like there's nothing left to hope for, you come across something that just gives you a tiny bit of hope.

Check out this piece.

I can't fathom how a society as narcissitic as ours managed to churn out such a group of self-haters. Check out the following (emphasis mine):
The gist of Les Knight’s argument is this: that the biosphere, for reasons of which we are all only too painfully aware but usually prefer not to dwell on too much, simply cannot sustain human beings in any way, shape or form; the only responsible action is to gracefully admit this and bail out now, through attrition, before we’ve completely obliterated what was once a pretty nice planet. As long as there remains a single breeding pair of humans, Knight avers, the danger of a destructo-human flare-up exists, so the only acceptable number of human inhabitants is zero..

So...what's the point of a "pretty nice planet" if there's no one to enjoy it?

You think the animals have the capacity to gain any aesthetic pleasure out of the planet? Actually, they probably do! After all, animal and plant life is far superior to human life!

Oh...and my ultimate FAVORITE feminist sentiment:
In response to [being a mother is a woman's highest calling], Knight delightfully suggests that holding such a view means you’ve been “beguiled into believing compliance is noble free choice.”

/sigh/ I truly do wonder how some people can be so incredibly WILLFULLY deceived by the master of all lies.

Morning Sickness Trigger # 1,353,268

I swear, there really are that many things to trigger Morning Sickness.

Those lucky women that only suffer through the first 12, 14, 16 weeks have absolutely no idea how many things can set it off.

Well, on to the point, already.

Computer Screens.

Apparently the flickering in the pixels that display the graphics on a screen can wreak havoc on an already sensitive "motion" detector in the brain...and causes dizziness and nausea.

Sucks to be a Software Engineer.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Reproductive Health?

I'm curious how "abortion" translates into "reproductive health".

I guess I always figured that health was the optimal efficacy of the body and mind to function in accordance with its purpose.

Silly me.

I forgot that reproductive organs' purposes are not reproduction, as one young scholar attempts to illustrate.

I'm actually it possible that in the upcoming months when FOCA may be passed to convince our legislation that a post-viable abortion could actually end in the life of a child and that all the rights given to any living person outside the womb be extended to that child?

And I'm curious that if FOCA does, indeed, legitimize tax funding of the abortion industry, if we can twist language enough to OUR advantage and claim that the purpose of that tax money is to also provide neo-natal care to Born-Alive babies?

After all, the wording in FOCA says to terminate the pregnacy. Not to terminate the child's life.

I think it sounds do-able.

It actually kinda reminds me of Shyloe's Catch-22 in The Merchant of Venice. He had a contract that said he was entitled to one pound of flesh. Nothing at all was said about blood.

Absense or Simple Love?


So starts the conversation that makes my face break out in smiles.

Yes, we are probably the kinda couple that would make anyone sick.

Anyway, it was an odd conversation. Essentially, he said we're going to work on living on one salary and completely putting the other into a savings account.

Just to see if we can adjust and get used to it.

So that when I no longer am working, we're well adjusted.

Have I mentioned how much I love him?

He needs to come home soon. Absense may make the heart grow fonder, but I much prefer him home =p

Monday, January 12, 2009

Vows As Binding As Lint Thread

I remember when DH (yeay I get to use that) and I started planning the wedding, he asked me to write him a list of things to do.

1) Write our own vows or not?
2) Memorize our vows or not?

The answer we came up with for both was "no".

Trust me, it was a shocker when while at the Rehearsal, my Uncle made a rather shocking revelation to us.

"Do you have your vows memorized?"
"No" in unison with confused looks at eachother.
"Well, why not?"
"Uhhh..." How do you respond to that???

Apparently, my Uncle now requires those he marries to memorize their vows. Apparently, too many young men were marrying HIM when stating their vows...looking deep into his eyes (instead of those of the bride's) while repeating after him.

At least that's what he claims. I suspect another reason.

After another uncle's 5th divorce (I may be exaggerating that number), my uncle refused to perform anymore wedding ceremonies for family members because they all ended in divorce. Then he married his son - they've been married happily for 7 years (and expecting a baby this month!) I guess that gave him some more confidence and he performed the ceremony for my sister.

I guess the announcement to my mother about getting married and being pregnant were a real shocker. And I know it wasn't what she had planned for me, but I think that in many ways, planning my wedding and the now planning of the arrival of her grandson is kinda distracting her from what's going on with my sister's marriage - as my sister moved out shortly after I announced my engagement. And so, my Uncle required us to memorize our vows.

I don't know who has felt the keenness of the impending divorce more - my mother or myself. I'm sure my mom is wondering where she went wrong. Though posts like my "Discipline of Love" helped to keep her confident in her parenting abilities. I can not begin to explain the misgivings and torturous undertaking it is to memorize binding vows in a hotel room with someone you grew up with carrying on a licentious texting conversation with a man who you know is not her husband. And yet, the full purport of what was going on in those vows didn't fully hit me until 6:30 the morning of my wedding.

It took me 1.5 hours to memorize those words perfectly...well, nearly perfectly. I kept stumbling over "Til death do you part" because the Episcopal BCP reads "Until we are parted by death". What you always here vs what your supposed to say, when it differs even a tiny bit, can be SO hard to overcome. I remembered "part" had the past I'd get to "til death" and then realize I said it wrong cuz that doesn't go well with "parted".

Anyway, it was easy. And at 6:30 in the morning (after 4 hours of sleep), the ease at which I memorized those words completely devastated me. How easy it was to memorize 3 sentences. How easy it must've been for countless couples to repeat those words after a priest, line by line. Does the ease at which you repeat those lines translate into the ease of which you can break them? Does the ease with which I memorized them convey some sense of incongruity with what those words actually mean?

Tears. We'll blame the lack of sleep and the off-kilter hormones. But I won't regret them. In those early morning hours, it became more and more clear to me that those vows are going to have to be worked on to have the kind of strength that they were meant to have.

And I cried in the shower. I poured out all my grief for my sister. I poured out my heart in pre-nuptial vows to God, my son, my parents, my fiance - I know what I am saying. I know how important these vows are.

I called my mother later that morning and told her I wanted her to give my post on the "Discipline of Love" to my uncle for him to read...I wanted him to know how seriously I was taking it - in spite of the giggling and goofing off during the rehearsal. She told me that he already knew or he wouldn't agree to do the marriage. I told her how easy it was to memorize the vows and how trepidatious I was over that. She reassured me. She said the strangest thing to me then. Something my uncle echoed in his homily. And it wasn't that it was a new concept to me, its just that it held new purpose. It echoed in my heart like a well known song long forgotten. When you say those vows and God is truly in it, there is a transformation by the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is truly present, the words you say are more than words and there is something miraculous occuring - something different...that gives those vows strength.

My uncle said in the homily that we are witnessing today the union of two. And with the blessing of the Holy Spirit, Christ is present...and in the midst of those two are three - in a blessed union of three (this is my own personal revelation here)...the trinity...

What he said evoked snickers from my bridesmaids as my sister said "or four", but I remembered a quote from a young 18 year-old girl at a camp in Alabama. She was learning to deal with being single, having never dated. And during her devotions, I guess she came across this revelation...because she told us her little ditty she made up during the devotion...she called it her "Carlyism" and I had it tucked in the pages of my Bible for the last 7 years...
"First, you must know who's one before becoming two because then you'll be three without knowing who's one."

At first, I thought she meant to know who YOU are. But during my Uncle's homily, it occured to me..."you must know who's one" should be "you must know who's One". You must have a relationship with God prior to the marriage for the binding to be complete. You must know HIM before there's the union of two blessed by Him.

The next day, I showed up at my grandmother's birthday party with my new husband. My Aunt asked me "Do you feel any different, Mrs. M?" How do you answer that when the answer is so elaborate?

Yes, I do feel different. Because with the repetition of those vows, something happened to me up at that altar. My heart has never more fully belonged to one person in my life. Even the moments before those vows, my affection for my husband wasn't nearly so profound. This is something different.

This has God written all over it.

This is the Holy Spirit turning words as weak as thread into a vow as binding as eternity.