Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Opinion Piece: Abortion

Yeah, this is such a touchy subject that I'm sure that anywhere else I wrote this (ie: facebook) that I'd be inundated with countless angry replies and countless high fives. This is another subject that has people so largely divided that behind the keyboard, and sometimes even face to face, things get ugly. Lately, it also seems that with the end of a crazy presidential campaign, the swearing in of a new president (don't get me started or I'll start swearing), and this new president starting off his term of, what I already feel will be the longest term ever, four years with a resounding bang, everyone I know have starting debating and "sharing" their opinions (that's what they are, people, opinions) with a strength of black and white that I haven't encountered since debating religion in high school.

So, without further adieu, I hope I can convey my thoughts and opinion in a manner that truly conveys my thoughts. I get long winded and wordy, so I think I will, but there is so much running around in my head about so much of what is going on in the world,  I expect that I'll leave a thing or two out or not describe or explain very well. 

I believe that the battle between pro-life and pro-choice is a non-argument. I really and truly think that unless you have a uterus you have absolutely no say in the matter. I also think that at the point any woman who does have a uterus and faces that option should have the freedom to make whatever choice is best for her. There are so many things that women face regarding reproduction and it's sickening that there are so many men worried about our "health".  Every woman should have the option for safe clinics and doctors to perform abortions if that is the choice that she makes about her body. 

I absolutely get the "abortion is murder" argument that is usually the first thing that comes up regarding this topic.  I feel that for those women who feel that way, using their voices and talking about their views and even volunteering at unplanned pregnancy clinics is a great way to share your view and give the options that are out there other than abortion. But, there is this self righteous tone I hear and I also think that there has to be a bit of empathy toward a woman facing this choice that needs to be shared as well. Many women have never been in, nor can they associate with, some of the places that other women are in when they make this choice. Guilting them and telling them that they are going to hell isn't exactly giving actual and good reasons to make the pro-life choice.

Every time I hear the argument about abstinence or use a condom or just use birth control, I cringe. I cringe enough to strain my shoulders because it shows such a severe lack of understand regarding women and what they face and the actuality that birth control isn't 100%. 

I lived my 20's where birth control wasn't free unless you had no insurance and you were in a handful of states. I wasn't making enough money to live by myself, let alone forking over anywhere from $25 if you were lucky to $100 a month for the pill. I also spent a few years of my early twenties with an abusive man who took control of my money and didn't want me to get the pill. If I got pregnant, then in his mind, I was forever tied to him. 

Let me run through my list of birth control options and why they aren't always the best option for every woman. The pill is great other than what I stated in the above paragraph. Then there are women who can't tolerate the extra hormones or those susceptible to breast cancer since some cancers grow due to the hormones. Or there are other women like me who have high blood pressure and taking the pill with high blood pressure or over 35 are at risk of stroke. Or- it just plain doesn't work sometimes. Then there is the IUD. I got the copper one and it irritated my uterus and irritated what I unknowingly had called endometriosis, so I spent 2 years with this nagging, crampy feeling in my lower back and abdomen. There is also one that puts out a little bit of hormones and works great for some women, but still, there are the hormone risks I stated about and the risk of it being a constant irritant or it can even move and pierce body parts. Everything else that aren't a surgical procedure all work using hormone therapy.  I think I've explained how that isn't suited for every woman. Next, we go a little more invasive and a woman can have a uterine ablation. Ablation means “to remove by erosion, melting, evaporation, or vaporization.” Endometrial ablation is done with a hysteroscope, along with a device that heats, freezes, or lasers your endometrial lining. This destroys a layer of your endometrial lining, and usually your monthly menstrual period will stop completely—at least for a while—and usually you will not be able to become pregnant following uterine ablation. With ablation, there is still a .07% chance of pregnancy. There is the tying of tubes or a partial hysterectomy also to consider. The last 3 are all done under general anesthesia and it's a painful surgical procedure. I personally chose that hysterectomy and I spent 2 days in the hospital and then 6 weeks of not being able to lift more than a gallon of milk. Not the best option with tiny kids, but I had such high blood pressure, having more kids was not an option since it's only controlled by medicine which isn't ok to take while pregnant. 

All of the options above, the cheapest one with the shitty insurance I had, was nearly $300. It's been 2 years and I just only finished paying for the hysterectomy. I feel as though not only do the pro-life group not want to allow safe abortion options, not asking for funding- just allowing, but no one wants to do anything to make our options less expensive so that low and medium income women can avoid getting pregnant in the first place. Especially since I'm hearing how those in politics wants to get rid of ACA nor add any options for those who can't get or afford insurance any other way. We desperately need in our country better and more sex education in low income or poor parts of our country. Women are failed at every level around the world. In many African countries, women are raped and then shunned and dehumanized by their families, spouses, and peers. Here is a current list of the countries with the highest percentage of rape crimes and you might be surprised with the countries on the list (I looked at many sites that had percentages and statistics and they were all pretty much the same as the other). But not even on the subject of rape, there are countless cities and parts of cities around the US who have or are going to have no option for insurance, they can't afford birth control, and they aren't educated in ways to best prevent pregnancy or STD's or what they need to do to maintain women's health with pap smears and breast exams. 

What happens when poor and impoverished women aren't given tools to not get pregnant, and saying abstinence is the most obtuse answer- women are still used for sex and forced into it every second of every day around the world. I'm going to throw this in because i'm so blown away that this wasn't a deal breaker, when the leader of our country brags about what he can do to women because he's a "celebrity", what does that say about our society when it's just laughed at. If you think he's the only privileged man who thinks and acts that way then your head is somewhere else. Feeling as though women are there for someone else's needs is still happening in developed countries. Not only that, but women who are raped here in the US and India are blamed and still treated as if it's their fault some guy couldn't keep his hands, and other things, to himself. Why were they out after dark? What were they wearing? Where they drinking? You must have been asking for it. What is supposed to happen to these children that are born because their mom's are either guilted out of it, taught all their lives it's bad, or didn't have any safe facilities or options? Now, this woman who got pregnant for money, for drugs, because she didn't even know about birth control (yes, that's a real thing and I saw it first hand in a high school in Louisiana) who can't afford to even take care of herself is now left with another very expensive mouth to feed and she has no support from the very same people who think that abortion is murder. I hear "adoption" and yet, there are over 100,000 kids waiting for a family and from what I hear, it's not a cheap endeavor. So now, we have added another statistic to fall through the cracks of society.

My next thought is this... I'm married, but even when I wasn't, I have the option to enjoy my self just like any other person. We are living in a society where it's ok for men to have sex but it's still a shameful thing for women to do, to even want to. I would love to see the "abstinence" argument apply to the male gender as well. Cause as we all know, it takes two to tangle. Regardless of all of this, there are times when birth control just doesn't work or there is an unexpected health risk that comes up. I have insanely high blood pressure that is only controlled with medicine and I can't be pregnant like that. I can only imagine if things didn't work out right on the bc (birth control) front and I ended up pregnant and had to have it terminated. For blood pressure. You know the argument that comes next... let go, let God. God will get me through it if I trust in him and if you truly believe, then he'll get you through it safe. It's all God's will. Etcetera. That just doesn't always work and I'm not ready to leave my husband and 3 kids alone because I was trusting in belief instead of science. For those of you who do have a strong faith and who do strongly believe that God will take care, that's awesome. I'm truly happy that you have something like that in your life. But it's just not something to be forcing down another's throat or pushing your personal belief onto someone else struggling with a hard enough issue. There are those who know their babies might kill them or their babies are going to die when they leave the safety of the womb and they still go through with it with all the faith in the world and so much hope that it's incredibly inspiring, but there is a difference between sharing and proselytize.

My last thought is this... have any of you thought about the mental health aspect of all of this? How many of you have ever had to try to get mental health support? There are some women who get pregnant or after their pregnancies who get severely depressed. There are women who have kids who end up with mental illness and can't get help. There are women who know this and what are they supposed to do if something happens and they get pregnant, again birth control isn't 100% effective all the time. Have you ever tried to get help when you have a newborn and come down unexpectedly with severe postpartum psychosis? Even with a supportive spouse it's a nightmare. You try to call to get help and after 3 people tell you no, it puts you in an even worse place. No one is taking new patients. No one takes your insurance. You can't go get therapy because there isn't anywhere to take your kids for a couple hours once a week or you work full time and have kids the rest of the time, how do you find time to go to therapy once a week? Then, in the midst of dealing with this major depression, you get your first bill and realize that there is no way you can afford this. You can't afford the medicine. You can't afford to deal with the side effects. You can't afford any alternative therapy because it's no covered. You can't see this doctor due to rules in your insurance. This doctor has left. That doctor left. But it's a good thing that there are people out there fighting for unborn babies' lives. Just don't ask for any help once they get here. They aren't worth a moment's notice now. Unless you fail in your battle with depression, then you get a moment in the news and everyone says "If only I'd know." "Get help, it's out there." But no. No it's not. 

To me, your stance on abortion is very much like your stance on religion. It's really great to share and compare and discuss it, but there is no place for anyone to say it's absolutely wrong or right for any one person. It's very personal and there are many factors that are taken into consideration and I, for one, found that it probably saved my life being able to have the option available. It's not an easy choice and it's not a choice that can or even should be made by anyone else. I would never assume to tell you who to worship. I would never assume to tell you that you can't worship this way or another because "I don't believe in it and it's your immortal soul in peril". Let's make mental health options, reproduction health options, and education more of a priority and make it available before we pretentiously try to make such a decision for someone else. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Good old mother's day, 2014

Today is May 11th.
It's Mother's Day.

A day that some women take to such heart in their feeling of emptiness, for not being a mother.

What is being a mom? What does that mean? That you gave birth to a child? Not necessarily. That you care for a child? Some children are adults and sometimes parents need the care. Is it only humans you can be a mother to? No, animals need the same love and care. Of course, this isn't meant to trivialize the heart wrenching pain and ache that comes from not being able to have kids or other painful situations involving children, but I feel that there is a whole group of women who don't get the acknowledgement they deserve and quite of few women who are getting "Happy Mother's Day" wishes and they shouldn't be given the title when they haven't earned it.

Usually on Mother's Day, it's usually spent celebrating with other moms and letting them know how important they are and this year it was my turn while the Grands are enjoying a very different year this year.

I am a  mom to one boy, two girls, a few chickens, and the occasional man/child moments my husband has. I am an aunt, not a very good one, I have some work to do in that field. I am not a mom to my friends, but I am there for them when they need me as a mother would be. I have a couple hands-full of friends whom I love unconditionally as a mother should love. I am usually too burned out by my kids and I usually make the choice to spend Mother's Day disconnected from my family.

I tend to really value my "by myself time" and having kids has really put a damper on that sort of thing, so when given the opportunity, I'll take the chance to crawl in a hole for a minute. This year one Grand was visiting her newest grandson who was born yesterday. The other Grand is visiting out of state family to help care for the mom who is growing another grandbaby to join the family and gets so sick and is lucky enough to have family who love to visit and help. So, it was up to the bbq with my sisters and I was really looking forward to that, but I have this really awesome 2 year old who is really working on getting the most out of the terrible two's. And while she is most fascinating and darling, I am not a fan of others having to share the screaming, uncontrollable troll she can be sometimes.

After sleeping in and reading in bed for a minute, I found myself missing my family a little bit. I came down, grabbed a bite, said hello, and went back to eat breakfast in bed. Turns out, while I always enjoy the company of my husband, I am finding the kids more and more fun to be with. Our weekends are becoming fun and not just another day in the grind. I am enjoying having my kids, with their very obviously different personalities, bring forth a different dimension to our family. I finally am learning to enjoy my time surrounded by people all the time. Linus and Bea made super cute flower pots for me last week and I finally got. Bea was desperate to give me the "mommy gift day" present. I also got a cute letter from Linus telling me he loves when I cook him food and a heart shaped pin. Matt did what I always love and instead of flowers that die, he wrote me a letter that I can save a reread whenever... and enclosed some money for the gift I really wanted. Money to buy the kids some Chuck's. Linus wants yellow, Bea can't decide, and Charlie will choose her own when we go shopping. Turns out, they may be the only shoes, besides crocs, that don't wear out immediately.

I want to wish all of you ladies, all of you, every single one of you, a happy Mother's Day. Not only did I have fun with the kids, it was a nice chilly day, and I got 2 hot baths in. I am thoroughly rested and ready for the next few weeks. Bring it on.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Best game of charades ever

I now know how a dog feels. Charlie, who isn't quite 2, is really working on this communication thing. She uses ASL a little, she talks a little, and she pushes and pulls and points and pantomimes a little to communicate her wants and needs. I love that once I've figured it out, she claps her hands and says "yay". Sometimes I'll even get a kiss. It kind of motivates me to get it right because it's so damn cute! 

Having and being a two year old is no walk in the park, but at least she's making the trip for us relatively easy. 

P.S. Did I mention that she's already showing interest in the potty?? I can't wait to be out of diapers for good!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

That time of year

I'm feeling very thankful to have a smart phone these days. Not because this is the 3rd one in like 18 months, note to self- don't leave phone on top of car and let's be stronger than the craving for ice cream to avoid a tired rush to the store where I may or may not have thrown it away with my receipt, but I'm filled with stories and stuff I want to share and things I want to remember. I don't like carting my computer around the house and it's tough on my back to stand at the counter for too long. I can use my phone to lay in bed at the end of the day and just type. 
I'm struggling. There is so much I want to do and so much I'm trying to do and I just don't feel like I have enough me. So, I'll probably balk the rest of this month on here regarding new stories and try to finish up my flashback posts. Between hats, scarves, felted wool balls, reading for book club, trying to have a get together and feeding the homeless in one day, kid stuff, Christmas stuff, co-opping at Bea's school, and doing some editing for a friend... I feel tapped. 
It's a good feeling to be productive and finishing tasks instead of complete lacking in any motivation. I am just not the best time manager and don't like jumping from activity to activity. 

And my kids!! You guys, how in the hell do they know I've started editing or writing!? How the hell do they know when I've sat down?! I've done many different tests to see and 100% of the time, they will go all day not needing anything or fighting if I stand and surf the net. As soon as I try to clean, work, or sit down, 100% of the time that's when they need a never ending list of things and can't get along. 

I'm excited that Mister is so great about letting me leave the house to get my things done. He is so awesome at just wanting to play with the kids, that it makes my evenings and weekends pretty awesome. 

I just need one more potty trained little one and one more year of school and I'll finally have a couple of hours just to myself everyday. 

I'm not excited or anything

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My rantings on death and the religious aspects of it

I have a very "morbid" curiosity of death and dead things. I am not sure which it is, is it death that fascinates me or what happens to the being after death. What I mean is... Einstein said something to the effect that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Therefore, I want to know what happens to the energy that it takes to be a living being. Is that what where the spirit comes in? Or is it just transferred into the decomposition of the remains? And if it is where the spirit comes in... does that mean that all animals and bugs and plants have spirits? If not, then at what point does the living human energy have a spirit, but the living plant and animal being doesn't? I know this is getting way too far into the religious aspect of death, and I am not really sure that I need people to comment on their belief of what happens when you die and why humans have spirits and not animals or plants. I just have a hard time wrapping my head around the mental part of this whole thing as compared to just blindly having faith that something is what I am told that it is. (does that even make sense?)

I know this is a really strange subject to discuss, but I started thinking about this upon the passing of a friend's Dad. It made me start to think about my two favorite people that had died and I started to really have a hard time wrapping my head around it all.

So, I have always been fascinated with dead things. Not the smell mind you... that makes me gag. But, well, I grew up on a fruit farm and we had a big owl that lived in the barn. I don't know if you know anything about owls, but when they eat rodents, they swallow the whole thing and then they cough up a kind of hair ball pellet that has all of the hair and bones in it. I think I brought them to show and tell in elementary school. I used to like to take them apart and try to fit the skeleton back together. Is that weird? I liked to look at dead animals and try to pretend to figure out what it was that killed them. More recently I find myself intensely intrigued by "The Body Worlds" exhibits. I love reading forensic pathology books and watching TV shows like "Bones". My favorite book on this subject is called "Stiff" about what is done with bodies that are donated to different things. Going camping, and finding skeletons, I love to poke around and look at them. I think it grosses my husband out a little that I do this. We found a buck in the woods one day and I picked up the skull because it still had the antlers on it and I knew my oldest nephew would think it was way cool. And he did. But it grossed out my husband that I would go and pick it up and carry it back to camp while it still had flesh on it.

That sort of thing doesn't even bother me, but to see something freshly dead, well, it kind of really creeps me out. The very first viewing of a person that I ever went to was when I was in the 3rd grade. There were two kids in my class and an awful tragedy struck both of their families. Their older siblings were friends and while riding with another friend, they were racing a train and jumped the railroad tracks and got hit. It killed all 4 kids instantly. Not too long previously, I watched a movie called "War of the Worlds." There is a scene where a man is supposedly dead and the aliens see him on a conveyor belt and notice his necklace and try to take it off. Well, I guess he isn't really dead and he chokes and kills them and then I don't remember the rest except the alien this guy was with on the planet was a guy alien and got himself pregnant. It was a weird movie for an 8 year old to watch and comprehend. Anyway, to get back to the story, the boy in my class whose two sisters died in this accident lived really close to another friend at whose house I was staying the night of the viewing. So we went. It was the creepiest thing that will forever haunt my memories. You could tell that they had been in a trauma, that they weren't there anymore, but they looked alive. I kept waiting for them to reach out and grab me. Yes, I was only 8 at the time, but still, it haunts me.

When I was in 6th grade, I pretended to be sports inclined. My best friend was on a softball team and I wanted to continue having things in common with her, so I joined a team (I was awful by the way). A girl on my team lived in Washington Terrace in the Ogden area and one day her mom came home and found that she had been murdered. I went to her viewing and still to this day can't remember what she looks like other than the swollen version of her at the funeral home. When I was right out of High School, the mom of a really good friend of mine got cancer. We watched her slowly die from this horrible disease and we were there the night she died. I just don't understand the whole process and I think the unknown of what happens when we die is the worst type of suspense. I know we aren't supposed to know, but still... doesn't everyone want to know how the movie ends?

When my Granny died, I was 23. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with. Weird I guess knowing that she was so old and in such pain and also knowing that she had lived a very full life. It was so amazing to see all of the people who came to pay their respects to this woman who had touched SO many lives. I spent hours at this viewing and it took me up until the last 20 minutes or so to get the courage to go in and see her. I loved her funeral. It was so great to hear the stories of how she touched people's lives. Knowing her made it easy to believe in an almighty God. She either had a direct line to God and was very open to what He was telling her or she had some psychic 6th sense. I choose to believe she was connected to the Almighty.

I am embarrassed to say that I have a theory about this life we are living on this Earth. This obviously is a theory, I have no proof that it's true, I have not had any divine being tell me this, I don't expect anyone to believe me or think this is anything but ramblings of a human being trying to make sense of the madness we call life. I think that we are living in what people like to call hell. We can either move on to the higher spirit world or heaven or be reborn and continue living in hell. I think that there are those that continue to keep living in this hell and it is their eternity. Others are blessed with getting to move on to paradise. I know that this isn't what the Bible teaches or the Book of Mormon or whatever book you choose to study for your spiritual guidance. I just think that for me it makes this life a little more bearable. That pain and suffering are inevitable. That you can choose to make it better for you and those around you and move on or you can be miserable and make those around you miserable and come back to relive over and over.

Ok, so I didn't really mean for this to be a strange spiritual post. I mostly meant to give a little more insight on my intrigue of the dead. It's strange I am sure, but there you have it. One of my many quirky interests.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Scamming, scheming, and real

All over facebook, a newspaper article about the homeless has most of my friends commenting. I'm struggling with it. It's basically saying that nearly all of the people who are out begging are all lying. They have a place to live, they aren't injured, they have cell phones, they aren't hungry. It's their job. They find a niche, a story, you feel sorry for them, you give them money, they don't work. They can't get a job because they are career criminals.

But... what about the guy I always buy a 50 cent cheeseburger for at McDonald's who thanks me like I just gave him $1000 and rips it open and devours it. I talk to him for a minute and he tells me that he hasn't eaten in 3 days and most people just ignore him. He understands. He's dirty, and begging, and if he were in a different place, he'd do the same thing. Except he can't. He has a mental health issue that prevents him from living a normal, productive life and he can't get disability. Is that his story that he's decided he wants to stick to that gets him charity? Sure. But he told me he'd take food over money any day these days. Or a blanket. Or a coat and gloves.

There is also a guy named Darren, I will occasionally find him sitting outside Subway. The first time I met him, he was asking if someone would buy him a sandwich. A man in front of me did just that and they visited for a minute. I decided to listen in. Turns out, this man who bought Darren food used to be his bishop. Darren went on to tell him how he was at a group home, but lost his place because of some paperwork. He suffers from schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder and there is a lot of ins and outs trying to get disability and keep his housing. He couldn't keep up on it and so now he's homeless, can't get a job, can't keep a job, and is starving. When I run across him, I usually give him a hug and he cries every time. He also gets a sandwich if I can afford it and the people at this Subway hate that we buy him food. I talk to him occasionally and he tells me how things are going. He tells me he hates asking for money because just getting money isn't going to help him. He needs someone that will help him with his paperwork and the politics of disabilities.

There is a man who is at Liberty Park. He has no legs. I don't think he hides them somewhere, or cut them off to scam people. My friend who goes running there, buys him a bag of groceries occasionally, like a loaf of bread, peanut butter, jelly, and staples like that. She will see him with that same bag for weeks. He manages to spread it out as long as he can.

I agree with the article saying the most of the panhandlers get money from those who can give because it gives us a sense of charity done. People are posting that the article made them really think.

I am thinking that maybe we need to really see. We need to really open our eyes and really see who we are trying to help. Are we really trying to help someone or ourselves? I don't just give to everyone who claims to need it. Not only can I not afford that, I know that most are using their sob stories to not have to work. I get that there are homeless shelters and help for those who need it. But what about those people who fall through the cracks? I am one of those people who will fall through the cracks if there is one to fall through. I would love there to be available to pick up, print, give out, something easier to find to give to those who are claiming to need help. I would much rather give a burger and a card describing where they can go than a dollar. I don't know what to tell them. I don't know where they should go. I don't know how the legless guy will get there. I don't know how the mentally ill can take the time and energy to get help when it's near on impossible for me, who has insurance and a phone and time, to get help for my depression. I don't know how those vets who are suffering severe PTSD can get help when living life obviously is too hard most days.

So, my answer is, really see who you are helping. Take the time to talk to them and find out their story. Really listen. Don't just go through the motions of pretending to listen just so you feel better about yourself. Really listen. Really hear what their problem is. It may be something as simple as not having any clue where or what their resources are.

And join in with the legacy initiative. I hear they are a pretty great group. You can dress up like a superhero and feed burritos to the homeless. You can accomplish more with a group than a single self and you will be helping the right ones. Those who need it with what they need. Not just your change.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My random top 10

On facebook, there is a game going around that you are given a number and then you post that many random or unknown facts about you. I tend to get a little long winded when I write I figured I'd put it here.

1. I am a walking oxymoron. I want to be a vegan because I believe animals suffer as much as we do. But, I also love eating it. So, I choose to lay off most meat and try to stick with what my husband kills for us to eat. I am supremely selfish and at the same time very giving. I want to touch and cuddle and hug my friends and family and I hate to be touched. I am number 2. I am very much one thing and it's opposite in almost everything in my personality and it's frustrating.

2. I am an ambivert.
am·bi·ver·sion  (mb-vûrzhn, -shn)
A personality trait including the qualities of both introversion and extroversion.
I am not always and introvert nor am I always and extrovert. I sometimes rejuvinate my energy by being alone and sometimes I need other people. Thank you Sam for teaching me about this word.

3. I have a hard time making up my mind because I can so easily see both sides of an argument in most cases. I should say that I understand why each side feels the way they do. I empathize with both sides in most arguments. Gay marriage is not one of those instances. They should be able to have the same legal right as other married couples, I think.

4. I am told frequently that I should write a book, but I have no idea what I would write about. I desperately would love to and publish it. Even if no one else reads it, I'd like it to be on my shelf.

5. I wish I could have more babies because they so freaking cute and adorable and I love watching their own personalities shine through and seeing them learn the world.  The amazing high that comes from the most horrible 9 months and however many hours that are labor and having the sweet relief of bringing a human life into the world, that weight literally gone in an instant is like nothing else I can compare. I am supremely grateful I've been able to experience it not once, but 3 times. And at the same time I wish I hadn't had any, it's really turned the depression on to max level, my hormones are a mess, I am an immensely selfish person, and while I hate that about myself and I try not to be, that is my inner self and it's really hard sharing SO MUCH of myself with these little people. It's truly the most amazing and most awful thing I've done. And I miss my husband. We've been friends much longer than we've been a couple and I miss it. I miss traveling, concerts, dinner, shopping, laying in bed as long as we want, walking around naked around my house, the freedom to go and play whenever we want.

6. I have always known in the back of my mind that I was going to marry Matt. I didn't want to. Not for any other reason that for the fact that, and I'm probably going to offend people here but this is how it is in my head, I grew up believing in Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Bible with all my heart and soul. That also meant that I believed in the devil and the evilness that comes with that. I believed that if a man could walk on water and perform such miracles, then magical things and miracles can happen now. So, in believing in this, I believed in magic. I know there are people out there who for some reason are able to know things they shouldn't. They can answer questions they should have no way of knowing. My Granny was like that and to me it was always that she was so in tune with God that she was able to perform his work and she was compelled to do things that were magic to me. She knew just how much or what someone needed and always provided. I have another instance but that's another number. Anyway, I had a friend in high school that would have dreams and tell people things she saw in her dreams that she shouldn't know about. She had 3 about me. One about something private that there is NO WAY she could have known. I'm grateful for her discretion. Another is that I was going to die soon when I wore a purple and green dress. A friend, whom she didn't know, was getting married and those were her colors. The last thing was that she saw Matt performing a love spell so I would fall in love with him. So, I decided that I wouldn't because I wanted to have control of that sort of thing. In the meantime, we had stayed friends, I'd lost contact with everyone and still managed to run into him. He still showed interest. I still thought "no way", I'd lost contact, we'd run into each other. He was ALWAYS in the back of my mind and did that do something to sabotage my other relationships? Maybe, but things turned out just right. I figured that if someone who knew me as well as he did and still loved me and still wanted to be with me in spite of that, I figured that I didn't care if there was magic involved. And then I came to a decision that even if there is magic out there, I still have my free will and as much as he puts up with me, you'd think I'd put a spell on him instead. Now, I spend some time regretting that I felt this way and missed out on a lot, but then maybe that's ok because I think we both needed to grow up a little bit.

I did mention I get long winded didn't I?

7. The song "No Rain" by Blind Melon is my life theme song, for better or worse.

8. Everything about death and dying intrigues me. From wars to murderers. The things people do to each other and to themselves is mind boggling. Also mind boggling is the one unknown that we will never ever know beforehand. No matter what you believe or want to believe, you really have no idea what happens when you die. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Is there another amazing adventure ahead? Do we come back? Is there enlightenment and paradise? No one knows, it's all speculation. As for me? I think that we are all living in hell right now. Most of us are going to keep coming back over and over for eternity. Some of us I think will right enough wrongs, bring enough love, and go onto a type of paradise. That's really the only way I can bear the atrocities that go on everyday and the suffering beings dealt with daily, hourly, minutely. I am not afraid of dying, I rather look forward to that particular adventure that no one else will be able to experience but me. I look forward to finding out what happens in the great unknown. Cause, if it's something amazing then what a reward, but if it's nothing, then I'll never know... or care. But, until then, I am pretty happy living my life until I experience the inevitable.

9. I'm not too sure of the time frame, I believe it was 2nd-5th grade time frame, I was plagued by warts all over my legs. I hated it. They were big and ugly and I was horrified to show my legs and wear shorts for a time. I went to my Grandma and Grandpa's house and my Grandma said that we were going to pray them away. I'm was not then, nor am I much better now, at aquiescing to medical procedures if I think they are going to hurt. So, she used a wet washcloth and prayed over each wart, put the washcloth in a paperbag, and had me take it out into the middle of the street. Later that afternoon, it was gone, and not too long after, my warts were as well. It kind of sounds like a strange dream, but it really happened.

10. I am sensory sensitive. I hate loud noises, I am not a fan of bright lights, I don't like certain fabrics, my skin hurts when I run or do any type of sporting activity, I become intensely overwhelmed in groups, shopping malls especially during the holidays, and around kids. I have never liked fireworks or balloons. My husband likes to say that I hate everything fun. That may be true but I guess the term "fun" is relative. I am slowly learning how to harness the sense of overwhelming. Turns out yoga really helps keep me cool, calm, and collected. I can turn to stretches and breathing to tune out what is starting to set me off.