Friday, October 31, 2008

On a lighter note...

I thought I would calm the political storm by putting up a post of these two oh-so-irresistibly cute puppy dogs we all know and love- Wicky and Charly! This blog post is also for James Thomas because I know how much he absolutely adores my little black babies. :) And let's be honest-not much is really going on right now for me to enjoy the doggy eye candy! I know you are all jealous that you don't have a smash-face in your life, you just can't admit it...wink wink:)

Brandon was taking a nap one time, and Charly is like a rag doll, so I stuck her in the bed like this and she fell asleep shortly after this pic was taken, in the same position. She makes me laugh all the time.:)

Monday, October 27, 2008

No on Prop. 8

So a friend of mine posted this on his facebook page, and I thought it represented very well my feelings about proposition 8. This rings even more true since another friend of mine just told me he was gay, and that he is pretty much planning on going inactive as soon as he moves out of his parent's house (he's younger than me, and is going to church basically for his parents) because he doesn't feel accepted by his ward. While I would never tout myself as molly-mormon or anything like that (and anyone who knows me knows I am probably the opposite:)) I am so saddened by the perception that we sometimes give off that we aren't very accepting to people who aren't like us. Anyway, I just thought the following was very eliquent in representing why Proposition 8 is not a good idea. My own opinion though- we can still be friends if you disagree. But really ask yourself-does a same gender marriage affect my life in any way? For those of you who are married-what would it be like to be denied that right? A civil union is NOT the same. Ok, enough-anyway...I try to keep politics and other hot issues out of my blog-but my friend is on my mind, and this proposition vote is coming up...

The following are my own thoughts and feelings and in no way do I make any claim to be an expert on the LDS church or its doctrine. I am simply drawing fro my own experience being born and active in the LDS faith.

I'll be honest-this is a very difficult subject to be talking about given the tremendous emotional attachment that most have with this issue. I have tried to be devoid of most emotion as I have looked at both sides of the argument and my own personal beliefs and belief system. It is after careful consideration that I would urge each and every person in California to vote NO on Prop 8 that defines marriage only between "one man and one woman".
To me, this is a simple civil rights issue. Many people that I have spoken with are in full favor of granting full marital rights to homosexual couples but they don't want them to use the terminology "Marriage", opting to use the term "Civil Union" instead. This sounds eerily familiar to the same thought process of Plessy v. Fergeson i.e. "Separate but Equal" This decision solidified segregation and harbored hate for decades after slavery was abolished. It wasn't until the mid 1950's that the Supreme Court overturned systematic segregation via Brown v. Board. It was clear as a bell that separate but equal was anything but equal. So too is the difference between "Domestic Partnerships" and "Marriage".
What really got me thinking about this issue was the LDS Church (of which I am a member and served a 2 year mission) zealous support to ban gay marriage. This was particularly shocking, dissapointing and appalling to me because of the LDS Churchs' history. I understand and support most of the LDS teachings regarding homosexuality, but for the LDS Church to take such an active role to ensure the passage of Prop 8, highlights to me a seemingly hypocritical view. The vast majority of LDS people that I have discussed this with eagerly point to the Churchs' "Proclamation to the World" ( regarding families and how marriage between "a man and a woman is ordained of God". While I recognize this and agree with its teachings, I cannot help but remember that this is not the absolute true doctrine of the LDS Church. From my understanding, to be more fully accurate, the proclamation would say that we believe marriage between a man and women (notice the plural) to be ordained of God. It was not so long ago that the LDS faithful were, in essence, forced to flee the United States and settle in what is now Utah. The LDS faithful were forced to flee for several reason, but one of the most significant reasons was the Churchs' belief and practice of polygamy. Polygamy wasn't and isn't a popular view on marriage, but LDS doctrine believes it to be a higher law from God. Now, I am not saying that homosexual marriage is a higher law of God-what I am suggesting is that everybody, especially the LDS faithful, take a good long time to reflect on the pain, death and suffering the hatred and segregation of wanting to practice what we believed and felt to be true. Many of my ancestors were among those to suffer and die as they were forced to leave their homes and move westward. While the LDS Church should not change their religious views because of a changing of the political current, it should be a place where homosexual members can feel safe and loved. It should stand as the lighthouse it so proudly proclaims to be. The message the LDS Church is sending is: "Gays must sit in the back, IF they are even welcome at all". This is totally contrary to what I believe to be the true doctrine of Christ and the LDS Church.
Many others have argued that the "Dignity and Sacred nature" of marriage needs to be protected and by allowing homosexuals to marry, it would destroy that. This is a laughable argument! Just ask movie stars, politicians and about 1/2 of your neighbors (even your LDS neighbors)-adultery and spousal abuse is rampant! It is these people that are blemishing and making a mockery of the sacred and dignified nature of marriage. "Oh ye hypocrites!" A sacred and loving marriage is cultivated by an active effort from each partner. It doesn't just happen because it is heterosexual in nature or because you have ties to a religious organization.
And finally and perhaps more importantly, at the end of the day, how does Joe and Frank or Jane and Jill tying the knot affect ones own individual quest for exaltation? In the end, you cannot control what people do, what they say or how they act. You are only in control of you. If you believe homosexuality is a sin-there is nothing wrong with that-but remember that it is God who has the burden to judge, punish and reward His children. It is His role and His alone. I don't know about the rest of ya'll, but I am way too busy trying to take the beam out of my own eye to focus on much of anything else.

I encourage thoughtful discussion and feedback-no need for negativity-I do recognize that I just might be way off on everything I think I know, but through discourse and expression i am sure I will find the truth.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Puerto Rico!!!

So my dad texted me two weeks ago asking me what I was doing for fall break with the school districts. Since I had zero plans, he asked me if I wanted to go on an adventure. So adventure we did!...all the way to Puerto Rico. We went on a sight inspection with some clients of my dad's. So Sara, my Dad, and I went exploring around the fabulous island. We stayed in a beach hotel by the rainforest at the beginning, then went down to the city and stayed at the swanky Ritz Carlton. Our family doesn't ever really stay in nice hotels cause we are never in them except to sleep and shower, so this was quite a nice, cushy change:)

I absolutely loved the buildings in Old San Juan. I felt like I was transplanted to Pirates of the Caribbean. Each building was a different color-awesome!

This was crazy! The entire yellow part is the world's most narrow house. It's about the width of your arms outstretched. People used to live in it, too.

We went into a church, and saw a few of these creepy clear casket dummies. Weird.

The view from a military fortress built in the 1600's. Amazing. I wish I was a pirate wench sometimes...

Us posing as Christopher Columbus, his honorable raping and pillaging self..
At the Bacardi Rum factory...We were trashed after the first 5 minutes...
The bartender teaching us about the many drinks you can make with rum...
They had a ton of these little barrels with grates at the top. Each one had a different rum in it that you could smell. I'll be honest...they all smelled like ass except the fruit flavored rums. They smelled like delicious candy.:) Perfect for luring in prospective underage drinkers...
I thought this was a great dad and piles of booze:)

The rainforest.
A fern frond.

A choice adventure indeed!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Have you seen it?

If you haven't seen "Forever Strong", do it! Maybe you can make it to this theater and see it ghetto style-Fo ever Strong. Go now! Stop being lazy and go!

The Latest Happenings...

First things first- Brandon got me an ultimate pedicure from the Finnish Day Spa for Valentine's Day. At the time, I only had like 7 toe nails because I lost some in the NY marathon. So now all my nails were back and beautiful, so I finally went to pamper myself. I am so proud of my new purple toes that I needed you all to know.:) Then I went swimming last night and scraped the top of my big toes, so it's not as perfect as it was. I still love it though, and just like to stare at them sometimes...not really...but seriously, I do...
I was driving to work this week and saw this on the freeway by me. An actual Mini, and notice the guy is driving on the right side of the car. Awesome!
Happy 24th birthday Sara! We all know you are quite old, will never find a man, and probably barren by now, but look on the bright side-I'm sure mom and dad will always have a room for you. So here are some pics from your surprise party and family dinner to make you feel better about your situation.

And lastly, look how cute our little asians are:) (Just to clarify and not seem offensive- our dogs are Chinese dogs, and Brandon is a real live wasian. The best kind too!)
Hooray for fall!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Go Keaton!

My little bro Keaton is on the Skyline football team and got in to play on Friday so I thought I would post a special blog for him. He is normally #80 but had to switch jerseys to #53 to play on the line. Good job to our very own Royal Teen Highness!:)