Saturday, April 19, 2014

Here's what I think...

Here's what I think about...


We closed on our house April 9th! It was quite exciting, but also uneventful, ha. We signed the millions of papers, got a key, and then went back to our apartment and they went back to the house. They are renting it from us for a couple weeks so they could have some more time to move out. Basically we don't really feel like we bought a house, but we're still excited. I have revisted pinterest after leaving it alone since we got married. It is quite the helpful app for looking up decorating ideas and gardening plans. Honestly, I'm mostly excited about the garden and hoping the Houston heat holds off for a while so I can really make it pretty! I LOVE working outside and would much rather mow the lawn than vacuum the house any day of the week. If Garrett vacuums the house for me I will unload the dishwasher and fold the clothes for him :) That's true love people...


Our new couches! (Just the couches, not the ottoman thing)
I love projects! I would get SO SO excited in school when my teacher would announce we had a project coming up. I would try to contain my thrill so I didn't look like too much of a nerd, but it usually showed when I turned in (what I believed to be) my masterpiece before the due date... That desire has never left me and the one thing I have regretted about teaching is that there isn't any time for projects :( I just have to assign them and grade them... That is all about to change! New house=a million projects that may even turn a project lover such as myself off from projects entirely... Hopefully I don't get too ahead of myself. 

The crib, or part of it...
Our current project is.... A CRIB! We bought a (pretty beat up) pottery barn crib from a garage sale that was missing parts and was recalled a few years ago because it has a drop side which apparently is quite dangerous for little ones. SO we are getting creative and... definitely making this crib our own, ha! We had a fun night at Home Depot and invested in some tools that will hopefully be well used this summer.  Garrett's been doing a lot of the drilling and sawing and then we will sand it down a little and repaint so it looks like new for our little one!


Hallelujah the throwing up and nausea has slowed down! I feel almost back to normal again which is wonderous. I am a much nicer teacher and I can tell. I still don't feel "pregnant." Garrett likes to ask me, "How's baby?" I often shrug and say, "I don't know, hopefully she's doing well!" I went to the doctor yesterday and heard the heartbeat again. She kept moving around, but the doctor measured the heartbeat at around 140. it was around 140. (Yes, I know I said she. I feel like it's a girl and I'm not shy to say it. I also won't be embarrassed if I'm totally wrong. I just don't want to be one of those people who says, "I KNEW IT WAS A ____!" and never actually told anyone...) I set up an ultrasound appointment for May 12th - that is when we will find out the gender! No, we don't have a preference. I think we both go back and forth. Yes, we already have a list of names. It is very likely that that list will change and evolve over the next 5 months, so we will all just have to say what our little one will be, look like, and what his/her name will be...

I did feel a little flutter in my baby tummy a couple of days ago while I was Gchatting Garrett at school (during my break of course). Baby must have known daddy was chatting with us and wanted to give a little shout out to papa. That was the first time I had felt anything. 


Yes I'm very VERY excited for this school year to be over, but dang it, some of my students are starting to get so sweet and nice I just may miss a few of them :) For some reason the boys are far more interested in the baby than the girls (maybe just because I have a TON more boys than girls...) One student has been a bit of turd pretty much 85% of the year. Ever since he found out I was pregnant though, he has been so excited about this baby! He asks me about it all the time and I feel like he's always staring at my tummy. The other day he was asking me about my ultrasound and so sweetly asked, "Miss, when you find out will you please tell us? Could you please bring in the picture of the baby and show us?!" 

Two sweet girls got me a baby present :) They got me a purple Carebear and a pretty shirt and sweetly smiled, "We hope it's a girl..." 

They are all so excited to find out the gender and they all want to touch my belly... Which is growing rapidly since two weeks ago. 

They aren't all sweet, I did have a few students get up and walk out of my class the other day. I can't say I was too sad to see them go and I tried to hide my smile as they walked out my door and became an administrator's problem :/ (I do feel guilty feeling that way... but it's been a LONG year with some of these special kiddos) The class noticed my grin and they started laughing after the door shut behind our two friends. Apparently sometime between then, me calling the office, and them coming back 20 minutes later the AP and one of the coaches had found them and made them run laps. I don't think they'll be doing that again anytime soon. (Sweet revenge?) They both worked VERY hard the second half of class.


Our young women's president is AWESOME. On Sunday she gave this wonderful lesson about the power of women. It was so uplifting and encouraging and I know it meant a lot to our girls. I had always believed that there was maybe 10-20 women mentioned in the scriptures and that is the mentality of a lot of people. Did you know there are around 500 women mentioned in the scriptures? We only know the name of around 50 (I think she said), but they are there and they are important and powerful. We talked about several of the lesser known examples of women in the scriptures including the daughters of Onitah, the "daughter of Ishmael," Mary Fielding Smith, and the daughter of Jared. We talked about the power and strength of women and how they show it in the scriptures in so many different ways, changing the course of the scriptures for good and sometimes evil.  Strengthening civilizations and sometimes destroying civilizations. 

The influence of women throughout history cannot be ignored. The truth is, women have always had strength, they have always had power. Sometimes it has been very quiet power, but strong and steady, slowly moving the world in the direction that their mothering, teaching, leading, and guiding has prompted and pushed it to go. 

I have always been a bit of a feminist and honestly it was the Church that helped me to see my own strength as a daughter of God. I know a lot of people out there are frustrated with the Church for what they see as a structure that limits women, but I have always ALWAYS felt exactly the opposite about this Church. I did not get my strength, confidence, and pride in being a woman from the world (heaven knows all the world does is bring us all down and confuse us). I did not get it from my teachers at school. I did not get from studying history. I did not get it from my parents (although they did encourage and uplift me). I got it from studying the scriptures and serving in the Church and realizing how truly important, CRITICAL, we women are in the Church and in the world as we serve ALONGSIDE righteous men who hold the priesthood. After serving in various callings in the Church I have felt the strength in that union. Never have I felt limited or less than. Sure, people have said ignorant things and done dumb things, but those are PEOPLE, not the teachings of the Church. 

Well what about the oppressive history of women in the Church? I've studied polygamy in detail (I kind of had to for my major, two of my jobs at BYU, and then again for my profession as a teacher). I've read lots of primary sources from polygamous wives and after doing actual research into the topic I realized something that may be hard for a lot of the world to imagine... Polygamy was actually empowering to a lot of these women as they literally had to become the heads of their households and start businesses to make ends meet. It made them realize they could do hard things, the same things that were usually left to men.  They rose above those challenges. These women became the leaders of the women's rights movement in Utah and women in general were often encouraged by Brigham Young to start businesses, get an education, stretch themselves, and try new things. President Young was very excited to be able to give the women in Utah the right to vote. They did INCREDIBLE things, starting colleges (not merely graduating from college, psh please, that's too easy), getting involved politically, showcasing their awesome stuff at the World's Fare (yeah, they raised silk worms and made beautiful dresses... cool and gross), and doing so much more!

Our Church history is full of powerful women who were powerful in DIFFERENT ways. There is not just one kind of power and I think that is what a lot of the world thinks today: There is only one way to be powerful, there is only one way to have influence. There have been a lot of powerful individuals who have changed the world and they used different kinds of power in many different ways. If it is the power to influence you want, look inside yourself first. Check and see what God has already equipped you with, then go out and start influencing the world for good. Please don't try to limit others understanding of what power is, making others feel like unless they have or can do what others can do they are less than... That simply is not true and there is too much proof to the opposite, if only you will look around. 

As Sojourner Truth said, "If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again!” And another one from Sojourner (that sassy lady), "Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him."  Mary didn't have the Priesthood. Neither did Eve. They served in the gospel, influenced and changed the world using the gifts and power God had given them. 

If someday it is revealed  from the Prophet of God that women can be ordained to the Priesthood, then that will be wonderful (personally I don't want to have to go to more meetings and "risk" being called into more leadership callings, but whatever ;)) However, that will only come through revelation direct from Heavenly Father because the priesthood is His power and this is His Church. He guides it through President Monson. Pressure from the press or individuals will not change that fact. That is not how this Church works. Please, if you are interested in women being ordained to the Priesthood, discuss it in a way that empowers women and doesn't make them feel less because they don't hold the Priesthood. That simply is not true. Don't threaten the Church, heaven knows that won't work (pun intended). Don't drag the leaders through the mud. Don't use dumb comments from individuals and personal experiences where one person offended you to belittle this Church I love. Be a woman and rise above that. (The whole world is offending you right now and has been for quite some time). Look at the facts, listen to the Spirit. And if you still believe that women are less because they don't have the Priesthood, study the scriptures. Study the women in the scriptures. Study women in history. Read their words whenever you can find them. Read blogs if you must, but be a wise consumer and give both sides and equal chance and let the Spirit's voice be the loudest in your head and in your heart. 

That ended up being longer than I planned... Sorry for the tangent and I really hope I didn't offend anyone. Those are just my personal thoughts (but they're good ones and your should probably all agree with me right now;)

Last picture of us with our house key (because we don't really have the house yet) 

We love you! We miss you! We can't wait to have an actual guest bedroom so you can come visit us and have a bed to sleep in! We can't wait to see family in July! (First stop, Tennessee the first week of July. Second stop, Utah July 23rd-27th) Then baby comes September 22nd and y'all all get to come visit us ;)