Monday, July 30, 2007

An explanation of who's who

We travelled to Bend and one part of my whole family was there. My eldest cousin, his wife and their kids live in Bend and so do my Aunt and Uncle that aren't really related to me except through marriage. I don't care what any one says. They are my nuclear family. My cousin's are my brothers, their wives are my sisters-in-law and their children are my nieces and nephew. Here's a little moment from the weekend, photographs of each couple and their relation. I'll call them "cousin" so as to not confuse, but to educate. Aren't they all so cute?

My Uncle and Aunt
(she's my mum's sister). Parents of...

My eldest cousin and his wife

My middle cousin and his wife

My youngest cousin and his wife

My Uncle's sister and her husband...
I call them Aunt and Uncle too.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

5 minutes later....

I'm not the only girl anymore!


... ....they're adorable

he likes us both...her a bit more...

Just wait till you see what's next...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

that's what family's for.

*What it's like...Five minutes with family...

yes, we know, he has beautiful eyes

I'm her namesake

It's almost like we're just wearing open
sweaters, and that's all...almost

That's what family's for.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

till death do us part

I read a tribute one blogger wrote for her husband and I read the post in context of the discussion we've been having regarding adultery and divorce. In that moment I was pondering what I plan to be my final post on the subject of adultery.

As I read her post, I thought of the poetry behind her thought that "he is my history", thinking about my husband and the history we have. And it really got me thinking. I can't judge anyone else's relationship. Bella is right, we've all been affected in some way by cheating, affairs, and/or divorce. We can't seem to get away from it. We're all going to react differently if it happens to us, a close friend, a family member or if we're the one who committed the sin.

This is in no way became more real to me than in Stephanie's two comments posted as "Ryan" here and here.
I want to thank you Stephanie for your courage and for speaking so openly and honestly about your past mistakes. It has been so helpful for me while pondering these subjects.

In one of her comments, Stephanie mentions that, what I'm going to refer to as the foundation, the foundation of the affair started months prior to her ex coming back into her life. The foundation started when, "I got in the habit of discontent, anger, and choosing my needs over my husbands and choosing not to address and work out issues we had." I've mentioned selfishness before and this is why I believe so strongly in that very thing. An affair can begin before we even know it has...I still won't call it a lapse in judgement...Sorry. This to me is a choice in selfishness, something that when we're married, we have to be aware of every day.

She then states, "All of that laid the groundwork for me to more readily ignore healthy conviction when the conversations and flirtations did begin, so that I could easily justify them, thinking I had mastery over what was going on. By the time the affair started, I was already well down the path, much deeper entrenched then I was even aware."

I've learned from the opinion "a lapse in judgement can lead to an affair", that the importance in this debate is not what to do if it ever happens. It is not to wonder where the - line-you-can-not-cross - is. It is not if a lapse can lead to an affair. The importance is, knowing we have to fight for it now, not later when it may be even more difficult, or worse too late to salvage.
We both have to know the importance of fighting for our marriage.

Fighting for your marriage needs to happen the moment you say, "I do." It's harder and potentially dangerous if you start fighting too late. Marriage is an active pursuit, something we have to engage in. I have to trust my husband that he's fighting and I have to strive daily to fight because I want the reason we part to be nothing other than death.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

If he's over 30 than that makes me...

Happy Birthday Jesse, July 25th, 2007

We arrived friday in Bend just in the nick of time for Jesse's birthday party. And boy was it amazing. Maria made beef, I heard it was good, chicken that I know was good and a potluck of scrumptious side dishes. I made the family frittata recipe, with a few "upgrades". It may be a recipe I'll have to post cause it's getting rave revues.

In the spirit of birthday giving, Andy wanted to give Jesse a book. A book in a bit of a "response" to the two Noam Chomsky books Jesse gave him for graduation last year. This means nothing to me, but to some of you out there (M I'm talking to you), he gave him "The Road to Serfdom" by Friedrich A. Hayek.

Jesse's two kids eagerly await the blowing out of the candles.

I love how his son is showing his sister exactly what "Poppy" is about to do.

Yeah, that's a lot of smoke, but he still got his *wish*

The night was still young and the party just can't stop. But, the kids had to go to bed and so must we all. Tomorrow the celebration photos will continue.

science makes buttons

It's official. Cause the buttons have arrived, I can now be an official merch girl for Science Heroes of Terra Obscura. Now all we have to do is construct hero stickers and wearable science clothing. Then science fan frenzy at shows can be put to purchasing science paraphernalia.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

STP doesn't always mean Stone Temple Pilots

*Events take place sometime in the afternoon on Sunday July 15th

Apparently, it can also mean Seattle To Portland, and it can refer to a 204 mile bike ride over a weekend and I have a friend that's now done it for the second year in a row.

These people all came out to the Finish Line in downtown Portland to cheer on Jessica "Crash" as she accomplished her goal. It all happened so fast. One minute we were standing around looking at our clocks, looking around, laughing and the next second she was right there, crossing the finish line...

She's the one in red

Congratulations Crash, we are so proud of you!

*Andy nicknamed Jessica "Crash" after a near fatal accident she was in during her early days at Gutenberg. The nickname is really a testament to the fact that Jessica's a survivor and ain't nothin gunna keep her down.

*The reason we were waiting longer than expected for her to cross the finish line was because about 2 miles from it, she and a biker she was riding with crashed into one another around a turn and they had take time to recover.

Monday, July 23, 2007

the saga of a weekend continues

After the BBQ, on Sat the 14th, when we were able to hang out with friends that are like family we drove to Vancouver, WA cause seriously two weeks is way to long to stay away from a newborn, especially this one...

And, the best part was, we get to say forever that we were his very first babysitters....thanks French's for trusting us with your little mister.

In 3 hours we were alone with little mister (aka Zain), Andy fed him a bottle, burped him and held him as he fell asleep.

Then, very soon after that, I changed his diaper and he slept peacefully until he woke up and needed to eat, again. That was a long 5 minutes while we were waiting for the bottle to warm up...but all was well and the cycle of the burping and the eating and the burping and the sleeping and the changing the diaper, happened again, and then again.

I just never wanted to put him down. I couldn't imagine having to clean a house or cook meals when there's a little mister like him just hanging out being all cuddly like he is...

This was Andy 'n Jen's first time being away from Zain together, and they were gone for 3 whole hours. We think Jen liked going out on a date with, her husband, Andy...but what I know for sure is that she missed Zain and was sooo happy to see him when they got home.

We love the French family and are so happy they're close enough to hang out with. Aren't they just the perfect family? I think so...

It's great to be ridiculous.

This is our attempt at taking the best photo ever. Andy took a photo of us where we were all squishing our faces together, you know, to make sure we were all in the frame, except he had a ton of nothing all around us. This was our response to that silly photo, we wanted to "take up the entire frame" this time...I think it worked out nicely......i love it.

in a perfect world, we wouldn't have to
think about it...

another post on an unpleasant subject

We were away for the weekend hanging out with family and I've been pondering this topic on and off the entire time. I'll post a bunch of photos of all our adventures, but first I have to jot down a few things on the topic of adultery and divorce. So I've been thinking...

After I hit the PUBLISH POST button on liar, liar pants on fire, a blog regarding some feelings I had about cheating, A 'n me talked about it...and I heard a whole other side to the story. The side of the affair with extenuating circumstances.

In the ongoing dialogue between M and people posting blog comments on the blog that started it all, my first blog response, and my blog about divorce in regards to adultery ,and blog hopping dialog on divorce, plus the conversation with my husband, A, I now have a broader opinion on the topic.

If you're just joining in on the conversation, please take a minute to click on the bold highlighted words in the previous sentence to be re-directed back to the beginning.

Firstly, I'd like to respond to M's assessment of my opinion on adultery and divorce. I am in no way saying that if my husband cheated I would leave period. I most likely wouldn't, it would suck, for a long time, but I don't think I could leave. But, I have left a relationship before with an "it's over, period" mentality, and the story goes like this...

I was 17, going on 18. In college, dating an older guy. I straight up would not have sex with him...not even a little bit. He met a girl. He started having sex with the girl. He started bringing her around OUR friends. My good friend, J, called me and said, "hold on" then she handed him her phone and demanded that he, "tell her you're cheating on her."

Basically, it went like this...

Hey, what's going on, where'd J go?
Um, I guess I need to tell you something.
Oh kay...what?
I'm really in to you and I still want to be with you.
What's going on?
It's just sex. Listen if you'd have sex with me there wouldn't be an issue, but you won't. So...I'm having sex with her. But I still want to be with you. Not gunna work for me. And, that's gross. And also, don't ever call me again.

Okay, so that's not totally, exactly how it went, but notice I'm not quoting anyone. Forgive me, it was a lifetime ago and seriously, that's the jist of it. He still wanted to be with me, he just couldn't not have sex and so he wanted the best of both worlds. I did not find this to be the best of both worlds. To me the best of both worlds was: commitment regardless of carnal needs, wants or even desires...but, I was 17, unmarried, and our two worlds didn't fit nicely together. I felt betrayed and a bit worthless. I hated feeling that. I left and didn't see any other option.

If this happened to me now, with my husband, I couldn't just - hang up and leave it all behind. And this brings me to the rest of M's post and a similar point that A brought up and I do agree, somewhat. I do agree, there can be extenuating circumstances that lead someone to an affair, emotional/spiritual or sexual. And I also agree that this does not give you an "out" if you do have an affair. I also believe an emotional affair can even be more devastating than a sexual affair.

M brought up the point that her husband may not have their vows in mind, make a rash decision, have an emotional reaction, that effects the family and that this is similar to how an affair may happen. I believe that this "momentary lapse in judgement" thing is somewhat, in a way, possible, but only in regards to a decision that's not having an adulterous affair.

Perhaps I just don't like this term. Because, to me, it has a sort of pre-amnesia, I'm-not-responsible, it-just-"happened", out-of-my-control sort of connotation. And, I think that's bee-shit. I get irritated with the excuse. We're all adults here. Let's own up to our sin. I'm not saying it's worse than any other sin. I'm not saying it's unforgivable, I'm just saying it's something that needs forgiveness. It didn't "just happen." You made a choice, a decision and it's wrong, period. I don't like the "option" of the excuse.

So in conclusion. I guess what I've learned is, affairs are stupid...but, just because someone has an affair it doesn't necessarily mean that they're an all-around bastard (as I implied in my previous post). I've known a few of these types personally that have really f***ed up the people around them and ruined families. And I apologize for lumping everyone into that catagory.

I've also learned that life is tough and shit goes down. And everyday, I need to thank God for giving me an amazing husband that had a lot of reasons other people have used to have an affair and instead of making that choice, he stepped up, took unbelievable care of me and became an insanely dedicated husband.

This is an amazing conversation. Please keep it going. I love it. I'm learning, changing my opinion and becoming more thankful for my husband and the husbands and wives around me that continue to walk the hard road and stay married no matter what.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

In response....

Comment Response to Liar, liar pants on fire:

summer - thanks, I'm glad we're talking about it too. I also witnessed it up close and it's hard no matter what the outcome, but there are numerous outcomes and i need to be fair to them all. I do believe marriage can survive an affair and your sister-in-law and brother are a brave example of this.

M - as always, I won't "comment" I'll post another blog.

Flop - lame. comment on mine next time. geez.

Beth - I'd love to hear your perspective on the topic. My parents are divorced also and there's no way I'd agree with the "divorce is not an option" thing. When are you coming back to us?!?!

BellaGirl - no need to ask for forgiveness, rambling is what blogging is all about!

Forgiveness is such a big part of the bigger topic, no doubt. Every marriage is unique, as is every sin. There fore, I do believe that this can not be cut a dry, and that is why we discuss, we dialogue. And, God forbid, any one of us ever found themselves in this situation, we'd know there were friends out there that would stand by our side, share thoughts and prayers and know that what we're going through is rough.

Anonymous - I'm not assuming an affair is just sex. I just think that's the most devastating and the hardest to talk about, because as Bella said, we've probably all been affected by one kind or another.

I would still love my husband if he told me he'd had an affair, but for me, staying in the marriage would depend on the details of the story. (Elixer says it well in her next post.)

I can tell you that just having a child would not make me stay in a marriage hands down. Kids know when their parents hate each other. Personally, I was never in a happier home than after my parent's divorce.

The for real response post is coming up next.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

liar, liar pants on fire


In response to a friend's email regarding it's a dirty word but somebody had to say it, I'm writing about cheaters, extra-marital affairs, infidelity, adultery whatever you want to label it, that's what I'm talking about.

Here's what she said,
"Very well put...But I am curious as to your thoughts on infidelity. I ask, because after 40 plus years and numerous escapades my (insert any four letter word here) father has filed for a divorce. My mom is very hurt even though they have been separated for a long time. I think she always felt the same way as you. So for me I am just trying to have other words to say to her.
Something to think about huh? Not a very fun subject although not discussed nearly enough in our society."

I firmly believe that cheating is a form of abuse. See this post to read my opinion regarding abusive relationships.

It isn't a moment of weakness. It isn't a lapse in judgement. It isn't a once only kind of thing. Cheating is a choice. It's a decision and sometimes I think it's a way one person in a relationship says, "I'm over it...But, I don't want to be the one to do the leaving, that would look bad on my resume'. So...she/he's a nice looking distraction."

I've thought about what I would do if my husband cheated on me. I thought of it mostly after a close friend went through a divorce after her husband cheated on her. At first, I thought, well, the christian church in america says adultery is the only reason you can ever get divorced and the bible says to stone an adulterer, that's worse than divorce - at least for the one getting stoned - so yeah, I would totally divorce a cheating husband.

My friend, we'll call her Ms., did not have a husband in the same sense as I do. He wasn't around all time, he supported their family, financially and spiritually, on a very irregular basis. Ms. raised their children, payed their bills and had to ask for help from friends and family so often that it was "taking a village" to raise their children. Cause let's face it, as much as I admire and respect Ms. and as amazing of a job she's doing raising her children, she couldn't do everything on her own and no one blamed her for it. Personally, I blame him.

If my husband treated me (and if we had children, them too) the way Ms.' husband treated her and their children, I don't know if I would have lasted till he had an affair. Frankly, in my opinion, he had been cheating on her and the family way before he hooked up with another woman. He had been cheating on them with himself, for ten years.

Marriage is about being unselfish, I've said it before, and he remains one of the most selfish people I've known. The fact that he took it one step further and fathered another woman's child, for me makes it just that much worse.

That's one thing I think about cheaters. I just wish, if one person in a marriage didn't care to strive to be unselfish, they wouldn't take the easy way out a claim a lapse in judgment, a moment of weakness or whatever. I just wish they would file for divorce. Be a man dammit, be a woman dammit, don't take the easy way out and cheat. Admit that you're selfish and you don't want to change. Leave your spouse and children out of it and admit your faults.

If the man I'm married to cheated on me, I don't think I could leave him. First of all, the man I'm married to sounds nothing like the cheaters I've described. If he did cheat on me, he would've become another person and in that case, I believe, cheating wouldn't be the only problem. But if he came home to me tomorrow and admitted to having an affair, I don't think there would be anything in me that would want to leave him. I would be angry, hurt, shocked and I'd want answers. But if he was truly sorry and didn't want to leave me, I don't think I could leave him.

Which takes me around the circle again. Because, honestly, if he admitted to having an affair, I'd totally divorce him because in my mind he just wouldn't be the man I'm married to. He'd be someone I never knew and I wouldn't want to be with anyone other than the man I'm married to.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

to subscribe or not to subscribe
that is the question

Thanks to the math wiz of Teal, (which really, her math skills have nothing to do with this, but she's a math wiz so i think that begs stating and she makes a great princess Leia, don't you think?) I have learned how to subscribe to the RSS feed on my blog and the blogs of others. This means you don't have to check a blog every day to see if there's something new, it just tells you when there's a new post, so...I'm going to do a bit of a tutorial for everyone and hopefully this makes life easier.

At the very bottom of the blog page (not the individual post, but the bottom of the blog) there is a Subscribe to: Posts (atom) link. This will link you to the feed for the RSS, it may or may not give you an option for how you want to store your feeds, depending on your web browser. Either way you'll have to add the RSS to your RSS bookmarks.

But...if you're a gmail subscriber, which if you aren't you should be cause it's the best email out there. The gmail system is very simple.

On the top left of your Gmail inbox there are a list of words, click the last word - more and look down the drop down list for reader. Click on reader. On the left side of the screen you will see a green and blue add subscription button. Click on it and paste the url of your favorite blog. i.e. my blog's url is:
So, now, each time you check your gmail account, go to the more, and reader buttons and see who's posted a new blog!

Once your done with this, all you have to do is check one location to see which of your favorite bloggers has posted. Good luck and please post questions or more tips for everyone to enjoy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

it's a dirty word, but somebody had to say it

Inspired by recent events, my man and I, and my dear friend Jessa have been talking about marriage and the word-never-to-be-said-in-the-midst-of-an-argument- divorce.

I'd like to begin with a statement. I believe there are exceptions to the comments I am going to make about divorce.
If you are in an abusive relationship, of any kind, physical or emotional please seek help and get away from your abuser, what ever it takes. I am excluding these marriages from what I am going to be sharing about...but all the rest of you, beware!

Marriage is not easy. Even without children, marriage is not easy. Two people living together is not easy. One man and one woman as roommates is not easy. Marriage is a way for God to shape me...daily.

We talked about marriage and thought about the reason's why people settle on divorce as the answer. A long time ago, I settled on the fact that selfishness is the root to divorce. In a nutshell I still think this is true.

But, I've learned that even more-so, people just don't care. See, love has nothing to do with feelings. Love has to do with not feeling. By this I mean, when you don't feel IT, that's when you really love someone.

IT can be so many things:

admiration...or admired
....and on and on and on...

I've also discovered that there can be so much less of a reason for divorce. Here are a few we thought of:

I don't like you anymore
I've fallen out of love with you
We don't have anything in common anymore
We're just roommates, existing in the same space
You're a slob
You're a nag
You don't look like you did when I married you

and these are just a few we thought of about people without children, the list grows increasingly long when you add children to the mix.

Here's the thing...we all think and feel these things, or variations of them, at one point or another in our relationship. And this, this is when marriage becomes real. This is marriage.

Marriage, the commitment we make to another person is real when it's tested, strained, and it remains. It's not about feeling good all the time. It's not about perfection.

It's about my man bringing me my coffee after an argument...he's added coffee cubes cause it was luke warm and it's better cold. It's about being unselfish.

*End Note: For another woman's opinion check out this blog. I didn't mention a few thoughts I had in this blog because she said it and she said it so well...

more on this as thoughts come, I heartily request your comments and insights