Sep 17, 2013

Nanny Poppins Book Shelf

I've been doing a lot of audiobooks lately and I love it! is one of my favorites and their app for the iPhone is fantastic! 

I just recently finished a book that I'd like to write a little review for. 

Cage of Stars is about a Mormon family, specifically a young Mormon girl, who faces a terrible family tragedy when a man murders the girls 2 younger sisters. The family goes through the stages of grief in different ways and faces the dilemma of forgiveness vs. revenge. I came across this book on the website (another awesome resource for readers!) and it caught my attention because of the Mormon aspect of it. The books author is not a Mormon, which for a Utah raised Mormon girl like myself was easy to detect in the writing. It was clear the Mormon community wasn't her own culture. However, I really liked and appreciated the authors use of a Mormon family and her respect for and obvious research into our beliefs. Nothing was glaringly incorrect, and anything that wasn't quite right was very minor little not picks. Overall it was pretty well written for someone who didn't grow up a Utah Mormon! 

The story itself was very good and definitely kept my attention. I got through the book in just a couple of days. I really liked the journey the main character took seeing how her parents reacted to the loss of her sisters and how she reacted, all of them so differently. And ultimately how some of them found the strength to forgive while she held the anger and desire for revenge so central to herself. The ending was a bit surprising and maybe not the best ending of a book ever but the whole story was definitely worth the read :) 

Nov 5, 2012

My Abortion Belief

One of the biggest issues for many voters is abortion and its one of my big issues too. One side shouts how they want the right to choose and to control their own bodies, the other side shouts about honouring life and that abortion is murder. There's arguments over when life actually starts, there's arguments over when abortion is okay and when it's not depending on situations. Everyone has an opinion on this one. Say the word abortion and you're going to generate some heated discussion. I am no exception to this. What I believe, I believe very strongly and after hearing more and more on the subject I have a desire to "spill my guts" and get my opinion out there into the world. Agree, disagree, like, dislike, whatever your opinion, you're entitled to yours and I'm entitled to here it is:

The whole Pro-Choice argument is simply a giant load of crap.

To stay pregnant or not should never even be seen as optional. Pregnancy is not a choice, it is a consequence which comes from a choice. Your CHOICE was having sex. One of the many consequences of choosing to have sex is PREGNANCY. You don't get to opt out of your consequences and shout you have the right to choose to not be accountable. That's not how it works!

Lets look at murder as an example (putting aside for a moment that murder is exactly what abortion is)...if you murder someone, you go to jail. A murderer makes a choice to take someone else's life and then the consequence of that choice is prison. They don't get to say "that's not fair, I have the right to choose and I choose to not go to jail". That's ridiculous and everyone knows it.

So if a murderer can't escape their consequence for their choices, why should a women get to escape the consequence of her choice to roll the dice with procreation?

Sex = Pregnancy.

Sex has many purposes, I grant you that, but one of its main functions is to create life. If you can't handle the possibility that you could be pregnant then you have NO business whatsoever having sex. Just as not all murderers are caught or charged, not every sexual encounter results in pregnancy but if you murder, you know you may end up in jail and if you do there's no "choosing" not to go. If you have sex, you could get pregnant and if you do that means a baby.

Of course there are exceptions. If you murder in self defence, you are an exception...if you are raped that wasn't your choice. With my own beliefs I'd like to think I wouldn't kill what I consider an innocent baby because someone did something so horrible to me, however, I have never and hope to never be in that position and I can't for a second think it okay for me to tell any women dealing with something so horrible what they have to do in it. If it were me who knows what I'd really end up choosing. Same goes for life of the mother. If the baby is risking the mothers life then I believe a family has a right to decide what to do. That can easily fall under the self defence exception.

But when we're talking about a woman who makes the CHOICE to be sexually active, how dare she be given the right to kill an innocent child because she doesn't want to own up to the consequence of her own choices. The selfishness of that makes me sick.

For religious reasons, I made the choice to save sex for marriage. The world around me tells me that's stupid and old fashioned but I know it was one of the very best decisions I've ever made. If you don't agree, and you think sex before marriage is worth the risks involved, that IS your choice....but if you make that CHOICE then be prepared to live with the CONSEQUENCE of that choice. SEX is the choice. PREGNANCY is the consequence. Choice = Consequence. So choose wisely and don't act so shocked and shaken and desperate to get out when that choice gives you the obvious consequence.

Sep 11, 2012

Never Forget

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No, I don't think I'll ever forget 9/11. I was home in Utah visiting my mom. At the time I was living in Philadelphia working my first nanny job. I flew home the weekend before it happened and I had to fly back the weekend after.

I remember my mom bursting into my room and waking me up shouting about the World Trade Center. Admittedly, I didn't know what or where the World Trade Center was. But I stumbled out of bed and went running to my moms room where she had it on tv. I don't really remember what I was thinking when I saw it, but I do remember watching live as the second tower fell. I remember my mom just started crying and said "All those people!" I think I was just numb.

I remember hearing nothing but news coverage that day and for days to come. No TV shows, no music...just 24/7 news and the image of those buildings going down over and over again. I remember i went to the dentist that day and as I sat in the chair the whole office was listening to the radio.

I remember how everyone wanted to do a lot of people my mom and I donated blood.

I remember how the fear set in that day as we learned it was a terrorist attack and it was happening all over the East coast. I went to downtown Salt Lake to meet my best friend and was scared to be around tall buildings (even when Salt Lakes buildings aren't that big) and how most of them were shut down because of what happened.

I remember crying that night and being scared it was the end of the world...or at least the beginning of the end.

I remember flying back to Philadelphia. I remember getting to the airport hours early to be sure to make it through security in time. I remember being told not to worry because after what had happened it would be the safest time ever to fly...but that in spite of that, I felt nothing was safe and secure. It was too soon. The airports and airlines were still trying to work out all this new security and restrictions. It wasn't really organized yet, I felt. When I flew home again a month later security seemed much better. They'd had some time to catch up and get it right. I remember that first flight I was scared of the middle eastern passengers...I feel bad about that now, but at the time you simply couldn't help it. Everyone was eyeing hard it must have been to be them! And I remember how, regardless of who they were or how they looked...if ANYONE stood up during that flight...restroom break, to get a book from their carry on or just to stretch their legs...the whole plane went quiet and still and watched them like a hawk.

I remember all the fear of that day and the days that followed...but I remember something else. I remember how our country came together. I remember many flags! They were everywhere! Yards, buildings, bumper stickers, name it, it had a flag on it.

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I remember the memorials, and the candlelight vigils, the benefit concerts and the fundraisers for the victims and their families. I remember the firefighters and policemen and how appreciated those professions became. I remember feeling proud to be American, and that feeling has stuck. I love my country, I love my people, and I love how we all came together in the face of tragedy. I pray we will all remember that and keep that unity alive!

Totally Lost

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For the past few months Phil and I have been watching the TV series Lost. Phil had seen a couple seasons but I had never watched a single episode. It had always been on my list of things to watch though so when it popped up on Netflix we started at the beginning and got very hooked! Finally we are to...

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As of last night we are down to 2 episodes left (which we should be watching tonight!) I'm very excited to see how this all ends and maybe get some dang answers!! Lol I'm also very glad I watched this series after it was over so I didn't have to wait weeks and months between episodes....that would have been lame!!! Haha

Sep 6, 2012

Favorite Time of Year!

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Anyone else already super excited for Halloween or is it just me? I don't even get annoyed that there's been Halloween stuff appearing in stores for weeks now and it's still 2 months away! I LOVE Halloween! This marks the beginning of my favorite time of year...Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years! Holidays galore and they're all super fun ones!

I love Halloween probably just as much as I love Christmas! (and I love Christmas a lot!) I love having an excuse to dess up in costume and not seem like a total freak! Hehe I love candy and parties and haunted houses and picking pumpkins and carving said pumpkins and house decorations and scary movies and Halloween music! The works! I love it all! Luckily I married an awesome guy who loves it too!

Last year we threw a Halloween party. We both dressed up as vampires, decorated the house, carved pumpkins and had a blast and I was so happy Phil was doing it all with me! He even suffered through a load of scary movies with me even though they're not his favorite.

This year I'm already planning our 2nd annual Halloween party and I can't wait! Phil and I need to decide on our costumes for this year. I have tons of ideas but not sure which I'll go with. Whatever we end up deciding, I'm just so excited for it all!

One of my favorite things is holiday cooking and crafts! This year Phil and I are trying to eat healthier which is putting a massive damper on my holiday cooking creativity....especially now I've discovered Pinterest! But that's a whole different blog entry! Lol) So I'm not sure how I'll reconcile that one. At least the party will give me an excuse to splurge a bit and make some fun stuff! As for Thanksgiving and Christmas....I'll have to negotiate with Phil a bit. I am on board that we need to eat healthier and lose weight....but I am of the opinion that Thanksgiving can simply NOT be a diet day! I'm already collecting Thanksgiving recipes and I intend to use them!!!! Hehe

For now....happy holiday season everyone! Hope you all enjoy it! I know I will!!!!

Sep 4, 2012

Gardening...Its not for everyone

This year Phil and I decided to have a garden (Okay...honestly, PHIL decided we'd have a garden...I just sort of had to go along with it) We bought some seeds, planted them in empty egg cartons filled with compost we went and gathered from the city (helped shovel it and everything!) watered them...and watched them grow.
(Not actually photo of our egg cartons...not sure where those ended up on my computer lol) Despite my begrudging attitude toward the MacDonald garden, I actually started to get really excited when our little plants began to sprout up! Next came time to plant them... Phil gets all the credit for that...he planted everything! Together we kept them watered and weeded and watched them grow and it was all rather exciting for me! My favorite thing to watch was the corn...I LOVE corn on the cob! I was so totally excited about eating my own corn on the cob that we'd grown all ourselves! As the stalks grew from their tiny little seeds I had quite the sense of garden pride. The peas were the first thing to be ready for picking and they were so yummy we were eating them straight out of the pods...but when all was said and done...we only got enough peas for about one meal. That was a bit of a let down, though they were delicious! However both Phil and I began to think our little garden just wasn't big enough to give us the results we hoped for. Still it was a fun to have a little taste of home grown veggies. But that all changed...when the racoon came! Remember those beautiful corn stalks I was so excited about? You should have seen the excitment the day we could see the actual ears of corn finally start growing! I couldn't wait to harvest them...but before we got the chance to, we woke up one morning to find that a racoon had visited our garden and knocked over our stalks of corn and eaten off of our little corn ears! Seriously!?! All that work to feed a RACOON!?!?! Well...that was it for me. Once that dumb racoon ate my corn I lost all interest in the stupid garden. We went on vacation and didn't even bother asking anyone to water it for us. After we came back, Phil went out one day and started to clear out the garden which was overrun with weeds and dead or half eaten veggies. He mananged to salvage a few cucumbers which honestly did pretty well (One is HUGE! I want to make it a giant pickle! hehe) but the funniest part of our garden is the item doing best of all...the tomatoes!
Why is that funny....because we didn't PLANT any tomatoes!!! After we started growing our plants, Phil noticed that some tomoto plants were sprouting up in odd places. Turns out they came from the compost we'd gotten from the city! So he started digging them up and transplanting them into a nice tidy row at the end of our garden. Now, those tomotoes are growing great! Nice and big and delicious! Today we had some of them roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper, and parmesean herb seasoning! DELICIOUS! Gotta say though...its a pretty big slap in the gardeners face when the only plant to do well is the one they didn't plant! Haha Needless to say...we won't be gardening next year...I'll stick to getting my fresh produce from local farm stands. Gardening is NOT for me! :)

Aug 28, 2012

Making Time For Me...A Bit of an Epiphany

Last night something strange happened... Phil and I had a silly tiff over something really dumb. I wasn't really mad, just felt annoyed with the situation and with him (to be fair I'm sure he felt mad and/or annoyed with me too!) It wasn't anything major...nothing that needed to be hashed out. I knew it would just resolve when we were both in a better mood. This isn't the strange part...this stuff happens with couples. What was strange was that I was perfectly fine spending the evening without him. The fact is, I don't think that's ever happened before! Even when I'm mad at him, even when we're fighting, whatever the case may be, I HATE being apart from him. When I have church activities or book club or work or anything that takes me away from him for an evening, all I can do is look at the clock and long to have whatever it is over with so I can get back home to him. Last night, I didn't feel that. Instead of rushing home I went to a friends instead and had a lovely evening with her and her cute little baby boy. I realized how desperately I've missed "girl time". It was really nice to just be with a friend, calm and relaxed and enjoying the company of someone other than Phil. A part of me hurts over this. I love Phil so tremendously with everything I am. All the time we spent apart during our courtship and beginning of our marriage took its toll on me emotionally. Once we were finally here in Canada together, it took months for me to be okay just being in a different room than him. It sounds pathetic...rather it IS pathetic. I'm sort of a sad little puppy that feels the need to follow him around from room to room simply because I hated it so much when we couldn't be together. But I think because of that emotional strain, I've let myself get rather lost in my relationship...allowing it to completely define me and somehow left Amanda, the independent woman who lived on the East Coast for 6 years, totally behind. Maybe that's over evaluating it...I'm still me of course. I still like the same things and have the same personality quirks, etc. The thing is, all those things I enjoy, I don't spend much time doing them anymore. Reading, photography, taking a drive for no reason, spending time alone in nature, spending hours on the phone with old friends, going to dinner or out to movies with girlfriends, writing, drawing, creating, guitar....How long its been since I do any of these things. The most I do is read, but even then, if its not an audio book I'm lucky to make it through a single book in many months time. Instead of choosing to spend solo time doing any of these things I enjoy, I choose to spend all my time doing whatever Phil happens to be doing. That choice individually isn't bad, in fact I think its one of the reasons Phil and I are so close and our relationship is so strong, because we do make the time and effor to be together a lot. But, I think...I know, it would be healthier for me if I made the effort from time to time and chose to do something for me. Its not an easy thing for me to admit. I really LOVE spending time with my husband. He's my very best friend and a tremendous about of my life's joy. But it really is important for me to remember that he's not my ONLY joy and that many things brought me joy before he was ever in my life. So, its an effort I am really going to try and make, whether its once a week or a few times a month...I just need to make the choice to spend time with Amanda....not just hang out with the MacDonald's all the time. I am a MacDonald...but I was Amanda first.