"Our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become."

Thursday, April 25, 2013

20 years...

April 21st of 1993 at 5:39pm my beautiful mother gave life to me(after telling the nurses and doctors that she changed her mind and didn't want it anymore). 20 years ago, a whole decade, I was given the best gift ever. After two months of being away from home, I got to travel back to celebrate my 20th birthday with everyone! On my 2nd birthday I got the second best gift ever next to life, my cousin Kasidee! Yup that's right, we are freaks and share the same birthday and so do our moms on July 9th!
I was so happy to be back in my hometown, as I always am, but this time was just as fabulous.
Can I just say how wonderful my mother is? And how blessed I am to have her? She made a video of 20 years of my life which you can click on that link to see. It is so beautiful! She also got me the most stunning, sentimental gift a girl could ask for!

Aren't they stunning?! They are the Pendleton Round Up emblem with a diamond for my birthstone and on the back they are engraved with "Forever and A Day"(we always say I'll love you forever and a day!). I'm so deeply in love with them!

Also while I was home I did a lot of the things I miss out on in the city, like back roads driving with my cousin while the wheat is green and the canola blooming, mowing my grandparents yard, and getting to sit down to several breakfasts with my cousins and grandparents!

On Sunday I got to see the kids before I went out to my grandparents for a birthday brunch. They are such sweet things and I miss spending time with them so much! I got the best birthday wish from Jace too!! I can't figure out why it's sideways on here, but oh well, doesn't that just melt your heart?!

It's hard to believe that I'm 20 years old and reflecting on what the last 20 years has given me, I'm very excited to see what my next 20 years has instore for me. Hopefully a wonderful job, a wonderful husband with amazing kids and a house of our own, hopefully I will have traveled abroad and have lived out my next 20 years to the fullest, but I guess we will see what happens!
Instead of me blabbering on about my trip home and great it was and how AWFUL it was to have to come back, I'm just going to show you the rest of my pictures and even a video of my grandpa serenading me to the oldies! I had a fabulous time as always, I'm so blessed for the wonderful family and friends I have that I got to celebrate with! I love you all!

Birthday dinner with Grandma and my brother!

3 generations! Grandma, Mom, and I at dinner!

The two birthday girls! 20 and 18!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Girls don't just hate their bodies, we teach them to...

The other day I was at the mall getting a new outfit since my clothing has become very limited and I was getting ready to come home for the weekend. Standing in the dressing room I just couldn't help but be discouraged. Why though? I'm down a pant size, I've come so far. I got the outfit, but as I left the store I sent a text to my mom and said "Nothing is worse than feeling constantly at war with your body."
The saying they teach you in elementary school, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" is the biggest lie we can tell children. Bullying for me began in elementary school, getting to the point where instead of going out to recess I would sneak off into the library and let books take me into another world. It continued all the way through high school. I constantly had derogatory statements thrown at me, such as "Watch it fat ass", "You're just a but-her body", "You're just making yourself fatter", "No one will ever love you if you don't change the way you look", "You would be so much skinnier and prettier if you did things like me" or even being made fun of during our fitness tests in PE. What is even worse about it was that it wasn't just from my peers, it was also from people close to me. But I'm not on here to just talk about my experience with bullying and mental abuse, I'm here to make a point. I can guarantee that majority of those people don't remember making those remarks to me, but I do. They are something that run through my mind constantly. I don't know if people really realize how deep their remarks cut. But it's not just the local school bully that messes with a girls mind. Society has put such a pressure on women to be thin and beautiful, the media becoming bone-hungry and thin-obsessed. Today the average woman is around a size 12, fifty years ago the average woman was around a size 8. What makes me sick is that the media publishes models that average at a size 0. How is that a realistic role model to give young girls or how is that fair of them to say that someone like me in a size 6 is not good enough? Who are they to judge and dictate how women in society should look? Girls do not just hate their bodies, we teach them to. Not only is it giving men the wrong ideal of women, but it also does the same in giving women the wrong ideal of men.
This brings me to the importance in not only fighting obesity in America, especially childhood obesity which is on the rise, but we need to fight the media. You can't just fight one type of unhealthy and preach another. The media needs to focus on healthy people and accepting the way they are born. None of this your nose is too big, your eyelashes aren't long enough, your boobs just don't cut it, that the acne that you are doing everything possible for make you less of a person.
But unfortunately, the media has already brainwashed majority of us whether we are aware of it or not. I'm not saying it's a lost cause though. We've come to a point where we need to realize that our value does not decrease because of someones inability to see our worth. Beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin, it's about knowing and accepting who you are. But don't let the media and the negativity committee dictate who you are.
Now writing all this is so much easier than doing it. This will be a battle that I will have to deal with for the rest of my life, as well as many others reading this. Because of what has been said to me I will always be my worst critic, but I can also be my biggest fan if I allow it. Insecurity kills all that is beautiful. If someone treats you like shit, just remember that there is something wrong with them, not you. Normal people don't go around destroying other human beings. Keep a positive mind and don't let the bullies and media get into your mind. And most importantly, be kind to everyone...including yourself.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Finding your faith

Growing up some of my best memories are getting up on Saturday mornings, not for cartoons, but to get dressed up in my pretty dresses and go to Sabbath school with my cousins and grandparents. Grandpa was known as the "tic tac man" for passing out all his tic tacs to the kids in class and would sit behind us during story time and Grandma would help us during craft time. We then went back to their house and had a wonderful dinner and played. We learned about Jesus and God, the basics ya know?

You see my mom grew up with an atheist mother and I couldn't quite tell ya what my grandpa believes. But my mom somehow came out believing in God, but never attended church. So my grandparents were the ones to take us. As we got older though the other cousins lost interest and we just didn't go. But then in middle school I met a family who started taking me to youth group at their church which I now call my home church, The First Church of God. When I could finally drive I began driving myself every Sunday. Around the same time I started going to FCOG I also became best friends with Jordan. Jordan has always been full of faith, never failing, something I always wish I had. As I got older though I had to get a job which took away from the time I spent at church. Then when I was seventeen, Tricia died. Oh how mad I was. With a weakened faith as it was, this just pushed me away. How could you do this to me God? Why did you take her from me? Why did you take her from her babies? They need her! Jace is only 4 months old. I sat out on the back roads and sobbed. I just wanted to hold her and get out of this joke. What had I done God for you to take her from me? Her kids are my kids too. You didn't just take her from me, you took my babies away too! You split us up.

 Trish died on November 28th of 2010. I had people from my church come into my work and ask me where I had been and why I hadn't been coming. I used the same excuse most of the time that I had to work. Except for one woman named Teri who I just couldn't seem to lie to. She knew what was going on in my life to an extent and she told me everytime she came in "Don't run from Him, I'm praying for you." At the end of March of 2011 I went to Boise to visit my Uncle and Aunt, as well as my sweet baby boy Jace who I hadn't seen since Tricia's death. They told me that they wanted me to go to church with them, which was fine. It's whatever I thought to myself, I'll just go, doesn't mean I have to buy this crap. On the way there my aunt turned to me and said, "How long has it been since you've been to church?" I told her I hadn't been since Trish died. She asked me why, but I couldn't really answer her, then she said "You're angry?". As we sat there the pastor began to preach and I couldn't tell you what he was talking about, but I began to sob with no idea why. I returned to church and began working as a nursery attendant for them as well. It filled a void of me missing my babies by taking care of someone else's. It also made me feel like I was practicing my faith, but I wasn't. I was just going through the motions. Life moved on, I stopped working for the church after a while, would come every now and again, but I think deep down I was still angry.

It wasn't until I moved down here to Albany that I started actively going to church again. But it's different this time, I don't feel angry anymore. I'm not saying that I'm a perfect christian now by any means. I have a long way to go and a lot to still learn, but at least now I can say without a doubt, that I believe in God and I believe he has a plan for me.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Surrounded by greatness...

In life you have people come in and out of your life, some are permanent, some are temporary, but they all help you become the person you are. Tonight I watched my best friend over a live stream open her mission call. Something that she dreamed of and is finally coming true, something that she will truly succeed in without a doubt. Even though I am so sad to watch my best friend of eight years leave to another country, then another state and knowing that I will only be able to communicate via letters, I am still so unbelievably happy, excited, and proud of her. I love you Jo! Go do great in the world and spread your faith and love where they need it!

I have recently also been taken in by a good friend of mines family down here in Albany and they have become like my own. They have done so much for me and words will never be able to express my gratitude to them! They have introduced me into a new church and restored my faith, they have invited me in to their weekly "Duck Dynasty" nights, had me for Easter supper when I was here away from my family, Shelby has always been there for me, they all have treated me as if I was one of their own! They are truly loving, kind souls and I am so thankful for Shelby, Eric, Sue, Dean, and Colton! I am so blessed!

I am surrounded by so much greatness in my life, for that I am so grateful. I am so grateful that Papa Murphy's has brought me so many wonderful significant relationships into my life. I am thankful for the life long friends that I have and I can't wait to see the greatness Jordan brings to others lives as she has done and continues to do to mine.