Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Dan's 2013 Year in Review

I had to take the time to sit and right my year in review and what better time to do that than New Year’s Eve, sitting at my computer, drinking a glass of merlot and contemplating.  We started out the year as a family of seven as we continued the school year with our German. She got a cat for Christmas and named him Charlie, he is our third cat, making a welcome companion to Tazzy and Speedy.   I started up my studio agreement again and did a shoot with Lizzie, Aubree, and Anna that turned out fun, but unbelievably messy.  I traveled to Vegas to interview for a position in the County Child Support Enforcement division.  I drove down, stayed overnight in Mesquite, interviewed and tested the next day and drove back home.  Needless to say, I did not get the position as we are still living in Orem.  
Megan went to preference in February and I had fun doing their pictures.  
Aubree had a choir concert in March and we got the whole Golding family together for a family picture at the Provo Library with the help of my friend Ashton.  It turned out pretty well, and with the help of Photoshop, we were able to get all of the family members in there and give a print to Christy’s parents for Christmas.  Kyler had his 19th birthday in March.  

We all went to color festival in April for the first time.  We came home covered in colored chalk and still had it in our clothes, cars and cameras days later.  We made a hike to the Y with Karl, Sam, and Jacob, Anna, Jeff, Jake and I.  

Jake turned 12 om April and graduated from the 6th grade in May.  I made a trip to Eureka Utah with my photography group and Aubree had another fabulous choir concert.  Christy started working at Vivint.  

The first week of June was insane.  My brother and his family came up to adopt a baby.  Kelly and Natalie were endowed in the Salt Lake Temple, and Anna’s parent arrived in Utah to take her home.   We spent a full day in Salt Lake with the adoption, sealings and taking a bunch of pictures.  We headed to Moab and spent some time at Dead Horse point and hiked to the Delicate Arch, and explored Goblin Valley.  We came home and had to say goodbye to Anna.  We always knew this day was coming, but it was so hard to let her go.  She became such a valued and loved member of the family and we miss her so much.  

In July, I quit my second job at Vivint.  I had a good run there, working in several departments and meeting many great people.  Jake, Ashtyn and I set out for the Hot Springs, and 12 miles and a near death experience later, we made it back to the car without ever finding them.  We tried it a couple weeks later and found the springs we were looking for and look some pretty great pictures.  I did my first shoot with the Salt Lake bodypaint league and got to watch some amazing artists work.  

I August I got my first two tattoos, went on the father’s and son’s with Kyler and Jake, and we packed food for Haiti and Africa.  We went the sister’s reunion, I went camping in the Uintas with one of my photographer groups and I started coaching Jake’s football team, helping with the linemen and the defense.  

Aubree went to Homecoming in September, Megan turned 18, and Kyler moved out briefly.  

October found Christy at a new job, Megan at a new job, and I turned 42.  We lost our first playoff game and got eliminated, bringing my first season as a coach to an end.  Jake and I went to an Imagine Dragons concert, compliments of Vivint.  We rode the train to Salt Lake and I got enjoy watching a concert, and not having to work it.  I organized my first group shoot, a trash the dress at Utah Lake and had a really good turnout.  

Christy got her first tattoo in November.  We had Thanksgiving at Christy’s parent’s house.

We organized and hosted the Golding family Christmas party.  Aubree turned 16.  Megan got a job at Vivint.  Christy got her job back at Vivint, Aubree got a job at McDonalds.  Kyler broke his hand.  Santa brought us a new puppy, Chandler, and an air hockey table.  

We are starting 2014 with many NEWisms...Starting with a new knee on Thursday at 9 AM and several new jobs. Hopefully a new beginning of sorts in several areas of our lives. Here's to hoping!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"Oh My, They Have Really Gone Crazy! Why would She Ever Do That?"

I know that most of the latest post on here have not been of a happy nature and for that I'm sorry, however, they are honest and a picture of what we are trying to live through. I hope that someday I will be able to look back on this time (the better part of a decade) and see why we had to go through it and have at least a few happy memories.

Yes, we have made some decisions in the last while that have gone against the grain of what most of the people we know or have ever known. We have made it very clear that we don't make rash decisions, especially when it comes to our well being or the well being of our family. Any decisions are talked about and given a lot of thought before they are made. It makes me sad that I have to make this statement and still as I type feel that it's wrong that I have to explain myself EVERY TIME. Yes, I/We have made mistakes and yes we occasionally need help of some kind from others, we have never claimed to be perfect, but we also know that this doesn't make us horrible evil people who should be pitied and walked lightly around or looked down upon. No it doesn't mean we are going through a mid life crisis and going to be disappointed in ourselves when we "come to our senses." I have actually seen people look at me and shake their head and get a sad look on their face and walk away. This brings me to why I started writing this.  

We have kids who have had friends since they were in pre school that are no longer allowed to talk to, be around, or any other way of communicating, with our kids because we don't go to church. Somehow, our not going to church morphs into them and makes them do bad things. This is not only a COMPLETE CONTRADICTION to what these people claim to be, it's simply mean! I have had enough of trying to console my teenage daughters because they have no more friends because they are apparently so evil just their presence is not wanted. I have mentioned all of this before, but it is at such a high level, I now understand how people come to a point where they do crazy things. My husband who is an amazingly talented photographer can't get anyone local to let him take their pictures because others who don't like some of what he has shot tell people he is a bad person and stay away. People are afraid they will be "Bad by association". This is ridiculous, but again, just mean. Then there is me, I guess I am the worst now, because I have done the ultimate badness and "scarred my body" permanently. I was told most of my life that anyone with a tattoo was just trying to get attention and ruining their body. That it was a sign of insecurity and just made them ugly. Don't get me wrong, some of this is true and some of them are ugly, but again, a persons worth as a human being and the worth of their soul have nothing to do with whether they have a tattoo or not. Most tattoos are expressions of a persons personality, something that means something to them. If people would look past the fact that someone has a tattoo and look at the actual piece of art, they would realize, most of the time it has deep meaning and importance and is usually something very nice. Here is mine. Yes, it's on my chest, over my heart (this is symbolic) and if you look at it, it is very symbolic. This isn't something I did on a whim, nor should I have to explain myself. It is something that means A LOT to me and I love it. I would hope I would stop getting questioned and pitied because of how "lost" I have become. I am not lost, nor do I need anyone's pity!  Photo

These are my most prized and loved people. We are tied together by infinity. I carry this close to my heart always. If this makes me bad and evil, then I guess that's all on the one who feels that way. How anyone can see and understand this and still feel anything other than how much I love my family is beyond understanding. 

I have said it before and will say it again. The attitudes in the culture in this place are sucking the life out of my soul. All I have ever asked for is to be allowed to have my own opinions and thoughts and not have it be something used against me. There is so much more that has happen, but I can't keep going on here. I am scared to death for the city we live in, because again, it came down to not who would be best, but that they had to vote against him because he believes people should have the right to think for themselves. I am scared to death of how long I will be unemployed. Yes, I am unemployed, because I didn't quite meet the criteria someone thought I should. I met the level asked, just not as good as they thought I should. Just tired of attitudes thinking it's OK to just punish people for being different and then do it in the name of trying to be a good Christian. 

Oh, and by the way, we didn't leave the church because we got offended, we did our homework and have many other valid reasons. Too much contradiction is one, even with the actual doctrine. See, we have brains and don't just get upset and act irrationally.

Again, I'm sorry for the rant, but at some point, things have to be said or it becomes an even bigger problem. 


Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Little Bit of an Explanation

A few days ago I really had a very rough night. It was really hard for me to get through and I honestly didn't know how I was ever going to get past it. I am still VERY upset and hurt, but I am trying hard to get past it. It hurts not only me, but when I see my friends and others going through it as well it hurts.The one thing that I have maintained throughout all of the past couple of years and most of my life really is that yes, forgiveness is on you personally, that you can choose to be hurt or offended and that you should just simply forgive no matter what. While this is true and good, there comes a point where it isn't possible and letting it go becomes enabling to the offending party and makes all things in the end worse. You can't forgive a person if you can't forget the issue, and you can't forget the issue if you are constantly being reminded of it. Or if something new is being thrown at you. Not forgiving can consume a person with bitterness and anger, but letting someone continue belittling you causes depression and self worth problems and MAJOR confusion. This is something I saw a few days ago and I believe if people would really take note of it and try to remember it the world would be in a much better state...
There is an old saying that sticks and stones can break bones but words can never hurt you. This is completely untrue in my opinion. In order for something to be said, you have to think about it and therefore it's what you feel and words unlike the other repairable things, cannot be taken back or the wounds made by it simply fixed. Words are much more harmful than sticks and stones. You can't repair a persons heart or their soul by medication or a band aid or stitches. Think of it this way, childbirth is one of the most painful things a person can ever have to go through, but the pain is forgotten as soon as the beautiful baby is presented. Simply telling someone they are not worth anything goes straight to a persons soul and can't really be forgotten because there is nothing beautiful to replace it. 

While I can't divulge who, because of the relationship it is and not wanting to burn a bridge, there is someone who has really made it a point lately to let me know what a disappointment me and my husband and kids are. It has been a year since we announced we were leaving the church. While there has been an ongoing uncomfortableness for us since then and we have endured an extended family member completely verbally driving us into the ground on Facebook, this one now is so much worse because of who it is. I honestly don't think they know they are doing it, or I may have reacted much more sternly, but it has broken my heart and hurt me to my core. I mentioned a while back that Dan and I were in the process of having our records removed from the church. I was then told that if we did that, we were ruining the entire family's chances at an eternal life together. I have been told that my husband is loved beyond measure, but if we were to move to Las Vegas (which we will do someday, I can't take the cold and the general environment here anymore)that he would become a gambling addict alcoholic that would make our lives miserable. Now, while I won't deny that we occasionally have a drink, that while in Vegas we gamble a little, how does "love beyond measure" and "gambling addict alcoholic" make sense? I have been told I am way too touchy about stuff SOOOO often that it's ridiculous, but really, I'm not the one getting upset, I'm am simply being expected to be upset so I am punished for it anyway. This is so much of a problem that people feel they have to warn people that we might be somewhere so to be sure that they don't offend us. Um, it's not the others who are offending us!!! It has been 3 1/2 years since my gastric bypass surgery. I have done what I think is a pretty good job of keeping the weight off. The past couple of months I have gained back about 15% of the weight I lost. I am mortified about it. I really don't know why, but it has been stressful and my diet hasn't been the best. Honestly though, 15%? It is something I can fix and get a handle back on. The other night this is what was said to me after not being spoken to all night..."Are you gaining your weight back? I knew it wouldn't work." Now, I guess this shouldn't upset me that much, but honestly, I cried after that. I have become so rotten in this persons eyes that they can't even muster up some tact to nicely ask me about  something they know I have spent years trying to make better. Even if it is out of love and concern, there are nice ways to say things.  When someone wants to know why I finally made the decision to leave the church, here is the answer. I know most of you will disagree about how valid it is and that one isn't the other, but here it is. When I can go from being a person who is in the eyes of many a strong, god fearing, good mother who tries to love everyone, who is service oriented, who has fought her way back from life changing sickness to be working and contributing to her family even when I am in pain and feel horrible, who used to have a house full of kids in the neighborhood and elsewhere who loved being at her home,  who has a good compassionate, non-judgmental and open minded and loyal husband who loves me and our kids fiercely, to a person who has ruined an entire family's chances at eternal salvation, who's husband is a irresponsible scumbag(or will be)with no self control, and that is teaching bad things by example, that people will not allow their kids to even talk to no less be in my home,  and that's just the tip of the iceberg, all because we decided to worship our God differently, it has caused enough confusion and question that I could not pretend I was sure and knowledgeable about the church anymore. If the gospel is right and true, which I'm not saying it isn't, then many of the people in it shouldn't be showing the opposite. I should mention, that in almost every case of reprimand, the person has used the church as their backing or reasoning for making me see the light and how wrong I am.  I am still the same person I have always been, I simply don't have the guilt and constant pressure to be perfect anymore. Life as a human being is not to be lived in fear of making a mistake, it should be with having the knowledge that if you do make a mistake, it's yours and yours alone and you figure out how to fix it and move on, and that you have the right, no matter what religion you are, if any, to call upon God as you are one of his children. Not to be told you have lost your right to God because you are too far gone and undeserving of his love.  I honestly have been told so many times in the past few years how misguided and naive I am about things that is has caused me to really study into why people would think that and the answer I have found is that in WAY too many cases a person is not to have their own ideas or way to handle life, but to only do it as told. I was taught that when something is presented to you, by anyone, no matter who it is, that you do your own soul searching, you pray and you come to your own knowledge if it is right and true. All mankind is human and therefore not perfect and too many live in fear and depression because they can't ever seem to do it right enough or good enough.  I think you get the picture. I am doing my best to get past the hurt from this particular person, but again, it is very hard and made even harder by the continuation of this treatment. I don't want to cause any more problems with anyone, but it doesn't seem to matter how hard I try, it always ends up that way. 

Earlier today I had to go to PTC's. I always dread this. I really dislike hearing that my kids aren't doing their best. I know they can do better. I hope they stand up and show people who they really are. 

Jake has one more week to let his broken heel heal. It has been pretty rough on him to not be able to play, but he has been to every practice and game and will be ready to get right back in it when the Dr says it's OK.  Aubree went to Homecoming last weekend. It was her first high school dance. She seemed to have fun. We found one of my dresses in my closet and dressed it up with the help of Grandma Hansen and it looked nice. Megan turned 18 on the 10th. We had a little cake for her and had dinner on Saturday at a place of her choice. It was nice. Kyler is still living out on his own, but it looks like he may be moving back home in a few weeks. He seems to have made some good decisions and changes while he has been gone. We will see how that turns out...stay tuned. Dan is enjoying his ability to pursue his hobby and to get to be able to coach for Jake's team. He will most likely be getting a partial knee replacement in the next few months. I am happy for him that he will not be in pain anymore and be able to run and hike and whatever pain free. 

The past few days we have really been missing Anna. I would have never believed that I would be this attached or that it would be this hard to let her go. She really dove in and found a place in our hearts and we love her. We are very happy for her to be back with her parents, who btw are wonderful too and considered family as well, but lately that hole in our hearts seems to be exposed more. Not sure why, but we will be OK. We just miss her smiling face and positive influence in our home and family. She is moving on with her life in Germany and we are happy for her. I don't think she or her family will ever really realize the impact they have had on us. For me, especially from Sarah, who has really shown me you can do it even when it seems impossible. She has been an example of strength and perseverance to me and when I really needed to see it was possible. And it probably doesn't show, but her positive attitude has had a HUGE impact on me. 

Oh yes, and FYI, I still have my job. I guess I must be doing something good. I feel pretty comfortable here. I feel like most of the people I work with seem to like me and they are all pretty cool. I am proud of myself for making the cut. I couldn't even have imagined a year ago that I would be working a full time job, let alone graveyards and one that I would have to prove my worth to keep.  I will continue to search for something in LV but for now I am in a pretty good position here. Just need to not have to deal with the winter anymore. It hurts me ;-) 

OK, I guess this is long enough. I hope there are still people out there who read it. 


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Little Meltdown Moment

So, the last week has been quite a ride for me. I'm not sure how I am still standing most times. Too many life changes and hits keep coming all at once. I am sincerely trying to keep an upbeat and positive outlook on life, but I am failing miserably and I know it. My body knows it, my subconscious knows it, anyone who lives with or is around me very much knows it. It is not something I can simply think or smile my way out of. I am pretty much in a deep depression, brought on by major stress from life and physical stress I push myself through. I wish every minute of every day that things would change for the better, but through no lack of trying to make things change and not sitting back waiting, things have at very least stayed the same or gotten worse in some cases. 

As many know, the survival of the company I work for depends largely on sales made mostly in the summer. It is like 80 percent or something dependent on summer sales and is what pulls the company through the rest of the year. Therefore, the staff who creates the accounts is ramped up as well. I knew when I hired on the it was a summer position but was assured that I was almost guaranteed a job after the summer season. I do pretty well at my job. I have had mostly high 90's score cards and even a few 100's (which is very rare in my position) and I feel like I am fairly well liked by most I work with. Knowing the summer was coming to a close, I elected to try and transfer to a different dept to ensure a permanent position. I was successful in getting the transfer and went to 2 weeks of training for the new position. It was NOT a good fit for me and by sheer luck(and a loving husband), an email was forwarded to me about how there was a couple of positions back in the first dept, only working on the graveyard shift and working a lot with New Zealand.  This was something I had tried to get before with no luck, but figured I had a little more experience at this point but was afraid it wouldn't happen because I had just transferred. Luckily, the guy who was making the request to fill those spots likes me or something and was able to talk to the forces that be and I got to fill one of those spots. I was quite excited as this seemed much more permanent. I was wrong on the sure part though. I, with most of the rest of the department am still waiting for the confirmation that I will still have a job beyond Sept 15th. It looks promising and I am trying not to worry too much, but if I happen to not have a job it would be very bad for us. Dan, thinking I was safely in a permanent position, quit his job at Vivint, so it would put us out a lot. I can't say I like the way things are being handled in regards to this. There is entirely too much talk by some of the powers that be and not enough real information for those of us who are waiting to find out our fate. A LOT of hearsay though... So that's one part. Waiting to find out whether I still have a job or not.

Over the past few months, we have had many issues while trying to help Kyler become a responsible, independent adult, but also making him tow the line as a member of our home. He is an adult and can make his own decisions, but still has to respect our home and the people in it, which means letting us know when he would be home, etc. Things came to a head and I had to pretty much give an ultimatum that he was more than welcome to stay, but he had to respect the rules of our home and the people in it. He chose to move out. I am happy for him that he has chosen to move forward in his life, but really don't like the way in which it happened and really dislike that he feels we kicked him out or don't want him around. This is FAR from the truth and I hope he realizes it. I have had a bad feeling from the start of this and hope it's just me being a worry wart and that something bad isn't looming. Adjusting to having adult children is hard enough, when the added stress of them thinking you can't stand them is included it is heartbreaking.  At least to this mother...

Jake is back in football for the season. Dan is coaching on his team this year. It makes me happy, but sometimes it's hard having him gone every night again. I just got him back ;-) The girls are in school too and Megan is working. This proves complicated to try and keep things in order in the house. I am always exhausted and they are always busy and gone, so our house suffers. Then I get frustrated and try to do it all and my health suffers so it just goes around and around in that vicious circle. I seem to be pushing it a lot with my health, I simply can't stand not being able to do things I feel I need to be doing. Problem is that at a certain point, my body lets me know I'm done by pretty much shutting down or at very least puts me in enough pain I can't go on. Some times stubbornness and sheer will doesn't win ;-) I pretty much live in fear of which day I'm just not going to be able to get out of bed. Some days, like today, I am extremely slow, but so far I have managed to get out of my bed. 

Someone posted this next little thing on Facebook the other day and I found it to be so much of what I have been trying to be and say and it really hit me how true it is. Please read it and understand me in the process...

It is so important to remember this.

This is one of the other major things that has been bringing me down lately. Well, for actually quite some time now. It is a horrible feeling to be in a room full of people and feel completely alone and to know that the majority of those who are there and would normally talk to me don't dare now because they think I am a different person. I am no different than I ever have been when it comes to others. The things that have changed are mine and mine alone and haven't changed who I am, they have changed how I do things and how I feel about some things. My heart is still the same, although it is broken and dented and scarred, so I sometimes have to be cautious in order to not let it be hurt anymore. I still love and care about others. I would still do anything I could to help someone in need. I would still be a good friend with a listening ear, although I don't seem to have any who come to me anymore. I haven't treated anyone badly. All of this has come from me making choices for myself that others don't agree with. It hurts to be me now. I have a firm belief that when I face the judgement, I will be able to say that I am not now and have never been perfect, but I did show love and kindness to everyone, regardless of any differences, that I believe there is some good in everyone, even if it's hard to find. 

The other night I almost accidentally stepped behind a moving car. Someone caught my attention or it could have been bad, but almost the worst feeling I have ever felt in my life was the thought I had immediately after this. That was that I really felt like if I had not been alerted and the worst happened, who would really miss me? Would a huge burden on the parts of many be lifted? It's hard to come to the reality that you are a burden on people and that they could have a much easier life if you weren't there. Now before everyone goes of and thinks I'm contemplating something, I'm not, this has not been the case and isn't now. It is a really discouraging feeling when one feels like they are a burden. 

Between all of these things and several others. I am simply physically and emotionally exhausted and some days (a  lot lately) It is just too much and all I have ever asked for is love and support. Which is what I strive to give in return, sometimes to my own detriment. 

Hope all of you are well...


Thursday, August 22, 2013

More Random Thoughts While Working In the Middle of the Night

So, time has been moving forward at what seems a record speed. While things seem to never change in many areas, it seems to be in a constant state of change in others. 

Megan, Aubree, and Jake are all back in school now. It seems crazy to me that they are all in secondary schools and Megan is a senior. She will be 18 in 19 days. It has already been a shock to my heart/system to have Kyler 19 and an adult, now there will be 2 of them. Kyler really struggles in adulthood and is trying to figure it out, but has a lot fighting back at him. Megan seems to be easing into it fairly well. Hopefully she won't have quite as hard of time adjusting. She will have to spend her entire senior year in school, so I am hoping that might help. 

Aubree is adjusting to high school. Seems to be doing OK. She has loaded herself up with a pretty hefty schedule, but if she can do it she will have herself in a very good position come graduation time. If all goes well, she will have at least an associates degree when she graduates high school. Since she wants to be a Psychology major, any step ahead will be helpful to her. We have every confidence in her, just hope it's not too much.

Jake is up to his eyes in football and figuring out junior high. Dan is the line coach for Jakes team this year. They seem to be having a lot of fun and Jake is increasing his abilities. He seems to really enjoy his German ( he is the class pet basically because Anna was his host sister  last year and Mr Sigafus loves her. She was his TA) class and seems to be settling in pretty well. At least as well as 3 days can be. 

I have been working the graveyard shift for a little over a month now. Honestly, I love this shift and the people I work with. Some days are hard as my body doesn't seem to want to adjust as well as I want it to, but it's coming along. I am just holding my breath until September 15th is past. That is when all of the cuts from the summer team happen. I hope not to be cut ;-)

Dan is enjoying only working one job. He still has his photography that takes up a lot of his time, but he is enjoying being able to choose whether he just stays home or he does something else. It is really nice having him around. Apparently I have turned into a big wuss/baby. I used to be at home with Dan gone for weeks at a time and after the Navy he has consistently had work or school taking up his time. I just miss him too much now when he's gone and can't seem to hold it together without him these days.   

I am really having a rough time right now knowing that winter will be coming. I suffered through last winter quite badly and the thought of it again is literally painful and puts a lot of stress on my head. Between needing to get out of the cold and wanting to be somewhere else, I am constantly searching for some kind of change. I am hopeful to a point that this change will happen, but realistic in the sense that I have been let down too many times to let myself believe it will change. As I have plead with many over the past while for support, I have found a few, but they have their own lives and own problems to deal with and the others that think they're helping like to make me feel worse. Dan and I have made our decisions, and no amount of telling me how disappointed you are or how much this scares you for our or your own salvation is going to change our minds. This is precisely one of the reasons why we left. While many of the teachings in the church are good and right, sooo many people live in fear that if they mess up at all or anyone in their family messes up at all they will not ever be together in the eternities. The more I have pondered on this, the more it actually bothered me that people seem in many cases to live "righteously" because they are afraid, rather than because they know it's right or good. Knowing you will be together for eternity with those you love should be a peaceful, heartwarming thing, not something that scares you or makes you live in fear. It makes me sad to have to try and soothe the fears of those I love because they are worried that I won't make it to Heaven with the rest of them. I believe that the intentions of your heart and the good works are what you will be judged on, not the particular things you may have done in your life. As long as you have not hurt someone intentionally or taken away another persons life or right to express their free agency. There are throngs of people who are good people who believe in God, that aren't in the church. I can't fathom that none of those people will be with their families for eternity. BTW, the "misunderstanding" that people keep referring to things in regards to Dan and I is not and was not a misunderstanding. It was a judgment and one that people still will not accept responsibility for making. There is a galaxy sized difference between leaving the church and turning against or denying God. I have a firm belief/knowledge that there is a God and that all people are his children. I have never once tried to tell anyone or make anyone think otherwise. I have just chosen to worship him differently. This is exactly what I was talking about in the beginning of this. Making people live in fear to keep them "righteously" living. Isn't that a contradiction to what the church is supposed to be? 

Anyway, I'm sorry I seem to have gone off on a tangent again. I really wish I could stop feeling like I need to explain myself. It really shouldn't be that way or matter, but it does to me as all I want is to be loved and accepted. But refuse to any longer be someone I don't like to be or live in fear of not being good enough, to achieve acceptance. 

Thank you to those of you who still love and or care about us. 


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Random Thoughts That Go Through My Head While Working the Graveyard Shift

Well, I had honestly hoped that we would be settling in to our new place in Las Vegas by now. I had a lot of hope for this. I have been contacted several times by several places there for employment. It is so hard turning down interviews. I'm pretty sure that I would have a job in less than a day if I went there and tried. It's not smart though, or realistic to even interview until Dan has a job there. There is no way we could live on my income and it would not be smart to leave what he has here to go to nothing. I will say though, just as I told Dan yesterday. I am at a point where the thoughts keep running through my mind that we should just go and hope for the best. I know what sounds terrible and we won't do it, but I would be lying if I said I hadn't thought about it. It isn't just me thinking things and wanting to go, my soul needs a new outlook and new scenery. I'm withering away here these days. 

In 6 days Aubree and Jake will start school. Aubree is a Sophomore at Timpanogos High School and Jake is starting 7th grade at Orem Jr. High. I am having a very hard time accepting that Jake is this old. He is my baby. He has also started into football again. He LOVES football and this year Dan is helping coach Jakes team. He is coaching the lineman, which Jake is. Should be fun for both of them. Megan will start her senior year at Timpanogos in 7 days. She is at this point working 2 jobs. She has one at Seven Peaks and it is a summer job, so she prepared for the end and got another job. She is tired and worn out, but she is keeping her word to the first job and learning the other one for this week. Then she will be working at Wendy's on Center and Geneva Rd in Provo. They must have liked her, they pretty much hired her on the spot. Kyler is working at Winco and Wiseguyz (We can't get him to leave there for some reason). He is talking about moving out and into a place with some friends. We aren't really sure about all of this, but he does need to get out on his own so we are trying to support him. He's also in the process of trying to buy a car. The realities are setting in. Payment, insurance, rent, utilities, etc. Hard things to learn. Hopefully he will find his way and be settled and happy. He is not going to school this semester. A bunch of things got away from us and he isn't ready for this one. He will go again in January hopefully. 

Dan recently quit his second job at Vivint. I am working full time and he was running on empty all of the time from working 16 hour days. It is nice to have him around more. I know I am a whiner because I never want him to leave, but this has given him a chance to do things like coaching football and actually being able to attend things with and for the kids. He does have more opportunity to work on his hobby (photography) so that makes him happy. Hopefully I can make up the difference of him not working. He recently got a tattoo. His first. It is supposed to say "Not all who wander are lost!" but somehow the wander got turned in to wonder. It works both ways, but he will have it fixed soon. If I work up enough courage to go do it, we will get matching tattoos of the infinity sign on our ring fingers. Dan has caught the Tat fever now and has a new idea for new tattoos all of the time now. The next one he will get besides the ring finger one will be on his chest, over his heart and will be the kids birth dates. It is nice to feel free of guilt when doing things like getting a tattoo. These are all very meaningful and tasteful, but would have been a big no no a year ago ;-)

Below is something I came across today. I has been on my mind since I saw it. It describes me and many of the decisions I have made over the past year or so. I am very aware that many/most of you don't agree with most of my decisions, but I appreciate the respect to let me/us make them without disowning me or outcasting me. I have really had bad experiences over these decisions and would like to be able to move on and keep at least some of my friends and family intact. Here it is...
This is honestly the best way I can describe these decisions. Also, this is the counsel I have received for people professionally, religiously, personally, etc. As you can probably tell, I have been aching for people to understand me and why I do or have done the things I do. I generally feel as though I am walking the path alone. Although, I do have Dan. I am sure though that there are times he wishes he didn't have my issues and things to deal with. It can't be easy being him. Always wondering and worrying when I may crash and he will have to go back to not only being the sole person caring for our family, but have me to take care of as well. I don't know how I managed to luck out and get him for my husband, but I did and I love him.

OK, enough of my middle of the night rantings. I'm sure I'll be back again soon with more. 


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Family, Friends, and Faith

I may rattle, sorry...

First off, just so everyone knows, I LOVE MY FAMILY! Yes, I have my moments when having 4 teenagers and their dramas and issues are too much, but I wouldn't trade them for anything. I have to learn to stop calling them kids. Kyler will be 20 on his next birthday and Megan will be 18 in less than 2 months. They are basically young adults and that is something very hard for this parent to adjust to. However, I'm pretty proud of myself/us, they have all shown us things lately that show great responsibility and maturity which helps us, or at least me, to know we are doing something right. Our family has been through the ringer over the past several years and we still hold together. Just to clarify, NONE of our kids or ourselves are doing or have ever done drugs. None of them are promiscuous, and all that are able, hold jobs, and are there for anyone that needs them. Sometimes to a fault and for people who come back and stab them in the back. All of these are good things that are pushed aside by most because some of them, nor Dan or I attend church. This entire situation has been more than I can take with regard to church. We have been so shunned and out casted by so many in the church that it is heartbreaking at least to me. Dan and I especially have been so persecuted, even by members of our families, that it begs the question of how these 2 things can reside together. The church/gospel, and complete intolerance and judgment. We were told by a family member that we had knowingly made the decision to leave God and become Satan's helpers. This was all because we allow our family and friends who happen to be gay their own decisions and defended them. Assumption on the parts of many of who Dan is and what he does and thinks has come close to ruining us. I am tired of being seen as the woman who's husband doesn't care about me and who should either be pitied because I don't know any better, or reprimanded for allowing it. I know what's going on, I love my husband, and neither of those things are real, nor any one's business.   Oh yes, and there are those that believe and have let me know that they think I either faked the last 7 years to take time off, or that I am mentally unstable because I actually think I have a sickness or any health problems. All of this came about because I came to a point where I felt I needed to try and go back to work. I went back to work because I needed to for many reasons. Helping take care of my family, my sanity, etc. Just so it's not misunderstood, I DID NOT NOR AM I NOW FAKING IT! What I did was take myself out of a bad place and try to move forward. What's more honest? Staying home and collecting $$ and making my husband work himself sick, or pushing myself to work and at least try to help, knowing that any moment I could collapse?   Now before you get offended and feel you need to tell me not to say how I feel about the church, realize that I am not now, nor have I ever said you shouldn't do what you feel is best, just that I expect the same respect back that I feel how I do. For the most part, our close family(siblings, etc) have been pretty good to us, and we really appreciate that, but there are many others that have been so horrible that it makes it uncomfortable for those who still care about us. We haven't done anything to anyone, so it hurts to be us and know that simply our presence makes people feel uncomfortable. All we did was change OUR lives, no one elses.  There is so much more, but I will leave it at that for now.

Since going back to work I have made several new friends. I have also met an unbelievably high amount of people who have done exactly what Dan and I have done. It does help to know that we aren't the only ones who feel the way we do about the church and the overall attitudes in this area. It is very reassuring to have friends who care about me for who I am today and not what I used to be or have the "potential" to be if I do what is "right". I am by far one of the oldest people who works there, but it is nice to have friends that aren't "forced" to be my friend because I live in their ward.

For most of my life I have been a person who went like 90% on faith and the rest on logic. I was sure that no matter what happened, God would carry me/us through. This is after all, what I have been taught my entire life, that if I/we was doing my best that all would be OK. Well, the last several years has been a major eye opening for me. Living by/on faith has at some times put me/us in such a terrible position that we have suffered in very bad ways. My faith in God and his love and care has gone from almost the sole thing I counted on to basically non existent. Not from just living, but from trying so hard for so long and things either staying the same or getting worse. I have spent a good part of the last decade on my knees begging for help, or at least comfort and ability to get through things and I will be honest, there have been some things that were very much a clear answer to prayer, but that has been a very long time ago and I have pretty much been on my own and alone. Dan and I have done everything in our power to make things nice and good for our family, our friends, our community, and basically anyone. In return, after doing everything we could for the greater good and after much prayer and faith end up struggling and wondering how we are going to get to the next place. BTW, God is God in all religions and for all people, so the argument that we no longer have his love because we left the church isn't valid. In fact, is a complete contradiction to what the church teaches. Aren't all people children of God?  At least on my part, it has become very hard to believe in a "Loving God" when I have seen and felt so much suffering for trying to be a good person. Yes, I am that person who is going through life with no or very little faith, and it's not because I just decided I felt that way, it's because I have pushed and tried it and tested it. There comes a point when we just have to stop trying to make something work and walk away and find a different way.  I know this will be something that many will be very upset about, but Dan and I have thought long and hard about what to do next, and have come to the conclusion that we will most likely have our records removed from the church. This is a good thing, at least in my view, it means that I/we have been responsible in making a decision based on what I feel is best and that there leaves no question as to where I/we stand in the church. No one can think we are hiding things or going against what we have promised, because we will no longer be tied to it. Please remember that what has been taught and what is claimed to be what the church teaches is that everyone has the right to come back if they feel they should, that applies to everyone and means that the door is not closed. Another huge issue that has been warped to make people feel there is no chance or choice. I'm not saying we will be back, but that please keep in mind and realize that the option is there.

I posted on another page before that living here is killing my soul. I honestly believe this. I cannot find a place to feel like I can just be me. Or a place where my family can just be. I know that many don't understand why I feel or think this way and probably don't even realize they are doing or saying things that are hurtful and probably have the best of intentions, but there is a culture here that is different than any other place and is sometimes toxic. There is a difference between loving someone and wanting to help them be the best they can be, and then deciding what that is and making them become it.  When I speak of leaving here, understand it's not running away, there are problems everywhere, but that there is a very big and wonderful world outside of here and getting out of the bubble is a good thing sometimes. I feel suffocated here. I just want to be in a place where I can be me. Where my husband and our kids can be themselves. Reality is that there will always be things that happen and issues no matter where we are, but maybe just a change in scenery would be a good thing. 

OK, this is enough for today. I keep hoping that I will have something promising and hopeful to post about soon. Trust me, when it happens, I will...


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Germans, Moab, Work, Fathers Day, and Some Random Thoughts and Experiences

I have been trying to write a blog post for a while now and haven't been able to collect my thoughts and make sense out of them, so I decided that it was better to just post anyway and hope it makes sense. Sorry if it's scattered, but this is how my brain functions lately ;-)

We had the rare opportunity to get to know people from far far away over the past year as we were a host family to Anna Bahss for this past school year. Anna is from Germany. Her mother Sarah,  is an American, raised in Connecticut, but went to Germany years ago after she met and married Anna's father Christian on an exchange in Italy.  Over the past year or more we have emailed, and skyped and messaged them a lot. Sometimes for reasons of taking care of Anna, and sometimes just as friends supporting each other. All of this led up to June 2nd, when they arrived here in Utah to reunite with Anna as it was the end of her exchange. We were excited and nervous, as we know we are unique individuals and hoped they would like us. Especially since their daughter had been living in our home and as part of our family. We were pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed our time together. We went on the boat on Utah Lake, we went to Temple Square and the State Capitol. Then we took a trip that was 10 months in planning to Moab. The Bahss' graciously rented a beautiful condo for all of us to stay in and we went to Dead Horse Point and to the Arches.  It was a wonderful trip with great people. It was an experience for them to see the grandeur of that area and they commented on the mountains and other things of beauty around Utah that they would never forget. 

The picture 2 above hold special significance for me. Sarah, has MS and is phenomenally strong. She hiked to that arch and many other places and never once complained. She is a shining example to me to keep trying. We have very similar health issues and the fact that this image was captured of the 2 of us sitting in the shadow of that arch is at least on my part nothing short of a miracle. I used a cane to make it and my leg was not happy with me, but I accomplished it! These are Anna's mothers sitting there together. A picture that will not be forgotten, at least not by me. I have not stopped thinking about Anna and her family for 2 weeks now. They left a week ago and took Anna with them. They are where they should be, together, and with family. Our experiences having Anna here were many and many life changing. She surely doesn't know the impact she left for life on us and we are very badly missing her, but happy that she is with her family again and hope she has a wonderful, happy and fulfilling life. With any luck, she will keep us informed of things in her life and maybe we will even see her again someday. And her parents as well. We have grown close to them and consider them family as well. As I type, the emotion is taking over again. I had hoped it wouldn't be this hard, but I guess this is what saying goodbye to some one you love feels like. 

We had a going away party for Anna on the 2nd. It was also our monthly FHE with the extended family. The ENTIRE family (That's the whole enchilada) loves her and misses her and wishes her well and this party was so many of them could say goodbye. 

The last post on this blog was announcing that I had decided to go back to work. This decision was not something that was taken lightly. Seven years of sickness and other issues was not and is still not easy to overcome, but I am working on it day by day. The job, for the most part, is not greatly challenging. I have excelled much more than I thought I could in most places there. The past few weeks have been challenging as I am being trained on more things and having a hard time remembering things I need to. If I can't remember them, I can't use them to learn the new things I'm trying to learn. It is very frustrating and causes a lot of stress, because I know I can do this, but it's not coming easy at all. I am a perfectionist and like to do things correctly, so you can see how this is not easy for me. I really do like my job most days, and it really is a good job at a good place. I just need to get past this hurdle. Please keep sending good thoughts my way. 

This fathers day has been very emotional for me. As I think about the fathers in my life and all of the men I know. I am in awe as to how lucky I am to know these men. I have always held my dad in high esteem. Even when I didn't see eye to eye with him, I have always known that he loves me and would not leave me on my own. He has known when to step in and when to patiently watch from afar. This is one of the reasons I have had such an emotional reaction to this day this year. 
On the 4th of June, my nephew and his wife took out their endowments in the Salt Lake Temple. We had attended the adoption proceedings for Dan's brother Pete and his family for their new little son Ryan earlier in the day and were waiting outside the temple after their sealing. We stayed and met my nephew and family after their endowments. I watched my dad suffering in pain and having a hard time walking that night. I have never seen him like this before, and it hit me extremely hard at that moment that he isn't a superhero and it could quite possibly be coming close to the time I won't have him here around me. I cried all of the way home that night and have felt very emotional today with the thoughts that this Fathers Day could be one of if not the last one for him. This is a time I have dreaded and hoped would never come. I'm not sure I know how to deal with it. 

I think that what I have said in the previous paragraph may be the answer as to how I managed to find Dan. I knew what I wanted my kids to have in a father and somehow managed to find him. He is a wonderful father who loves his kids. He works himself sick and makes sure to attend and support everything they do, even when he may not agree with them. I may not always know the best ways to show it, but I could never have dreamed of spending my life and my kids getting such a phenomenal man as him. I love you Dan and I am glad that my kids have you as their father. 

There are so many great men in my life that I cannot possibly name or say things about them all. Just know that I love and appreciate all of you for the examples of love and endurance and dedication you show. 

One random thing. I have been attending church with Jake, because he asked me to and I promised my kids I would support them in their good decisions. My thoughts have not changed, and after some actions of today, maybe even more solidified. Some one walked up to me to today and asked me to fill in for their calling for the next 6 weeks. I said I could not do it and suggested someone else. They said, "Oh, I guess you weren't in choir last week, are you feeling OK?" I said I was feeling fine and haven't been there for close to a year. They said, "Huh, that's weird, I didn't even notice."  Now I know that I don't need to be noticed by everyone all of the time, but people keep trying to tell us that everyone misses us and that us being gone leaves a giant hole in the ward. So who do I believe? Honestly, it feels more like the person today was at least honestly saying they didn't notice, rather than lulling us into a false sense of love and security. This isn't the only thing, but that was what happened today.

I guess I should end this post as it is turning in to a novel. Hopefully I will have some more to post soon. Thank you all for your love and support for us. It is not lost and not unnoticed.  


Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Well, things around here are about to change. For some time now I have been thinking and wondering what I could do to make things better for our family. Since I got sick almost 7 years ago, Dan has had to work 2, sometimes 3 jobs to make ends meet. We have done all sorts of things to keep things good. There are also many other personal reasons for the decision I finally came to and then pleaded with Dan to agree to. 

It has been quite difficult for me over the past several months to feel right being at home, and nothing else. Since our announcement to leave the church, even before, it has been extremely lonely for me. All of the kids are older now and don't need me here 24/7. Thus, there was an option that I came to. So here goes the big announcement:

I now have a job! I will be working in the Accounts Creation Department at Vivint. I will, at least for a short time be working with Dan until I can get a different shift. We have checked in to how to work through this with Social Security. I am very excited to be doing this. I have been very careful to make sure to only apply for things that don't require me to be physically active or lifting things. I am very aware that I could not do anything that would be harsh on my body. 

I would ask that you all be happy and support me/us in this decision. We feel it is going to be a very good thing for me and for our family.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Another Post to Make Sure there is no Misunderstanding

This post is specifically being made to clear up any questions. If there is still anyone out there that doesn't understand why we left the church, hopefully this will clear up any confusion. This is an example of how we have been treated for several years now, and I'm sure it will not be the last time either. This was especially hurtful to us as it is family, but again, not the first and most likely not the last. 

A month or so ago I posted something on Facebook, (I looked for it and can't find it anymore...UGH!) but it said something like "everyone is so worried about gay people ruining peoples lives, but why aren't more people worried about teen pregnancy and drugs and domestic violence, etc. 

Honestly, aren't these things in reality more of a problem? Yes, there are gay people and no, they aren't forcing anything on us. Human beings can have differing lifestyles and opinions without making their way the only way. Since I can't find the post, I can't find the responses I got either. I really wanted to post them because they were horribly mean. I was told I was misinformed and pitied, oh yes, and uneducated. It was accompanied by several scriptural quotes and very forceful statements about how I was being pulled to the side of the devil. Things calmed down a bit. It helped that I simply stopped responding to this person and cut off as much contact as I could without completely defriending them. I honestly don't want to have any more issues with anyone else over this. This morning, it all came back with a vengeance. 

As many of you know, we have several gay family members and friends. They are some of the best people we know. We know youth that have contemplated taking their own lives because they fear living life as a gay person, and much much more I could go on for a very long time but I think you get the picture. This is especially close to Dan's heart. He is a person that by nature loves people. He is very open minded and takes the "Love Everyone" commandment very personally. I am too, but I am usually not quite as outspoken as he is. The hearings going on in the Supreme Court right now are very important. It would be nice if we could feel like people thought we had thought anything through. Any decisions that are made in our home or family are discussed and worked through for a long time before we make them. I am about to post what was said to us today. I will post Dan's status that brought this on, then the responses. If you still have any question as to why we have left the church then you are closing your eyes and ears and your hearts. What shouldn't be a personal hit towards us, has become very personal over the last years and apparently continues. Here goes. 

From Dan's Facebook post:
I am wondering how many people have un friended me today? I will continue to post my support for marriage equality throughout this week, as the supreme court hears arguments on DOMA and prop 8, so if it bothers you, please remove me from your news feed now. If you are wondering why this 41 year old married white guy feels so strongly about the rights of others to marry, please drop me a line. Thanks.

Nothing really harmful or rude there right? 

A response: (to be fair, there are several nice ones as well )
You have apparently forgotten the eternal nature and purpose of life and that it is much more than this earthly existence. I am saddened you have turned against your Father in Heaven and His eternal plan. If life was only on this earth and nothing else, it wouldn't matter who can marry and who cannot and this fight wouldn't have a purpose---But it isn't. It is about eternal families and standing with the Lord and his Prophets, not about our own self interest. Do what you want, but as for me I will stand with the Lord. We each must stand and face the Lord someday and report on how we lived our lives and where we stood on important things like supporting the Father's Plan. History has shown us what happens when people turn against God. Because of my love for my family, my heart hurts and I am saddened by your choices. I do not hate anyone, but my love for truth and the Lord causes me to stand for correct and true principles even as I strive to overcome my own sin and weakness and try my best to be what He desires me to be.

I am having a hard time understanding how our support for our loved ones to make their own choices has made me forget the the meaning of life and made some one so sad they feel they need to correct my thinking and then instill fear as I have apparently "turned against god". Some how my choices and my husbands choices and hurt them. 

My response:

  Don't you think that when we stand and face God, we are going to be judged on how we treated others?? By taking away others agency, it is an un-Godlike action. I believe that we will be judged by our intentions, not necessarily the actual act of doing, except for when we do something with the intention of hurting another or taking away anything that is truly theirs to enjoy. Please do not insinuate that Dan's choices have affected your life in any way, they haven't. We are still the same people we have always been. We simply don't have the pressure of people breathing down our necks every second of our lives. I'm sorry you feel this way, but pretty offended that you just blamed your feelings being hurt on my husband's actions

Dan's Response:

Ok, don't have a lot of time here, but here goes. I don't think that being gay is a choice. I can't believe in a loving Heavenly Father that would instill in people homosexuality and expect them to live their entire lives without love. Jesus never said anything about homosexuality, he just said to love everyone, and I think it's a bit hypocritical for a church founded on polygamy to declare that marriage is ordained of God to be between one man and one woman, which is in opposition to their own canonized scriptures. And I know that this concerns you, but I am so very happy in my choices. I have a new freedom, the ability to express my option without worrying what the bishop thinks. I can wear any color of shirt I want on Sunday, and I can grow my beard any length I desire. Sorry if you find this offensive, but I would rather that you not judge me and my family by your own standards. My family has the ability to choose what they want to do in life, not be forced and indoctrinated, which is truly free agency.

OK, so those are what prompted this:

Read what I posted. I did not blame anyone on my feelings especially your husband. I just think some of your choices are sad because of my love for you. I didn't condemn you but only expressed love for you. You and Dan have totally misunderstood what I wrote.
Simply this---and I have said this to you guys in previous posts---I don't care what people do with their lives but they shouldn't try to push their believes on me. If the Homosexual establishment only wanted legal rights they can change that with a simple law allowing for civil unions or some sort. But the reality isn't that they want civil rights, the reality is they want to cheapen marriage and destroy the religious foundations of family and the existence of God given rules and commandments.
There is no desire to build and help gays find legal unions, their desires are to destroy the laws that have been around for thousands of years. And your support of that destruction places you on the side of lucifer whose desire is to destroy the work of God. Eternal marriage is key in the Lord's plan for the exaltation of the family and you have chosen to fight against The Lord and his prophets. That saddens me only because I know where your choices will lead and when ever someone you loves makes poor choices it hurts. You're a parent, you understand that. it doesn't effect my life, it doesn't cause me to question, it doesn't cause me to hate anyone. It saddens me only because I believe in eternal families and right now, your choices are leaving a hole in that eternal family.
I have no desire to judge anyone. I am not "judging you or your family by my standards," but the standards the Lord has set. You guys are way too uptight about this whole thing. Just because I disagree with you I am judging you? So are you going to force everyone who disagrees with you out of your life? Really? You and Dan need to look in the mirror and really think about how you are judging others, including me, and how you are treating others who disagree with you. Any sense of reality will cause you to rethink your actions.
I have just as much a right to stand up for my principles as you do. And yet you are judging, hating, and attacking me? Hypocrites!
I express concern and love to you and your family and you reject it and tell me I am evil because I express my love and concern for your family and stand up for what I believe? Hypocrites!
I am saddened yes, but not because it affects my life or happiness. I am saddened because you have fallen into Satan's trap and without changing your ways, it will affect your life now and in eternity.
So here is my question...Is saying this: Read what I posted. I did not blame anyone on my feelings especially your husband. I just think some of your choices are sad because of my love for you. I didn't condemn you but only expressed love for you. You and Dan have totally misunderstood what I wrote.
and then this: I have no desire to judge anyone. I am not "judging you or your family by my standards," but the standards the Lord has set. You guys are way too uptight about this whole thing. Just because I disagree with you I am judging you? So are you going to force everyone who disagrees with you out of your life? Really? You and Dan need to look in the mirror and really think about how you are judging others, including me, and how you are treating others who disagree with you. Any sense of reality will cause you to rethink your actions.
I have just as much a right to stand up for my principles as you do. And yet you are judging, hating, and attacking me? Hypocrites!
I express concern and love to you and your family and you reject it and tell me I am evil because I express my love and concern for your family and stand up for what I believe? Hypocrites!
I am saddened yes, but not because it affects my life or happiness. I am saddened because you have fallen into Satan's trap and without changing your ways, it will affect your life now and in eternity. 
not a contradiction?? This is what we have taken from several people and on more occasions than I can express. I love you, but you are an uptight hypocrite?? PLEASE!!!! 
Below is Dan's response to this person as I was not fit to be responding at that time. I have calmed down some, but if some one wants to talk about breaking a heart, a family member telling me that my family and I are evil and that we have ruined our entire family's lives is it. 
This is probably the last message that I will ever send you.  Christy cannot respond to your message because she is so angry.  We never said you were evil, you said we were.  I don’t appreciate you calling us names because we don’t believe the same way that you do.  I am going to attempt to respond calmly and rationally but am going to start out with letting you know that people like you are the reason that we left the church.  You are trying to force your definition of marriage on everyone, and civil unions are not equal.  I don’t know if you have any personal friendships or relationships with anyone who is gay, but they do not want to cheapen marriage, they only want recognition that the love they share is the same as the love shared by other couples.  Only the right to marriage is equal.  There is no vast conspiracy to destroy marriage, only a longing to be recognized as being equal to everyone else.  To be validated as a human being. The church’s constantly changing views on homosexuality hurt people.  They drive families apart, and cause pain in the lives of those youth who are gay, sometimes to the point of suicide.  Just because a law has been around thousands of years, does not make it right, slavery was the law for thousands of years, but that does not make it right.  You state that you do not judge us, but tell us that we stand with Satan.  That is a judgment.  We welcome your opinion, and love to debate, but will not allow people to call us hypocrites.  When I stand at the judgment bar, I will stand and swear that I loved people who were different than me, I stood with my fellow man and demanded that they be allowed the same rights that I have and loved those who were different than me.  That is what Jesus taught; love one another, without exception.  The reality of the gay rights debate is one of religion versus law.  A marriage is a legally binding obligation; therefore it falls under the jurisdiction of the state, not the church.  The freedom of religion is granted by The Constitution and if someone does not believe in your religion, they cannot be bound by it.  They deserve equal protection under the law. 

Don’t be saddened by our choices.  We thank you for your concern, but implore you to worry about your own life and those over which you have stewardship.  We will take care of ourselves and our family. We will not force our beliefs or lack thereof on you or lecture you that you have chosen the wrong path.  We will continue to love you, we just don’t want you to continue to lecture and preach to us.  Christy has unfriended you on Facebook, and has now probably blocked you, but I won’t.  Please feel free to express your opinions, but understand that I will continue to express mine.  And, as we are no longer practicing members of your church, using prophets as a reference will fail to persuade our opinions.  That is another discussion for another day.

Thank you.

Nothing hurtful in there. No reason to bite back at us. We have been called evil and hypocrites. I wish the old saying of you can only be offended if you allow yourself to be would disappear. People need to stop saying things they know are hurtful and then throw the responsibility to forgive at the person they are offending. GROW UP!! Let's hope it stops here, because that is where hurting the entire family happens. No one should have to choose sides or defend us in order to keep the family peace. For the most part, our family and friends have accepted our decision and still love us. They have learned that loving some one and respecting their opinions and decisions while not always agreeing is the grown-up CHRISTLIKE thing to do. 
We have been so closely watched and judged by others that until we decided to leave the church, we literally couldn't dress ourselves, choose what our kids watch on tv, or who they associate with. I actually had a person look through my front window and see what was on tv and feel it necessary to come to my door and scold me for corrupting my children. There are many more example I could give, but I think you all get the picture. 
Just to be fair and lighten up this post a little, I thought I would post a few of the supportive responses...
 I am with Dan and Christy!! I happen to know a lot of gay people. I am tired of people quoting the bible and just think about how your closed mind is hurting other people. Would you feel the same way if this was one of your family members. Sorry but I am tired of some people being so high on there soapbox that they do not see the whole picture!! Stop, look and listen! !

Way to go, Hansen family! You guys are inspirational.

 There are plenty of people who appreciate the bravery, and willingness to stand up and share your beliefs for equality. Plus, if you don't stand up for people's rights, who will? The government is deciding your rights as we speak. Apparently, even a "loving" God is deciding, through a modern prophet, your rights as a human being. Even though he proclaims free agency, and the notion to love everybody unconditionally. More importantly than this, there are far to many people counting on people like your family to stand up not only for yourselves, but for them as well. They are to scared of what the world will do to them if they try and stand up. So they wait in silence for heroes like your family! Hopefully these words help ease a little bit of your burden today. If not, know you are appreciated.

And I couldn't pass up this post. Come on, really??

 So what is next, pedophiles given the right to marry children or bestiality Can't wait until you guys decide that alright too.

Dan and I are painfully aware that our choices are not in agreement with many of your choices, but if we choose to have a cup of coffee, or a pina colada, or to support a persons right to marry who they love, it doesn't mean we are any different people. We still love and support all of you in your choices, we still try very hard to instill good values in our children. I would just about bet my life on the fact if some one needed help, anyone, my kids would be there and the "perfect" church going kids around the corner would make an excuse as to why they couldn't. We are no different than when we were fully in the church. The only thing that has changed is that we finally stood up for ourselves and our lives and chose a must less judgmental path to go through it.  It shouldn't make a difference, but our daughters are still attending seminary and loving it. I attribute this to wonderful seminary teachers, because if they only had church leaders to count on for support, they would not have enough to mention. People actually can be friends with us and our children even though we are different. I will post one more thing, then close this post. It is very much the truth:
Photo: Truth
I hope this doesn't cause problems with anyone and that things can go back to what they should be. We just decided that maybe if you saw an example of what we have been dealing with it would be easier to understand why we feel the way we do. Our family and extended family are a  close loving family. These posts are from a family member outside of my parents posterity,  and I hope that this post doesn't cause anyone to worry about anything within ours. Our kids (all of them, even the temporary ones) are still in a loving home with loving parents. They are in agreement with us and we are sticking together as a family through all of this.