I wish I could explain how or why it is so exciting to meet other people who are gay. It's like...I finally discovered this trait in myself that I believe I always carried but never understood. It's a trait that many despise or fear, but I have come to appreciate; and to meet other people who can relate to me in that way is kind of amazing. I love hearing their stories and how various people in their lives reacted to their coming out. It makes me look at my own life in a new light.
We all have history, and we all create our future in a way that best serves ourselves. I hope all the people who cringe at the gay community come to realize very soon that we are merely fellow human beings who want goodness and equality in the world.
What else is there to see in us?
I am beyond grateful this Thanksgiving season for every single individual I have met who learned I was gay and cared no more about it than that I am blonde. And for the many people in my life who do care, I am grateful that you still love me for me, and that you treat my other half with kindness and respect. I am grateful I never had to experience being thrown out or shunned by my family, and I am grateful for Elise's family who have all given me so much.
So many never experience it, but I am a fortunate person, to have found true love. So Elise, by saying how grateful I am to have discovered this piece of myself (in being gay), I suppose it all comes down to how immensely thankful I am...for you. Always.
We had such a good Halloween this year. We were able to share it with friends and family. We started our Halloween ventures with a party at our house Saturday night. If you didn't come you missed out on some amazing dance moves. Unfortunately, Elise was quite seriously injured when she gave herself whiplash doing something similar to Willow Smith's "I whip my hair back and forth" move. Thanks to all who came to the party and if you didn't make it, don't miss it next year!
The actual day of Halloween is Barb's birthday so we try to spend at least a few hours at her house. We wanted to do something different for her and after loving the cake Taylor and Elise did for Sam's surprise party, we decided to make her a cake! We decided to make a replica of Barbara herself.
Take a look for yourself...
So it doesn't look much like Barb, but she is a witch so we created her secret identity. Sam named the witch, Wanda. We loved her. The ride to Layton was a tense one and we were relieved to put her down safely. She was quite delicious and we're excited to do our next cake!
We had a post-Halloween scare while cleaning out our tub drain. Sam isn't too excited about sharing these pictures in the same post as our delectable Wanda, but what do you do?
Wait for it...
We got sick of standing in a foot of water while trying to shower. Anyone in need of a toupee?!
I gave into what my parents, Sam's parents and some friends have had a lot of success doing. It's an app on the iPhone called My Fitness Pal. I LOVE it. Some say I obsess over it and I call it a control issue but nonetheless it's amazing. Not that you care to hear, but it tells me how many calories I should have a day and I enter in everything I consume and every calorie I burn. I don't know that I have lost weight in the week I've been doing it but I feel better. The crazy thing is I had no idea how many calories I was eating everyday. It definitely made me a lot more aware of what I put in my body. I also now have more of an incentive to work out because that means I can eat more!
So it's my day off and since the elementary school where I volunteer has a short day I had to find something productive to do. Thanks to Carolyn (one of my favorite cooks and bakers) I did. She gave me an awesome recipe for some delicious low calorie muffins. 42 calories a muffin?!?! I was all over that. Thank you Carolyn. I was lucky enough to share some with my little sis and one of our dearest friends when they came to visit. They loved them as well, but since there wasn't chocolate in them my attempt to force them down Taylor's throat was unsuccessful. Here is me being proud of the very difficult recipe I had to follow (2 packages of spice cake mix and a can of pumpkin), and the second picture of me is saying, "Don't you want one of these?" The last picture is Frankie and I enjoying.
(not sure why my eye looks googly)
I'm now onto my workout and then hopefully an amazing night with my very favorite people! I love you Wednesdays!
One more thing, thanks to my very lovely girlfriend for going on this calorie counting quest with me! Always easier with a partner. AND congratulations to mine and Sam's parents on their success with My Fitness Pal. You all look amazing!
I'm having a bit of a rough morning. As anyone who knows me, I have been baby hungry for as long as I can remember. In fact, I'm pretty sure I've posted on babies previously. Sam is always back and forth on the baby topic but currently is on board. She killed me yesterday forcing me to play the "Yes or No" game with all the baby clothes at the store. She keeps saying we should look into adoption, so this morning I did.
Basically, unless we lie we cannot adopt. If we were to "break-up" and live apart for a while we could get around it. It blows my mind that I can adopt as a single woman but the two of us couldn't do it together. We happen to live in 1 of the 3 states that makes it impossible for a gay couple to adopt. (The other two are Arkansas and Florida for those who are curious.) So sad. Thank you Utah.
Sam and I were finally ready to make a life here in Salt Lake, and then found out we cannot create a family through adoption. You're probably thinking we shouldn't be surprised, after all it is the Mormon state. I don't want to just move and leave Utah to keep it doing this to every gay couple. It will never progress if we do that. We have to be the change we want to see. So the next thing we look at is trying to get one of us pregnant. Sam doesn't have that desire to carry a baby which is fine, so we look to me. First things first, getting me pregnant isn't going to be easy. Other than my families' history of the trickiness of being able to get prego, I have endometriosis. So a lot of money later there's a good chance we still don't have a baby.
I guess at this point I'm not completely discouraged because I don't know enough. I've been doing some online research and reading a lot but I know there is still more to learn. If anyone is knowledgeable on this topic or knows a gay couple in Utah who was able to adopt I would love some info. I know Sam and I could make some amazing parents. If you have some extra sperm laying around we'll take that too!
Some of the day today I thought, "I can't believe it's been SIX whole years since we first hung out," and other parts of the day I thought, "I can't believe it's ONLY been six years, it seems like longer...".
September 8th, 2005, she picked me up in her black Mazda 3, named Ebony, and Meatloaf was playing in her CD player. I said how I loved Meatloaf, she laughed that contagious laugh, and then I knew she was going to be important in my life.
We've been through so much together Elise, I can't even begin to describe the emotions we've pulled out of each other, or the feelings that go along with each precious memory. I love you and your quarter of a shaved head more than you can imagine. I always will.
Happy 6-Years-Since-We-First-Hung-Out, Love. Here's to eighty more.
His hands slowly soared forward to pat an invisible box, then sprang back one after the other. Again. Then the fingers of his left hand scratched an invisible record, followed by some air drumming. The side of his head steadily hit a non-existent wall to his left while his hands now snaked through the air.
This guy with his khaki shorts, goatee and sunglasses gave a new meaning to "Dance like nobody's watching." He did just that. And he was definitely watched; by me and several other surrounding drivers. He wasn't even hidden by tinted windows or car doors, he was seen clearly on the seat of his cherry red Vespa. Had he not had iPod earphones in, people might've wondered about him, but I admired his bravery.
So many times I sing or dance to my music in my car, Treebert, and then I stop whenever at a stoplight. Why do I care? Everybody sings and/or dances in their car! This guy (who I'm guessing is a DJ) even shares his wicked moves at a red light on his scooter for all to gape at.
New goal: Don't make fun of "that girl" in the car next to me, wide-mouthed with her hair whipping her face because she's singing out loud to her favorite tune! She's confident. She's cool. So is Vespa DJ. So will I be too.
Well folks...it looks like we're sticking around for yet another year. We've already received some crap and i'm sure there is more on the way, but we'll just have to take it. I'm so excited that we get another year with our roommates, friends and families. (Other than the Sorenson's who will be deeply missed.) It's been pretty clear all along that I haven't been stoked to go, so the decision to stay had to come from my lovely girlfriend. It didn't take more than a half of a second to convince me. This year I hope to accomplish a lot. I wanted to go back to school but apparently 2 weeks before the sememster starts isn't enough time. I'm planning on applying to the U and hopefully I can join the university for Spring sememster. Sam and I are both very excited to participate in the Dirty Dash with our sisters next month. Sam and I have always wanted to do a race together, but unfortunately this one won't be it. She is going to be on a team with her sister Lindsay and some friends, and I'll be on a team with my sisters and some friends. One day Sam, one day. If I could only convince Sam to marry me in the next year that would be awesome. I think she wants to wait until we're home from LA but that could be another 3 years or more, I should have a child by then! I feel happy to be able to stay in Utah another year and I hope to live up every last second of it. So excited to start it off with a trip to Bear Lake with the family!
It's always interesting to attend church when it was all you knew your entire life and now it's just somewhere I go to hear a family member speak, sing or like today, a baby blessing.
As most people know Sam has a very strong testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints and I do not. It's hard for me to sit still in my pew and listen to things that are said. I strongly disagree with a lot of things that are said and I think people are oblivious to what they are saying and who it's affecting. I am reminded each time why I no longer attend church.
Half way through testimony meeting I leaned over to Sam and said, "Now it's your turn." She responded with, "I actually thought about it." I would have LOVED for Sam to go up and share her testimony with the members of the congregation, my family specifically. Someone who has every reason to disagree with the church, yet still loves it and supports it. While I stir uncomfortably in my seat, Sam experiences feelings of peace and love.
I have a lot to learn from Sam. Not that I should agree or believe what she does, but to relax. I was in the position of so many of the people in the chapel today for over 20 years. How can I be so quick to get offended and be angry at people who are living what they believe?
If I can't soften my heart and try to come to a place of understanding and love, then going to church isn't a place for me. So, since I would hate to miss out on separating my two nieces during sacrament because they have a case of the giggles, or winking back and forth at my nephews, I better change something. The church isn't going to be changing so I might as well. I know what members believe and I know what's going to be said before I enter those doors. Therefore, it's my choice to go and take a seat.
I am thankful for the life experiences I have had and that my mind has been opened. I have been able to have a better understanding of so many people I used to fear. I love the people in my life from every end of the spectrum.
I never thought I'd go to the Pride Parade, even after I comfortably came out and moved in with Elise. I thought I'd be happy being me, but not go to events that showed off what I was scared to be. Now...I've been twice.
It's definitely an interesting experience, being around so many others just like me. Perhaps these people enjoying the parade were raised a certain religion that teaches against their being gay, perhaps they had no religion at all. Maybe their parents kicked them out when they came out, maybe they embraced them more. All these people at or in this parade are either gay, or support their friends and family who are. That is why I go to the parade. I don't go to flaunt anything, or to offend anyone; I go to surround myself for one day of the year with people who know what it's like to be gay and have to face the same adversities. Everyone needs to feel support and unity, and this is the day for the gays. ;)
I don't fully understand though, why people who are into whips and chains and tickle torture are in the same parade...I guess it's because Pride celebrates diversity and alternative lifestyles more so than just homosexuality. I just don't love that people tie all those things together with being gay though, because then the people who already don't like gay people assume we're all the same. We're not, obviously. I'm not into leather chaps, dancing at clubs, handcuffs, sleeping around, drinking, or anything like that. But I am gay. And I do love a lot of people who are into such things. They're great people too.
I don't really have a point to all that. As usual, I'm just writing whatever comes to my brain.
I love you, Elise. Above any pride I might have for being gay, I am proud you're mine.
I'm in the mood to write to my babies, who unfortunately for me, are not all babies any more.
I used to call you Fidget, cuz that's all you ever did as a baby. Now you're three, in glasses, and throwing free throws like a pro! Every time Mom and Dad leave, you're the best kid to babysit, Chase. I love being around you because you're full of energy and your smile is contagious. You always say the funniest things, and already know so much about BYU sports, I'm sure I'll be watching you in a college game one day. I wish I saw you more, but never forget that your Aunt Sam loves you!
You're starting to gain a personality, LorLor, and I think you and I are gonna have a great bond. You have the best laugh, and I love seeing how you're taking in the whole world. I can't wait to see you grow! I love you!
Not just my first niece, but the first person on Earth to give me the official title of "Aunt." Unlike the rest of your siblings, you never went through a phase of "I only want mommy and never Aunt Sam." You liked me through it all. I learned so much with you, Audrey, at my young age of 13; like how to change nasty diapers, how to bottle feed, and you taught me more patience, of course. I can still remember I was in my middle school drama class, sitting on the spotlit stage with my whole class, listening to Mr. Timmons' comedic demonstration when my name was called over the intercom. I wasn't expecting to get to leave school early, but I knew right away why I was called to the office. I told my class as I left, "I'm an aunt today!" and they cheered as I ran out into the hall. Ever since the day you were born, I haven't stopped bragging about you, and all my other babies after you. "IIII have a waaand..." will always be one of my favorite memories of you, but now you're 10 years old and so creative, you make me proud. Audrey Madison, no matter what this life throws at you, your Aunt Sam will ALWAYS be here for you. If you ever need to call me and tell me a funny story, or vent about something bad that happened, I want to be that person you know you can call at three a.m. I cherish every picture, card, picture book, performance, basketball game, and hug. You're the sweetest big sister and cousin, and the best oldest niece I could have asked for. I'm doing our secret handshake in my head....I love you.
My sweet, sweet Bub, who gives the best hugs EVER! You, my oldest nephew, are gonna be a heart breaker one day. You know just how to woo the ladies, no matter what age. I love your raspy voice, your laugh, how matter-of-fact you are, the way you tell stories or answer questions in such an adult way... you're a fantastic kid. When you were a baby, Bub, it took what seemed like forever for you to get out of your "Mommy" phase and start liking me. This picture of us laying on the couch, as you can tell by my face, was probably the first time you let me cuddle you. I made Lindsay take a picture because I didn't know if you'd ever let me again! And now you're usually the first one to jump on me with a bear hug. You're just like your dad - a man's man, but with a sensitive heart. You will do great things, Dallin. I can't wait to watch. I love you.
I just imagined you doing your evil laugh and couldn't help but smile. You are a ham, just like your Aunt Sam. You make me laugh, and you're definitely my cuddliest of all the nieces and nephews, which I love! You're great at doing somersaults and flips off my stomach. You give me fabulous drawings, and always make me feel loved. We will always laugh together, lil Emma. I love you.
Claire, aka the Moon, aka Ludo, aka killer bunny,
You also are quite the character at only age 4, Claire Bear. You definitely have confidence and leadership qualities in you. You will one day run a business, I know it. You don't like to take no for an answer, and you can usually get your way just by saying something so adorable as: "Oh Tham, thith ith the betht day of my life!" as we're running to the playground, or "Oh! It thinkth I'm a monthter!" to a chubby rabbit that just wanted to escape your grasp. You pull the best funny faces, and have the best one-liners of any kid I know, Claire. You crack me up more than most adults do. I'm proud of the little lady you're becoming. I hope you continue to be so aggressive, but also as sweet as you are. I love you.
Oh my chubby little red-headed nephew from my only brother, how I adore you. I'm so sad I only got to spend such a short time of your life with you so far, but I hope to have more time with you when you're older. I've always had fun with you every time we've been together, even though you are kind of still in that "parents only" phase. You're adorable, and your high-pitched squeals make me smile no matter what mood I'm in. You're at the explorer age now, and I love reading about the trouble you get into and the sweet ways you get out of it. I love you, Jonny.
That's it for my side. To all my nieces and nephews, you mean more to me than any of you will ever ever know. I'd do just about anything for each of you, and my only wish is that you all grow up to be healthy and happy. I'm always here for all of you, and hope you never forget that. Life will throw you lots of unexpected stuff, so handle it with guidance from your parents, prayer, and good humor. Be interested in others, instead of trying to make them interested in you. You'll make a lot more friends that way. :) Show off your talents, but remain humble. Never tell your parents you hate them, that's the most hurtful thing you could say and we all know you'd never really mean it, so just don't say it. Eat your fruits and veggies, but sneak a cookie every once in a while. Be honest in ALL things. Better to tell the truth and get in a little trouble, than lie and get glory you don't deserve. Help others every single chance you get. Laugh at yourself before others get a chance to. Take care of your teeth. Clean up your messes. Tell everyone you love that you love them as often as you can. Be yourself.
OK, enough for now, I suppose. I love you guys.
Well, I bet you thought this was done. HA! You don't have to keep reading, nobody's forcing you. This is more for me anyway. Can't forget Elise's side, because they have become like family, after all.
The thing that stands out most for me, Buddy, is your honesty. I've witnessed you get in trouble many times, but you always 'fess up to what you did, and admit when you've done something. You're an honest kid, and I can't tell you how much I admire that. You're an amazing singer, sports player, and entertainer. Ever since I first met you, you've loooved your own reflection and making people laugh. I love that about you. You always make me feel welcome and invite me to play your games or do whatever you're doing. You're growing up into a great young man, and I've loved watching you grow up. I love you, Jackson! P.S. You speak better Parseltongue than Harry Potter himself.
You intrigue me because you love gross, scary things, and you're such a brave girl. You're beautiful, sweet, funny, and smart. You're good with younger kids, and know how to entertain adults as well. I love your Hannah Montana performances and watching you play dress up with your cousin. Your imagination is so fresh and I'm excited to see what you do with it when you're older. I cherish your hugs every time I see you, and hope you always know I love you!
The future marine-biologist/veterinarian/dragon-keeper. You have a gift of story-telling, Jacers. You talk so much, but the amazing thing is, you know what you're talking about! You know so much about animals, you teach me a ton! You have a great laugh, and you're just the sweetest little guy. I always look forward to talking to you every time we see each other, and I hope you never lose that wonderful quality. I love you!
Oh man, Pook, you are so full of energy, and you always make me smile. You could run around for hours, I love to watch you play soccer and dance with your Aunt Weese to crazy Britney Spears and whatever else is on your mom's "iPot." You're a great big sister and a sweet girl with a great sense of humor. I love you!
I have a video on my phone of me making you crack up a while back when Elise and I were babysitting you guys, and it never fails to make me laugh also. You have a contagious laugh, and the throwing arm of a pro, not even joking. This kid was born for sports. I love throwing around a ball with you, or playing Dungeon with you and Jace, your fierce growls and quick sprints keep me quite entertained. Although you're quite the man's man like your dad, you can also surprise me with sweet words and hugs. I love you, J.J.!
I met you when you were about an hour old, and I'm positive you'll follow in your brother's footsteps. You look exactly like your dad and brother to me, and although I don't know you well yet, I look forward to doing so. Ooja booja!
My current favorite memory of you is the way you blow out dandelions, or should I say - eat them. You and your twin brother are always a joy to babysit because you two are always cracking me up. Everything you do is adorable. I love when you dance, march, sing, copy Rapunzel's spinning with her arms out when you watch "Tangled", run around with your cute big belly, and interact with Linc. You are independent, and constantly figure out how to do things on your own. You explore, lead, and you do it all while managing to steal the hearts of everyone you come across. I love you, Isabella!
The other half of the twins, you also crack me up. I love everything about you from your white-blonde fauxhawk, to your incredible laugh. I loved the night when we all went on our adventure to the Real game in the rain, on the train, which you now tell mom you don't want to ride. I love it when something scares you because your scared face is priceless, and even though you can be a bit dramatic, you're a wonderful brother and you care about others; even little potato bugs on your driveway. I love you, Linc!
Family is the most important thing I have, and I'm lucky to have all these amazing kids in my life. Every one of you is unique and amazing in your own way. I love you all!