Sunday, April 26, 2015

DAY 1334... My Transgender Experience

I am one of the millions of people who watched Bruce Jenner's interview with Diane Sawyer a couple nights ago. Thank you Hulu. For those of you not familiar with the interview, Bruce Jenner has decided to go forward with his life as a woman. This is a man who accomplished the most manly thing you could ever accomplish, a gold medal in the decathlon. And all this time he was struggling with the feeling that he was stuck in the wrong body. I can totally see how he would harness his energy, anger and emotion into developing into the greatest athlete in the world, but after years of hiding he feels as though he needs to make a change. In the interview a statistic was stated that only 8% of people in the US know or have an experience with a person who identified as a transgender person.

I am part of that 8%.

My experience took place 4 years ago in Utah in a work environment. I worked with a super cool guy who liked Les Miserables, good movies, good food and it was a super fun place to work. We really talked about anything and everything. One day he confided in me that even though he had a family and an active member of the church, he felt like he was born into the wrong body. He told me that his first memory of dressing like a girl was at the age of 6. He confided in me his "name", a name that he had thoughtfully picked out and that had specific meaning to his life, and came into work dressed head to toe like a female. it was a very interesting experience for me. I'm not going to lie, I probably stared a little harder than I should have but I really felt like it helped me grow and understand the difficultly that people who struggle with hiding who they really truly want to be are constantly battling. It shocked me at first. I wasn't sure how I would react, but I was okay. His choice didn't affect me and it was the least that I could do to be there for him to talk to and to not judge him. He was already feeling insecure and scared, he did not need judgement and hostility at that time.

I am generally pretty conservative. I am Mormon. But I am also open minded and not so confused and closed minded to think that the choices and lifestyles of others around me should have an effect on my life. I can be friends with people, I can love people and I can be there for people who choose to live differently in their lives than the way I choose. It doesn't make me a bad person to understand those around me and to still be their friends even though they are choosing to live a lifestyle that I would never choose to live, the way they choose to live is their choice. I try hard not to judge others, and I am not perfect, but it confuses me as to why people judge me for not judging. Life isn't an easy thing and we should all try to help others and make it as easy as we can for others.

As I watched the interview with Bruce Jenner I could honestly see that this wasn't the easiest decision for him to make and that he tried his best to live the life he thought he was suppose to live. He is a good person. He is a brave person. It came down to the fact that he just couldn't hide it any longer. He lived 65 years in a body that he felt strange and odd in, and enough is enough for him. I think he is incredibly lucky to have such a supportive family. Watching his children talk about him and how much they love him and how for them, this announcement brought everything together and everything made sense, made me happy for him that he has that kind of support.

No one should have to live a life they are unhappy in. People lose weight to like themselves. People cut their hair, change their clothes and relocate to like themselves. We need to be more open minded and loving towards others around us. We don't have to pretend to understand it or to live it ourselves, but we can support those around us and be there for them especially when they feel as though there is no one to be there for them.

I'm grateful for the opportunities that I have had in my life to meet the people I have. I feel blessed to be educated and to have the understanding that I do about agency. We all get the opportunity to make our own choices and do what we want to in life and that's a huge blessing! The sooner we understand that how others around us choose to live their lives does not directly affect our own lives, the happier and more understanding we will all be. It is what it is. May we all be happy in the lives we choose to live.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

DAY 1333... 5 Months Old

Benny Boo is 5 months old! It has been the most amazing 5 months with my little family of 4! Watching a child grow is one of the most amazing things in the world! And knowing that you are a huge part of their learning and growing really makes a mom feel good!

At 5 months Benson is rolling over like crazy, holding his own bottle about 75% of the time, sleeping through the night (unless he is spending the night and Nana's and Papa's, then he doesn't sleep at all), laughing like crazy and always smiling. Seriously, Benson is the happiest baby I have ever met! Aniston was a drama queen from the day she was born, but Benson is so chill and just is so content being around his family.

Anytime Spencer holds Benson facing him, Benson will grab Spencer's face and start talking to him. The minute he sees Spencer he starts talking to him. He really loves his Daddy!

He never takes his eyes off Aniston if she's in the room. They love watching Baby Einstein and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse together. It melts my heart to watch Aniston lay down next to him on the floor and just play with him or read to him. It's so magical!

Benson is obsessed with his cute toes and bath time. He still loves to swing in his swing and is learning that his bumbo isn't the worst thing ever. We started signing with him last month and I swear his knows and understands the sign for milk already!

I'm so in love with my little man! He is a huge blessing to our family and we couldn't ask for anything more!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

DAY 1324... What Was I Thinking?

Seriously though. What was I thinking?

Yesterday was one of those days where I asked myself that very same question, several times, over and over again, mostly regarding having 2 kids.

You all know how OBSESSED I am with my children. They are absolutely beautiful, talented, smart and just amazing. I love them more than anything! But man can they be a handful... and then some. I'm sure you Mom's out there know and understand the feeling completely.

Just imagine, you have been working all morning, finish work, get two kids dressed and ready for a doctor's appointment, then you get yourself ready, you take both kids to the appointment because your husband is busy working as well, you get everyone into the car, you get everyone out of the car and into the office and you sit down thinking everything is just perfect and that you've got this. Two kids, no sweat. But then you are reminded that nothing is ever perfect... Your 4 month old is completely happy and smiley and utterly adorable, but only when he is being held. The car seat will simply not do. Then your beautiful almost 3 year old decides that this is the perfect opportunity to throw herself on the ground and scream her lungs out because you didn't bring paint, so she can't paint. Totally inconsolable.


That is the moment when I began asking myself what was I thinking? How did I even think that I could handle having children, let alone 2? What was I thinking deciding to take both kids to an appointment that was only for 1 of them? Why didn't I leave Aniston at home with Dad? And of course, what was I thinking not bringing paint?

Motherhood is challenging. It is not easy. Of course it's easy to love something so beautiful and something that you created... when they're sleeping. Ha! But it's not easy to love your child all the time. Like when your child decides to throw rice all over the kitchen and dining room, including onto your shag rug carpet that happens to big the biggest pain in the world to clean. It's not easy to love a child who takes 500 pony beads out of their container and decides to "share" them with all of their stuff animals who are spread all over their toy room. It's not easy to love a child who wants to be awake at 3 in the morning after a long hard day. It's not easy to love a child who smears poop all over their bedding, then doesn't tell you and sleeps in it. It's not easy to love a child who has a break down in the doctor's office because they absolutely need to paint.

But you know what is easy? Taking a single second, even in the most annoying times, and looking into their eyes and feeling an overwhelming sense of love. When I look into my children's eyes, even when I am the most angry, I feel love. When I'm holding Benson at 3 in the morning and he simply won't sleep, if I take a moment to look at him and allow myself to feel that love, it is amazing! When Aniston is screaming for paint on the floor and I put down Benson, praying that he would just be okay for a minute, and he is, and I can pick Aniston up, place her on my lap and just look into her eyes, I feel love. I know love.

And at that moment, I ask myself, "What was I thinking?" What was I thinking being so upset? What was I thinking allowing myself to question my ability to be a Mom? What was I thinking questioning having children.

My children have blessed my life immensely. They are so full of love. They love you regardless. Regardless of weight, money, looks, makeup, etc. They are such amazing little people!

Motherhood may be the most challenging thing I have ever experienced, but I wouldn't give it up for anything in the world. The moments where things are so good, so close to perfect are a thousand times better than the moments that suck.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

DAY 1316... See You In Two

I am feeling pretty sad and heart broken... and its 100% completely selfish.

My little brother Jake (aka Kenneth, aka Lord Kenneth, aka Kenneth Jacob, aka Elder Kinville) left for his mission (we are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) in Scotland and Ireland today. We won't see him in person for 2 whole years! A lot can happen in two years.

I know this is such a good thing for him to be doing and something he has wanted to do since he was a little boy, but that doesn't mean I will miss him any less. In his final (that sounds so absolute) Facebook post he said, "This may not be the best two years of my life, but it will be the best two years for my life." How true is that statement? I'm glad he can actually realize that. He doesn't really have unrealistic expectations for his mission.

Personally, I could never do it. I know that may make me sound weak and less devoted to my faith than others, but it's the truth! And since when do I not tell the truth? Leaving your family and friends and everything comfortable for two whole years, to have doors slammed in your face and to live and spend 24 hours with someone you have never met seems like so much to take on! I admire missionaries and anyone who have served missions because of this.

I'm not sure what was more entertaining... Aniston making farting noises while Jake was getting set apart, Benson snoring so incredibly loudly during the entire prayer, or afterwards when Ryan handed Jake a crushed Oreo that he had been holding in a clenched fist for at least 5 minutes saying, "Here, I got you an Oreo."

I know that Jake will be a GREAT missionary! He has loved Scotland since before he even left. Remember how my parents bought him land in Scotland for his 18th birthday so that he could become a Lord? I have no doubt that he will come home with such a strong testimony and an intense love for the people of the UK.

I really can't wait to watch him grow and learn, but I will miss him terribly! He is a good brother and a great uncle!

Yes, we bought him root beer and puffy Cheetos's last night since they don't have these things where he is headed. I promised that I would also bring them when we pick him up in two years!

I love you Elder Kinville! Thanks for setting such an amazing example for my children and for taking 2 years out of your life to serve others and to better the lives of people you don't even know.