Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween's Past

I thought it would be ultra entertaining for you to see some of our Halloweens pasts. There are lots of old goodies in here. (I couldn't find many of Will's old costume pictures, but there is a goodie in here'll see it).

The order of these picures are as random as this post is.

This lovely gem below is Will and I's first Halloween together. We actually won 1st prize for our costumes. We were just barely engaged at the time. We stuffed a pillow in my butt, socks in my bra, Will stuffed a pillow in his shirt...and we were stunning. Love my hot pink cheeks and lips?

This one is me, as a ballerina, with two of my brothers. Ninja hi-ya! And an Arabian Shiek.

This was me during my first year of college. I played in the symphony orchestra and every year they did a Halloween concert. The first year I was Miss America. Yes I made my own sash. The only thing I wish I would have done better was had bigger hair.

Yet another fab Halloween concert at school - the following year. My friend Mel and I borrowed costumes from the theater department in the 18th century era and just, well, felt pretty. My hoop skirt knocked over someone's music stand on stage because of how huge it was.

Okay here's the gem:

That was actually not Halloween, but Will and his roommy Nate running in the Portland Starlight Run, which requires costumes. He ran a 5k in CLOGGING SHOES. Yes, he was sore for about a week and now his clogging shoes are trashed. (he used to clog when he was in college. Oh oops sorry Will!! Was I not supposed to say that? :)

Below: This one below was when I was living in Provo. That's me and my totally fun awesome roommate Veronica, and uh, exboyfriend Chris (on the left, he was Icabod Crane). We were Renaissance Maidens. Oh oh oh!! And the costume that Veronica is wearing I actually sewed! Myself! Yep one of my only past sewing projects thank you very much.

Okay this fun one was a YSA Halloween dance in 2003. I had just met Will at this time but he was living in Portland, and I was up here in Seattle. So he's not in any of these photos. I was a gypsy. The easiest costume ever I might add. Big jewelry, and scarves.

Michelle you should get a good laugh out of these because here's your hubby as the hulk!

Okay next. Me as I was meant to be - an angel. Awwe. sigh. LOL kidding. But yeah, here's me at yet another Halloween symphony concert. This one was 2002.

And last but not least, this was us last year. I was a beauty school dropout, Will was my client, and Preston was a duck. Or a chicken. No, wait, he was a duck (Noelle, I still need to give you your costume back!)

What will the Thomas family be tonight???....Well, Preston's going to be an elephant. And as far as I know, we're just chillin' this Halloween :)

Happy Halloween! Don't eat too much candy or it'll rot your teeth out.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I'm Exercising a Constitutional Right.

So I'm not usually one to get into the heat of serious political debates or topics.

Which, is kind of funny in a way, since I grew up around a dinner table where my mother would discuss her views on the latest candidates, government policies, and political leaders. She is very smart about these types of subjects and always up to date on them. She has always followed the news closely and is always up on forwarding me any emails that I should pay attention to regarding anything political.

I of course delete them without even reading because I have never had very much tolerance for email forwards of the political nature. I just have no interest in it.

And my mom knows this because I tell her this (and apologize to her too.)

So yes, I readily admit, that even though I spent a year obtaining a paralegal degree, spent many hours in a law library studying my brains out and writing appelate briefs and aced the course...that I really have no interest in following much of the political news of today. Which also explains why I pursued my music over my brief (very brief) trial run in the legal field.

However, my mother will most likely be proud to read what I am about to write.

Lately, I have stumbled across a topic that has actually effected me. It has stirred emotions within me that include surprise, anger, worry, defense. And the whole reason I am writing about it here on our blog, which is public, is to excersize my right that is at the very heart of the issue itself: Freedom of speech, and freedom of religion.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have heard people here and there bring up a certain talk by an apostle of our church, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, that was given at a BYU-Idaho devotional on October 13th to an audience of BYU-I students and faculty. You can read the transcription of the address here.

I have heard that the talk created a great amount of media buzz, much of it in a negative nature from the usual liberal media sources (which is practically 99% of our media in this nation). Normally I would say "Oh really, how interesting" and forget about it. But the fact that it has been coming up in MANY conversations lately really sparked my interest.

So this morning I went and read the talk (thank you Will for finding it and forwarding it to me).

The bravery that Elder Oaks took on to even give that talk impresses me so greatly, and the powerful words he gave still are ringing in my ears.

When I was in college, I had the fun opportunity to be in the pit orchestra for a stage musical that the theater department put on. It was a play called "1776". As you can guess by the title, it was all about the formation of the Declaration of Independence and how our country came to be. It went through detailed scenes, conversations, struggles and trials of our forefathers (particularly from the point of view of John Adams) when they were striving to gain freedom from England and establish this country. I was always deeply effected by the play (and the movie version) to see these acts and it made me feel so proud to be born into this country.

It is sad and eye-opening for me, to see "cracks" in the very foundation that this country was built upon happening right now before our eyes. It is our responsibility to protect that foundation. It is our right as citizens of this country to talk about it and defend that foundation.

Just last night, Will and I were sitting on the couch talking, and it came up between both of us how we have been so shocked lately (meaning the past few years) about how much it is okay for "minority groups" to speak their minds and insult the majority, but if the "majority groups" speak their mind and defend themselves, they are considered to be infringing on civil rights.

I think it would be safe to say that the majority of the people in the United States practice some sort of religion and have a belief in God. No matter what shape or form that type of religion takes. I remember when the attacks of 911 happened and all of a sudden, when people across our nation were terrified and saddened, there was a huge rise in church attendance, prayer (even in school squares). They even came out with some studies that showed that there was (I can't remember the exact number) but above 90% of the people of this country believed in a God.

So how is it, that the majority of the citizens of the United States who believe in God and practice religion are somehow the unpopular ones when they defend their given and fought for rights of religion freedom if they speak up on subjects that attack the very core of their beliefs?

Elder Oaks talked about the whole thing that happened with Prop 8. I like what he said. "The marriage union of a man and a woman has been the teaching of the Judeo-Christian scriptures and the core legal definition and practice of marriage in Western culture for thousands of years. Those who seek to change the foundation of marriage should not be allowed to pretend that those who defend the ancient order are trampling on civil rights."

Just because we choose to defend a tradition that has been practiced for thousands of years does not mean we are fighting against civil rights. It's not about civil rights. It's about defending your religious freedoms and beliefs.

The other day, I was doing a bit of marketing research for my lullaby album, as I have been trying to get some of the major "Mommy Bloggers" out there to feature my album on their blogs and do giveaways, etc. since that is my niche audience. On my own small 'mommy blog' I asked for my readers to let me know who some of their favorite professional major mommy bloggers were. There was one that kept coming up as a suggestion, and so I checked out the blog. This blogger had hundreds of thousands of followers - which got me excited to contact her about promotions/advertising because the possible exposure for my album could be huge. But the more I read her blog, about her, I soon discovered that a good portion of her blog was dedicated to ripping my church. I read some, well, some very crass remarks about my church and my beliefs and whatnot. Of course it was offensive to me. Obviously I decided that she was not someone I even wanted to contact about marketing, despite how many followers she had. I could not support that in the least. The sad part for me even beyond that, was to see with each post that the wrote negative and hateful things about my dear religion, she had hundreds and hundreds of comments from people commending her for speaking her mind.

I am not saying that she should not speak her mind. I totally respect her freedom of speech to do that. The part that really gets me, is that if I were to leave a comment on her blog in my own defense of my religion, the backlash towards me (or anyone else doing the same thing) would be monumental and I would most likely be accused of violating her rights or whatever else they could jive up.

There is just something wrong with that picture.

Why is it okay for someone to say something bad towards a group of people, but if that group of people speak up to defend themselves they are the ones in the wrong? Why is it when Christians speak up and defend marriage, that they are accused of violating civil rights? It does not make sense to me.

So it is, with this blog, that I am practicing my own freedom of speech. I am publicy stating my support of the talk that was given by Elder Oaks. If he has come under media scrutiny for it, for standing up for things that any good person in this country SHOULD stand up for, then I'm right behind him. I'm not going to be a coward. These are my rights as a citizen of this country, so there.

The good people in this country should not have to come under retaliation for standing up for what is good.

11/1/09 Post Edit:

After reading a few of the comments, I need to clarify something here. This post was not about my opinion of alternative lifestyles. It is not about whether or not that people who have alternative lifestyles are good people or not. I have family members in fact (a brother), who practice an alternative lifestyle and I still love them and think they are good people. In fact, the blog was not about alternative lifestyles at all. If you notice above when I mentioned Prop 8, I specifically said "Just because we choose to defend a tradition that has been practiced for thousands of years does not mean we are fighting against civil rights. It's not about civil rights. It's about defending your religious freedoms and beliefs. "

The heart of this post was about people in this country who are not able to exercise freedom of speech or practice freedom of religion or defend their right to do so without backlash. It was about the fact that the very foundation that this country was built upon has come under attack. And it was about the fact that sometimes being a good Christian is sometimes not popular or cool.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Weekend at Grandma & Grandpa's

My parents live about an hour and a half northwest of us. It's not exactly a short trip, but not like Utah or anything like that either.

To make it worth our while, we sometimes just go up for the entire weekend.

It's a great trade-off, because my parents get to see their only local grandchild, while we get to have free babysitters so that we can actually go out on a date night.

{Friday Night Date Night}

consisted of: spending an hour discussing what we wanted to do, not agreeing on it, and then agreeing, then changing our minds and then coming back the first idea that we had from the very beginning: Quizno Subs and a movie.

Plus Halloween snack size candy bars that we loaded into my coat pockets and snuck into the movie "The Invention of Lying".

It was loads of fun.

The best part was reminiscing about our very first date, which was almost 6 years ago to the day. We remembered how lucky we were to find each other and how all of the events leading up to our meeting were in the hands of God and timed down to the minutes in some circumstances.

Do you want to know about our very first phone conversation ever?

Will called my parents'phone (I was living with my parents at the time as I had just moved home from Utah). Expecting the phonecall from Will, I jumped up and ran down the hallway, in my socks on a slippery wood floor, to answer the phone.

Will remembers me coming to the phone laughing and the first thing I said to him, the very first time he EVER heard my voice, was me saying, "(laughing) Did you hear that??! (laughing some more)". Will: "No...what?" Me: "I totally just slipped and fell on my rear as I was turning a corner at highspeeds, in my socks, on our wooden floor to answer the phone."

And thus began a beautiful relationship.


Saturday, we went to the beach.

I grew up on Camano Island, and only recently have they added the most delightful state park. Well, they already had a state park, but this one is super duper better.

They have....duh duh duh....CABINS. For super affordable rentals too. With fun activites, crafts, boats to rent, library, games, you name it.

So went and checked it all out.

Preston's new winter jacket seems to a little long in the arms, a little short in the waist, and takes a mom and a grandma to put him in it.

Okay seriously the most embarrassing part of the day, was when Preston and I decided to go swing on the swings.

I was swinging, he was on my lap.

Little did I know how impossible it was to hang onto the swing with one hand while using my other hand to scoot Preston up higher onto my lap.

Yep, just like a clumsy kid on the playground, we fell backwards out of the swing. I hit my noggin, Preston got a little bonk to his head as well. He cried. I wanted to.

Our rescuer was a kind little 11 year old boy who, with huge wide eyes said,"Are you guys okay??! WHOA! I just did that last week on the same swing, only I did 2 flips and then fell on my head".


Anyone up for an inexpensive beach vacation, meet us at the Cama Beach State Park sometime. We'd love to. Thanks for asking.

Another new blog below for your viewing pleasure, courtesy of Preston.

A Preston Post

More blogging to come. Promise.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dear Blog,

Oh how I miss thee and long to write a post. Hopefully soon we shall reunite and fill you in on what our little family has been up to.

Until then,

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Maestro Refuses to Play.

Early yesterday afternoon, Sir Preston was sitting so cutely upon the piano bench, tinkling away at the ivories so excitedly...

When I thought to grab my camera so that I could capture his absolute cuteness forever.

And this is what I got instead:

That is "the face".

It is Preston's trademark weird mouthy thing that he does. It makes him so incredibly, um, him.

Upon further coaxing from his nagging mother to smile and look at the camera, he did this:

I just heard you go "Awwwwe".

Don't let that cuteness fool you. He wasn't actually sad in that photo. (although he may have been sad about the stye on his eye).

He. Just. Wanted. DOWN.

The End.