Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Legalization and Lead Paint



'Sup.

Soooo, if you're anything like me, you have seen no fewer than 740,392,061 posts about this whole "gay marriage legalization" thing. And if you're anything like me, your eye starts to twitch at the thought of reading another one.

As such, I promise that I'll keep this brief.

{It also helps to have a VERY determined little boy who wants to play the drums on my laptop keys. And he looks like this, which is quite distracting-ly adorable (don't worry. . . it's a clean one)}.

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. . . .

I just felt like I had to be like everyone on Facebook and throw my two cents into the puddle of opinions and see what happens. The odds are good that it won't change anyone's mind. It's not like I'm eloquent or influential, or even all that informed.

I don't claim to know it all because I know I don't. But what I do know is that I strive to have a relationship with God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I'm not perfect, but I believe that They are.

100%.

And I believe that They restored the Church of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith, who, in turn, translated The Book of Mormon and kick started what we call The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints {LDS}. As a result, we have had a unbroken stream of Prophets and Apostles since that day who, I believe, are mouthpieces for God.

I have pondered their words and acted on their counsel and the dividends have been peace, happiness, and contentment even during trials. I know that when I act contrary to their words and the words of Prophets from the Bible and Book of Mormon {which I'm really good at, unfortunately}, I can tell a difference. It might not happen immediately, but the consequence for my disobedience always ends up coming 'round the mountain.

Naturally, this is where I segue to lead paint.

Duh.

{In my crazy mind, all things are possible}

. . . . .

Remember how pretty much everything used to be slathered in lead paint?

{photo source}
It wasn't until 1978 that folks figured out that, hey, lead paint is kinda gonna kill us all. We might want to fix that. {Why kids thought it was a good idea to suck on paint chips is an entirely different posts. Kids will be kids, I suppose}

What I'm getting at here is that we used lead paint as a society for many, many moons before realizing the consequences. They took a long time coming 'round the mountain, but came they did.

. . . . .

I believe that no one should have to feel hated or treated like a leper. Every single solitary person is infinitely important in the grand scheme of things and we need to support each other. However, there's not one single solitary person that can do whatever they feel like {whenever they feel like it} and expect the natural consequences of those actions to fall on someone else's head. As convenient as it might sound, moral relativism isn't a real thing.

The consequences of every action will come to fruition sooner or later-- good or bad.

I honestly believe that the consequences of legalizing gay marriage will have epic consequences in the years to come. Tomorrow? Probably not. 5 years down the road? Maybe. But they'll come.

. . .

I believe that marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman that can last for all eternity. There's no doubt in my mind that the men who want to marry each other {and the women who want to marry each other} love each other deeply and sincerely. But I'm afraid that doesn't make it the same thing as a God-ordained marriage.

It's hard for me to write these things because this is obviously a very heated subject and each group of people are quite convinced that they're right. I don't want 782 comments telling me how ignorant I am and how I'm living in the dark ages {since we all know 782 people read this blog. Ha!}. This is what I believe, that's all.

So let's all just respect each other and continue to try to help each other along our path back to Heaven. That's what this life is all about, anyway. Oh, and let's try to avoid munching on paint chips in the meantime. ;)      

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Music Musings


Imagine me blowing approximately 6" of dust off of this blog.

{cough cough}

I'm so sorry, you guys. Where does all the time go?! I mean, come on. This is crazy.

. . . .

A large chunk of time lately has been spent rehearsing and recording a CD at a studio in Bountiful. Now, before you get all excited. . . it's nothing special. It was just one of my goals for the new year and I figured, hey, you're only young once.

I finally got the pieces of music tonight and I have a problem.

I am the worst critic of myself.

Like, ever. In the history of ever.

. . . .

My tummy did a somersault and filled with butterflies when I saw the illusive e-mail in my inbox. MY FILES! My final files! Bless their hearts. There they were. All squeaky clean and unopened in my inbox. I rapidly downloaded them and nervously clicked on numero uno.

Would I love them? Hate them? Would I sound like a squeaky weirdo?

Well, I wasn't about to find out because ol' Murphy can't make it too easy.  

All of the files were sent over as WAV files, and, of course, my computer doesn't recognize WAV files. Duh. Why would it?

I finally found an acceptable converter and sent the files through the gauntlet to be molded and smooshed and changed over to mp3 files. Once completed, I nervously clicked on the first track.

Again.

I thought that surely I had mis-clicked and that someone else playing. It sounded much too awesome! I was so dumbstruck that I literally double checked where I clicked and then mumbled, "That's MEEEE?"

I could practically hear the angels singing. Well, the angels in my head, anyway. I couldn't believe it! YAY! Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I clicked on the next track. But then "IT" began.

{insert super dramatic "bad guy" music here}

A note that wasn't quiiiiiite on pitch. A rhythm that wasn't quiiiiite as it should have been.

Oh, NO.

A flip had been switched in my head and there was no going back.

Next track. Same self-degrading ears attuned to anything slightly amiss. I might as well have been a ginormous satellite specifically calibrated to detect the slightest anomaly in sound waves and syncopation. A satellite set to self-destruct, mind you.

Soon, I was convinced I had made a huge mistake and wasted everyone's time and money {I've been taking on private students and performing in order to pay for this venture. . . but it still felt like I'm spending Husband's hard earned cash}. A couple tracks down the line and I vowed no one but immediate family would ever hear these pieces. Family that I could somehow blackmail into silence.

I pretended to go on with my life and started to cook dinner. However, I just stared blankly at it on the stove top because I was too busy listening for wrong notes as the tracks played in the background.

You probably think I'm kidding. But, no. I was like a zombie.

I cried a bit.

. . .

But then I took a chill pill, ate something {being "hangry" was never good for anyone. Ever. Except for maybe cavemen} and tried listening to them again.

And let me tell ya. It's going to take an entire bottle of chill pills. . . plus maybe a refill or two. . . but I think I'll be quite pleased with the CD. I just need to remember that 1) I'm not a professional and never claimed to be; 2) professionals have the time/money/resources to have every single note fixed perfectly before their CD is released; 3) this CD isn't going to be mass produced and shipped off to music critics the world over. It's for friends and family. People who love me and know how to turn down the sound. ;)

I heard a quote from a friend a while back and as soon as I heard it, I thought, "YES. That's being handed out with my CD."

{photo source}

 . . . 

On that same vein, there's something I usually always end up telling my private students at some point. It's nothing profound or eloquent, but hopefully it gets the point across and gives them courage when they need it.

"There will always be someone who's better than you. Don't beat yourself up about it. Just do the best you can and leave it at that."

And it's true.

I would hate it if someone listened to me play and thought, "Oh, she's too good. I'm not even going to try."

Um, no.

So no matter what it is you do, DO IT {unless your a crazy person that likes to kidnap kitties or something}. Please don't be a satellite of despair. Life's too short to beat yourself up. Take it from me.

. . . .

Soooo. . . . yeah. Be gentle.

Also, I realize that there are a million zillion pictures of me in this slideshow, and yet. . . there still weren't enough for the entire recording. So please forgive me. It fades out before the end and ignites my O.C.D.





Thursday, April 23, 2015

5 Years


For starters. . .

HELLO!

Holy flying guacamole. You probably thought I died. But, hark! That's not the case. It's time to blow the dust off of the 'ol blog and hopefully breathe some new life into it again. I can't promise anything, though, because you know how it goes. Life gets busy.

Much has transpired since I last wrote, but those updates are just gonna have to wait because today is a special day.

Ya see, today, I've been married for 5 whole years.

That's 60 months, guys.

1826.21 days.

1.578e+14 microseconds.

And, like, 36 years in Zoe time.

. . .

I know it's not 50 years, but it's still quite a few roads walked together.

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{Engagement Photos - 2010}

And there hasn't been a day on that walk where I haven't thanked my Heavenly Father for introducing Chuck into my life.

Not one single day.

, , ,

Back when I was single, I remember wondering how in the world I'd ever meet anyone I wanted to marry. It seemed like there were countless barriers and unless the perfect guy happened to come through my checkout line at Albertson's and decided he needed my phone number in addition to his soap and crackers, I was never going to meet him.

I can only imagine that Heavenly Father kept shaking his head {and perhaps face palming. . .  if He does such a thing} at my lack of faith. He created worlds without number and every single thing in every single world, and I didn't think he made provisions for meeting my eternal companion?

Uh, yeah.

You can read the posts I made about meeting my husband HERE {if you'd like all the details}, but let's just say that Heavenly Father wanted to make very certain that I met Chuck. He also wanted to make very certain that I realized His hand in it, which I did. There's no way I would have stumbled across him without a number of things lining up perfectly at exactly the right time. Many, many people were involved in making that courtship and engagement a success.

And I'd like to take a moment to thank them. Thank you, dear people, for helping me find {and keep!} the man that I consider my most very best-est friend. Thank you, dear people, for helping him realize that he could "put a ring on it". :)

It's hard to imagine my life without my better half making me laugh every single day, watching baffling TV series with me, and supporting me in all of my endeavors. He never complains about, uh, anything and he's always quick to help me when I can't figure something out.

Oh, wait.

Just kidding.

He doesn't like shopping for pants and he's not shy telling you that. So, I guess you could count that as complaining. But only if you really want to.

. . .

In honor of our anniversary, I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite memories{in no particular order}.

1) I wrote a post a small eternity ago about signing up for a blood drive {HERE}. It was my last blood drive to date because I passed out AGAIN. I vividly recall feeling like I was going to toss my cookies after waking up and wanting nothing more than to 1) kill over and 2) go home. Chuck, who wasn't a fan of blood drives to start with, got worried when I was gone for so long. He came looking for me like a knight in shining armor and I can still remember the feeling of complete and total relief looking up from my upside-down-lawn-chair-of-death and seeing him peeking his head in the gym and scanning faces for mine. The unabashed concern I witnessed as he held my hand until I was steady enough to stand made me absolutely certain I had found me a keeper.

2) When the weird tornado wind/dust/snow storm hit just a week or so ago, a section of our neighbor's vinyl fence blew down. Our yards connect, so I helped our sweet neighbor and her grandson {?} carry the pieces in the shed until the storm calmed down. I explained the situation to Chuck after he got home, but by then, there was, like, 12 inches of snow everywhere. Once the snow melted, he was a sneaky little man and put up the fence for them. Our neighbor rounded up some young whippersnappers to help him only to walk out and see that the work was already complete.

3) After we got back from our honeymoon to Moab, we set to work opening wedding presents from all of our fabulously generous family and friends. Somehow or another, we ended up getting into a huge wrapping paper fight and had every single scrap of paper stuffed up our shirts.

 photo Edited 2_zpsxzb9zqck.png

. . .

Husband? I love you. Really and truly. Being married to you is always fun and never burdensome. You refuse to judge {me and others} and you encourage me to be the best I can be with your constant support. I can't wait to see how many other inside jokes we manage to cook up in the next 5 years!


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