March 29, 2007

A Birthday Letter

Dear J ~

Sometimes it surprises me when I turn and see you standing there, now taller than me…with a hint of the man you will become in your face, yet always in my mind’s eye I see the little boy you used to be.

My son.

Fourteen years ago, I went into the hospital with no idea how the event of your birth would change me. After I labored to bring you into the world, the doctor laid you across my belly, and I touched your cheek and knew a love stronger than anything I had ever felt before. I fell in love with your big brown eyes and the deep dimple in your chin that looked like someone had sewn a string to the middle of your chin and pulled it toward the back of your head. You were the cutest baby I had ever seen (of course) and you are still cute, and you know it! Although I wish you weren’t quite so cute…you charm your way out of trouble sometimes and that scares me a little.

You have always been someone with extra personality and charm. I remember when you used to sit in the shopping cart I pushed, saying “Hiiiii!” to all the people we’d pass, young or old ~ you didn’t care. You loved them all. You’d sit in your high chair at a restaurant, and we’d see you staring, then all of a sudden you’d grin that big lopsided grin, and you’d say hi to someone across the way while wiggling your little eyebrows up and down at them and nodding your head once at them like they were the best thing you’d seen all day.

You are the favorite of all of your cousins. They can’t wait to play with you and be near you, because you make it fun to be around you and you play with them even though they are many years younger than you. If you are a dad someday, you will be so much fun, because you love to play and be active and do things with others. You have such a great sense of humor (which will come in handy as you deal with their teen years)...

You are someone who does well at anything that you try. I love watching you play sports, sing solos, ride your bike, play catch with your sister, and run down the street with our dog. Soccer travels will begin in a few weeks and I am so glad you play and give us a reason to be together as a family while we travel across Montana and beyond. You are a great goalie, and I am always impressed by your poise and coolheaded calm when things are intense during games. You told me you’d love to be a professional goalie someday. To this I say: GO FOR IT. Always chase your dreams, because you won’t want to look back on your life with regret that you never reached for your dreams. I have total faith in you, and I’ll support you all the way.

More important than your talents, though, I love when I see evidence of your kindness and your strength of character. I want you to be a man of conviction and honor, someone who’s unafraid to stand up for what you know is right. I appreciate your honesty, your humor, and your intelligence. You are such a great kid! It has been such a joy watching you grow up, and I can’t wait for high school and beyond. I’m so damn proud to call you my son.

I love you.

March 27, 2007

A nice lunch

Well, that was anticlimactic. If I had thought it through just a little bit, I could have predicted lunch would go the way it did. Lunch with PP and our new friend was too short to get into any discussions past the basic getting-to-know-you stuff. We had a great time, and plan to do it again soon. That should open up the dialogue for the deep stuff.

I'm kind of glad we got to know each other a bit first. Just jumping right into the religious discussion would have been strange without knowing a little about the new friend more. I'll call her CCC (short for Campus Crusade for Christ). She's very nice, and spent two years in Venezuela so we talked about living abroad, and languages, and how we feel that languages should be taught in the US like they do it in Europe, to encourage Americans to be more broad-minded and open to other cultures.

We discussed PP's favorite place she ever visited: Israel, and her visit to the tomb where Jesus was placed after he was crucified. That was the closest we came to religious discourse. Oh, and we talked more about PP's visits with the hypnotist for pain therapy, and how it works. PP asked if I still get migraines, and I said my headaches have dramatically subsided since I left the church. She said that must be because I have less stress, not because of the church. I said, "I have a LOT LESS stress now that I'm out, yes." **hehehe**

Then I had to go. I have no doubt that if I had longer than an hour lunch, we would have talked for hours. It was fun, and I look forward to the next lunch with them. I'll report back when it starts getting interesting.

March 26, 2007

Main Street Plaza

There is a great new website you will want to check out...Main Street Plaza, an online community for anyone interested in Mormonism.

It's a place where you can go to read interesting (and sometimes entertaining) thoughts on Mormonism, as well as have easy access to many blogs you may be familiar with already, and some you may not know of but should. It will serve as a hub for you to access the other great FORUMS that you may be familiar with already, such as FLAK, NOM, Mormon Discussions, Exmo-Social,, and many others. If you have a blog that is not included but that you feel should be, you can contact me and let me know, and I'll help you get added.

I hope to see you all over there, commenting and helping to make the site great! If any of you have blog posts or good comments you'd like to see posted on Main Street Plaza, contact me at to discuss.

March 22, 2007

Lunch with PP ~ with a weird twist at the end

Well, a couple days ago I finally had lunch with my friend, the Primary President (PP) I worked with at the time I left the church last September. We've tried to schedule lunch many times since I left, and different things came up to cause us to have to cancel.

It was the most interesting conversation I've had in a long time...

We went to a sandwich shop, and after making small-talk and starting to eat, I asked her how things were going in Primary. She said fine, that the new people are great who got called in to replace me (2nd counselor) and W. (1st counselor they made RS Pres the SAME WEEK they announced my release, leaving her stranded with no presidency)... She described how she had had a breakdown a week later when she was feeling overwhelmed while conducting primary alone and how she had started bawling during sharing time and couldn't stop, so the bishopric invited her into the bishop's office for a blessing. PP's home teacher (whom she asked to perform the blessing) blessed her that Mr. PP (her deceased celestial companion) would give her strength that she needs right now. She went on to describe to me how 3 things happened that week that confirmed that Mr. PP was there for her....

1. She heard a Hawaiian song on BYU TV that she had only ever heard when with him. 2. She woke up in the middle of the night, turned on the radio, and heard a doctor saying she believed in God because of a transplant recipient saying he had talked with the dead donor while he was being operated on (Mr. PP was a transplant recipient too!).
3. She changed all her clocks except the pesky one in the bathroom at daylight savings time last fall, and when she went to change that one, IT WAS ALREADY CHANGED. Hence, Mr. PP did it. She said she even told him "thank you" out loud right then.

She testified to me that there have been too many evidences that there is a God who loves us and He shows it in the little ways. Like the time her lawnmower wouldn't start so she said a prayer, and a thought came to her mind to clean out the blades first, something that would have never occurred to her naturally, and the mower started right up!

I told her that I have a different view of the God we are taught about at church...that I may be humanizing a being that shouldn't be humanized, but that I just couldn't respect a god like ours. I said, "We are taught that we may become gods ourselves like the god we learn about, right? Imagine for a moment that I'm a God just like ours, right now. I have children, and I send them all away from my presence, with no knowledge of their other parent, (our Heavenly Mother). I tell my kids nothing about me, I just leave it up to them to find me. I send them away while giving only a select few, a VERY select few of them, the chance to even hear about my One True Church and Gospel that they will need to know of in order to live in my presence again. And if by some chance they don't learn of it, well, that's too bad."

I told her the Mormon God seems like the worst kind of absentee father there is, which is NOT something I would aspire to becoming. I could NEVER be a god like that, nor would I want to. What kind of parent does that??? Not a loving one, that's obvious. I told her I'm not even certain that there IS a God. She gave more examples of how she's sure there is. I told her I could respect her thoughts.

We touched on the fact that I always felt that I was an outsider at church, being married to a non-member. Always. She said she fully understood that, as she always felt like a third wheel ever since her husband died. I said the church is not a comfortable place for a lot of people who don't quite fit the mold of the "perfect family" they promote so hard. We touched on my dissatisfaction that women are treated as less than equal in the church. We touched on the fact that an LDS woman must get written permission from her non-member man in order to take out her endowment, and that it's not required of men with non-member wives. She said she actually knows some guy who DID have to get permission from his non-member wife, but I am fairly certain that is not in the official rules.

She tried to tell me that God is loving and will know me and my situation and that I'll be able to get to the Celestial Kingdom anyway. I said, "You don't get it. I wouldn't WANT to live there. The only way I can do that is to be some stranger's second or tenth or hundredth wife. No thanks." She said that wasn't true. I said, "No woman enters the Celestial Kingdom unless her man calls her forth, right?" She agreed. I said, "How is that a comforting thought to me, then? It isn't. I am dependent on some strange man to want me in the next life. That's gross. I think it's wrong that women are subject to men's whims in the next life like that. Plus, I get to look forward to my kids not being sealed to me so we won't be together in the Celestial Kingdom anyway." She tried to explain that since I was born in the covenant of my parents being sealed, that I'd be in automatically, as would my children. I said, "But not my stepdaughter, right?" She agreed. I had to remind her that I DON'T EVEN WANT IN, DON'T YOU SEE?? Besides, I don't even believe there IS a Celestial Kingdom, so it's a pointless discussion.

She actually mentioned Dart three times in statements like, "Don't you think he'll someday see the truth of the church and you'll be able to be sealed?" Um, NO. I repeated again that I don't even want to be an eternal goddess with Dart or anyone. I'd rather be an angel and play a harp and be a nobody than be subjected to eternal life as the church describes it.

She asked me if she could bring my daughter a CD of this year's primary songs. I said if we do lunch again, she could bring it to me. This is the way they scheduled visits to inactive primary kids last year...a CD gift with cookies and an invitation to attend primary.

Anyway, we talked on many things...she spoke of going to hypno-therapy to conquer pain from arthritis and medical conditions she suffers from, and how great it's working, and how she plans to lose weight from it as well.

THE KICKER HAPPENED AT THE END. I got up to refill my pop before leaving, and a girl in her 20's, who had been sitting alone at a table near us, got up and approached me.

"You may find this totally weird, but I overheard most of your conversation with your friend, and I think your conversation was fascinating, and I'd really love to maybe sit and talk with you guys that way too sometime."


I couldn't help laughing a bit and said, "You overheard our conversation? And you enjoyed it? Wow, that's interesting! Um, let me ask my friend and see if she's open to that. Do you have an e-mail address?" She gave me her e-mail and I introduced PP to her and we laughed about ourselves a little bit and we left.

We got in the car, and PP looked at me and said, "Lisa. LISA. How can you NOT think there is a God NOW?"

"Are you talking about that girl approaching me?"

"Of course."

"Oh, come on! She likely just thinks we're interesting people. Which we are. Maybe she has nobody else to talk deep thoughts with. God didn't SEND her to us. Sheesh."

"I know better. That's EXACTLY what He did."

Ugh ugh ugh. She of course sees that girl as a God-sent missionary opportunity designed to bring poor Lisa back into the fold, as well as an opportunity to save the girl at the same time. I can hear her at Fast & Testimony meeting now...

PP and I further discussed the church as she drove me back to work. She tried to tell me that the Adam-God theory is only made understood within the temple, that outside of it it seems wrong and strange. Whatever. She asked me what my TBM sister thinks of all this, and I told her Tony's not apostate like me, but she's got her doubts too and still chooses to go to church for now, but doesn't plan to attend the temple.

PP: "Oh, I wouldn't call you apostate."

Lisa: "Um...I don't believe the church is true and I choose to no longer support it. The bishop would call that apostate."

PP: "It's not like you speak against the church, do you? And how many times have you read the Book of Mormon cover to cover?"

Lisa: "I don't know." (Once. As a teen. WTF does that have to do with anything?!)

PP: "Well that should give you the answer on whether or not you're apostate. There is no other book on Earth as true as the Book of Mormon." **Blink**

Lisa: "But I don't think the Book of Mormon is a true book. There are too many discrepancies and out of place references in it. If it were true, there would be evidence of the great battle that happened at Hill Cumorah. In NY State. Just as Joseph Smith stated. In EXACTLY THE PLACE the prophet stated the battle happened. Nothing."

PP: "There is archealogical evidence of stuff in South America. Some yada yada lake with a city at the bottom...yada yada yada."

Lisa: "OK. Listen, I've got to get to work. I'll e-mail the girl's e-mail address to you, OK? We can continue this discussion with her. Thanks for lunch!"

It could be very interesting. I e-mailed the girl and asked her what she found interesting about our conversation, and warned her that I've recently left the LDS church and my friend is still in it, and that is what brought out most of our conversation.

She told me that she joined a Christian group at college called "Campus Crusade for Christ" that changed her life, and she spent two years in Venezuela, and also was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, so our conversation about the nature of God fascinated her. She said she overheard us talking about the Celestial Kingdom and men and women, another topic that fascinates her.

I also gave her a small warning:

"I should warn you that [PP] likely feels that your approaching me came about because God prompted the meeting because you're ready to learn about and join the LDS church, and/or because God wants to get me back into the LDS religion as well. I know that's how LDS people think, it's how they are taught to think. "Every member a missionary" is a motto that is taught to us from our youth up."

She is still open to going to lunch and asked if next Tuesday was good for us.

This could be fun.

March 20, 2007

Taking a Poll

I'm curious to know your thoughts on these possible scenarios:

1. If you had an opportunity to meet a fellow blogger in real life, even one of your favorite bloggers, in person, would you do it? Would you feel OK going alone or would you feel the need to have your spouse there? Would the gender of the blogger you were to meet have any impact on your decision to go or not? Would the sexual orientation of that favorite blogger have any impact on your decision to meet him or her? Would you go even if your spouse was uncomfortable with you going?

2. If your spouse was a blogger who wanted to meet a fellow (favorite) blogger in person, would you find it weird that he/she wanted to go and meet that blogger even if you didn't want to? Would it make you uncomfortable, and if so, why? Would you only find it bearable to accept if you went along too? Would you be comfortable letting your spouse go alone? Why or why not?

March 16, 2007

An Embarrassing Moment

Excitement was running high. We left the hazy hairspray cloud of the dressing room to take our places in line. This was the performance we had been waiting for! My majorettes squad had been practicing and perfecting this particular routine for over a month! We knew there were to be news cameras filming us too, so we were especially excited.

We got upstairs and separated into four lines of ten girls. Each line waited outside one of the four entrances to the gym, located at each corner of the basketball court. The plan was to move forward and wait at the corners of the basketball court, and as soon as we heard the halftime buzzer, we were to march in straight lines diagonally across the court toward the logo of our high school painted in the center of the floor, to come together to form the beginning X pattern and wait for the music to start playing. We stood there with chins high and adrenaline pumping, pom-poms ready and sequins flashing.

I was the first in my line. I stood there with my pom-poms on my hips, smiling big because I noticed upon entering the gym that there was a news cameraman right there, waiting to film us. He crouched low a few feet beyond my right elbow, with camera raised upward toward us. That was a bit nervewracking, but what could I do? I was glad that I had decided to leave my glasses off for this performance, now that I noticed his camera in my face! I was a bit self-conscious about my glasses, and performing without them gave me the added benefit of not being able to see the many faces that (may or may not have) stared at me while I performed in miniskirt and sequins. I couldn't do anything else in life without my glasses (being blind made vision seem somehow vital), but here was one place I could enjoy departure from my usual nerdy self.

I kept my chin high but sneaked a look at the other line of girls to the left of me in the other corner. They were just as excited as I was, that was obvious. The girl behind me mumbled "Almost...almost..." through her clenched-teeth smile. I looked up and noticed that there were only ten seconds left of the half! This was it!!! I straightened even more and focused my eyes on the line of girls diagonally across from me in the opposite corner of the gym. I had to lead my line toward their line as straight as I could. I held my smile in place as I stared at the girl across from me and waited for the buzzer.

Suddenly the buzzer sounded! I lifted my knees high and marched forward with booted toes pointed downward, shaking my pom-poms to the beat of my march. I got a full 5 big steps forward before I noticed that I was the Only. One. Marching. The line of girls in the corner next to mine were still standing in their line, staring at me in horror, some of them shaking their heads NO! in total panic. My eyes flew up to the timer above the middle of the gym, and I saw to my horror that a 2 second time out had been called. It was NOT the halftime buzzer I had heard.

I did the only thing I could do: I lifted my knees even higher and MARCHED BACKWARD, still shaking my pom-poms vigorously to the beat of my march, a huge smile plastered on my face. I stood in place and stared at that timer above the court, willing it to suddenly come alive and swallow me whole. I could hear the girl behind me saying "Oh my God! Oh my God!" through her clenched-teeth smile. All I could do was laugh and stand there and know that the damn cameraman had it all on tape. My humiliation was complete.

The next buzzer that sounded was the real thing. I don't think I've ever performed as well as I did that night, high on the adrenaline rush of my most embarrassing moment.

March 13, 2007

Why we REALLY don't hear about our Heavenly Mother

God sits in his private chambers, writing in his journal. He hears a sound and looks up to see his First Wife, Eloher, entering the room.

"Darling! Good morning. I trust you slept well?"

Her answer is a dark look in his direction as she sails past him with nose high and shoulders stiff.

"Whoa, do I sense some hostility this morning, my sweet little lotus blossom?"

"Don't you dare call me sweet little anything, Elohim! I'm spitting mad and you know it!"

"Why don't you tell me aaaaaaall about it. I'm used to hearing problems, you know. Come, sit here on my knee. What happened to your eye?"

She sits on his knee and begins to tell him what's wrong. "The other wives and I were talking last night, and they said that you were drafting some ideas for commandments to give to Moses on Earth for the betterment of our children. They were all excited that you are going to finally give them some direction regarding US."


"What do you mean, WHAT? We've been wondering exactly when you were planning to mention the Heavenly Mothers to the children on Earth. So far they only know of you and Christ and Lucifer, but no mention of us at all! Don't you think it's about time?? I mean, we should be mentioned too! I mean, LUCIFER has more status than we do in the minds of our children. That hurts terribly. Anyway, we were discussing the best way for you to drop this info on them, and that's why I'm so mad."

"Tell me what was said."

"Well, I said that it's obvious that I be the one who gets mentioned, as I'm the honored First Wife, so I have higher status amongst the wives, therefore I should have higher status in the eyes of the children of men, right? It's only obvious. I mean, Jesus has higher status than Lucifer, so it stands to reason that I'd have status over the other wives. I mean, this isn't difficult to grasp. Anyway, when I said that, all Pergatory broke loose."

"What happened?"

"First Alaina threw a pillow at me, then someone screamed and pulled my hair from behind - I think that was Hagar, and suddenly I was scratched in the eyes by Eunice! I mean, I was SCRATCHED IN THE EYES! And it's ALL YOUR FAULT. If I hadn't run and locked myself in the bathroom, God knows, I mean you know what they might have done to me! I blame YOU For the night I spent sleeping in the bathtub." She pouts prettily at him for good measure.

"Now, Eloher...Don't blame this on me. You didn't have to fight with my other wives."

"I blame you because if you'd told the children on Earth about me in the beginning, this wouldn't be an issue now. Besides, I'm right this time, I just KNOW it! Those...those LESSER WOMEN think they should also be named! What else does being First Wife do for me if not this?? "

"Well...there' know...You get to say 'Yea or Nay' when I want to take on another wife..."

"So? Tell me what good it does me to say no, huh? You just point out that YOU ARE GOD and that YOU RULE and that your word is law and YOU PRESIDE OVER ME and therefore I must OBEY your every whim, no? Remember Lola? Remember how I really didn't want her as a co-wife? Well. You didn't let me say no then. And you should have SEEN her last night! She was vicious. She wanted blood, I tell you. Blood. She actually screamed at me that you'd name HER because of how good you two are together in bed! Holy Staircase to Heaven, I despise that woman! I bet it was SHE who slept with you last night, which is why you didn't even notice that I was in the bathtub! So..... Again, I ask what good does being First Wife do me at all, if not the honor of being mentioned to our children on Earth? Why should YOU get all the glory and fame?"

"I have withheld your name so the children of Earth would hold you most sacred above all else."

"What?! Are you kidding me?! How on YOUR GREEN EARTH can they hold me sacred if THEY'VE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF ME???"

God squirms a little in his chair. Eloher is secretly pleased to see this.

"I'm afraid the children will begin to use your name in vain, so that's why I have kept it secret. I'm protecting you, don't you see?"

"Protecting me. Hmmmm. Riiiiiiight. What about when they use your name to show awe or reverence over something deeply touching or beautiful? Don't you think those moments make the saying-it-in-vain stuff worth it? And what about when they pray to you and beg you for mercy and kindness and love and tell you how great you are? Why can't I get some of that?"

"Oh, no. That would never do. It's not in my plan for you. You're not designed to be able to handle such things. Your divine role is that of mother and wife to me. You are necessary to my master plan for all of our children."

"Exactly. So why don't you tell them about me, then? Maybe that would encourage more of them to strive harder to be with us again someday, hmmmmm? Don't you find ME a good example of what they should try to be like?"

"Enough, woman! Let me think on this. Go and do the thing which I have commanded you, which is to be pleasant to my other wives, and quit stewing over things that are not important."

Eloher gets up and walks away, convinced that he has finally seen the light.

God opens his journal and finishes the sentence he had started before Eloher interrupted him:

Note to self: Thou shalt not EVER mention your wives to the children on Earth - to avoid a Celestial Catfight to infinity...and beyond.

March 11, 2007

If you want a good laugh...

These are my two favorite commercials of all time. The creator(s) of both these are genius. Pure genius.


Lately at work I've closed my window shades beside me to avoid the temptation to stare outside at the beautiful Montana sky. This time of year is also the time of year that the sun lowers in the sky mid-afternoon and shines directly into my eyes to give me a headache, another good reason I keep my shades closed.

Yesterday, as I stepped out of my office door, I turned around from locking the door to find that I was standing in a beautiful blue world. Everything around me was glowing and pulsing with blue life that transformed me into a new woman with new eyes.

The sky was a deep greyish-blue, with twinges of yellow and dusky pink in the clouds above. The pine trees in silhouette against the intense blueness of the sky appeared navy blue, and the wood of the shrubs by my car and the leafless trees next door glowed light blue in a beautiful harmony that is impossible for an artist to duplicate. Even the cars driving by had a blue haze that was unmistakable.

This phenomenon never fails to cause me to stop and take a few really deep breaths, just to savor the feeling of the blue air in my lungs. The air always has a specific crispness and taste when it's blue. After spending my entire day under the unnatural glare of fluorescent lights above me, and the unnatural glow from my computer monitor, stepping into this beauty, this natural wonder, feels like a miracle.

The world in blue is the best feeling in the world. Seriously.

How could I have not sensed that just a few feet beyond me, outside, this amazing blueness had descended? Why do I act like my work is more important than the blue?

March 8, 2007


As I'm sitting at my desk, daring my piles of work to do me in, the mail arrives. I glance through the bills and what should I find, but a POSTCARD FOR ME from Janet!!!

Yes, you made my day, Janet. I LOVE this you knew I would. It is totally perfect for me, you're right.

Now, if I could only find such cool postcards here to send YOU for your collection.....

March 6, 2007

buried alive

If I don't respond to e-mails, comments on my blog, phone calls, IMs, or PMs, know this: I am buried.

I plan to emerge as soon as I can, victorious as a woman who conquered her pile with gusto.

March 2, 2007


I thoroughly enjoyed my husband's blog posts He's Got the Whole World in His Pants and A Boob a Day Keeps the Doctor Away.

Great job, Dart! May as well jump into this blogging thing with both feet (and all body parts), huh??

In response to these two blog posts...Ogle all you want. As long as you let me ogle your wallet!

March 1, 2007


Yes, I'm alive. I have been super busy and stuff at work...

What? You think I've been preoccupied instead with chatting and reading stuff over on FLAK?? Well, that may be true too. I'll never tell!

I've got some creative posts brewing. All in good time. In the meantime, know that all is well, and I'll write when I can.

A few random thoughts:

**I'll be starting a new and challenging portrait commission this week. (YES!!! Thanks for commissioning me, you-know-who-you-are!!!) It'll be nice to have a pencil in my hands again. Note to self: Go to the art store and get a bigger drawing board, and that pad of 16"x20" quality drawing paper you saw earlier.

**Aunt Flo keeps overstaying her welcome. Just when I think she's gone for at least a month, she returns ten days later to torment me for days. I'm thinking I shall seek the help of professionals to see if I can't make her stop visiting quite so often. Hope it's nothing too serious.

**I don't care if you think that's TMI. Don't read it if you hate it.

**I've still been enjoying way fewer headaches in the past few months. I'm a new woman.

**Someday I'll find the discipline to be in bed at midnight instead of writing random thoughts down in my blog.

**Ever since I switched to Blogger Beta, I've had problems with being only sporadically notified via e-mail that I have new comments posted on my blog by my friends. I'm not used to having to look back on my recent posts to see if someone has commented. This is highly irritating. I like knowing if someone has commented on my archived posts as well. Wonder how I can fix this, if at all.

Since I'm starting to see double, I've got to quit now and get some shut-eye.

Good night!