Friday, October 31, 2008

Paak or Ark... whichever you prefer

This is my neice, Autumn. I think the way she says Parker is so cute! She's gotten good at saying the "p" sound, but she used to just say "ark". It makes me excited to her how Parker will pronounce his name once he's talking. Oh, and this video was taken on a cell phone, hince the amazing quality.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How to run without running away…

Every now and then I sit down and try to write in a sentence or two about how I'm feeling. Normally I would just delete the quotes after creating them but these provoked deeper thoughts in me so I thought I would share them...

"Can we ever reach that for which we are destined if we can't feel the ground we stand on?"

"A community is where you come from, what you are and what you want to be. If what you see around you is not what you want to be, then move on."

"We bear the light of life for a brief moment in eternity; hold your light high that others might know which way to follow."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Because everybody needs to know...

During the Frnch and Indian war in the early americas, Benjamin Franklin presented a cartoon with a snake cut into eight parts. With the following 3 words in hard bold print, JOIN or DIE. Now is not the time to be divided on an issue of such great importance. Our strength is in our united voice as we stand for truth.

I heard about a world wide fast on sunday for california's Prop 8, the most challenged of the state presented amendments. I just thought I would invite others who may read here to get involved even if not in california and offer a video for those who want to see what the consequences could be as they have begun to appear back east.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Real Quick...

I wanted to post this picture because it makes me laugh. Mark is awful about leaving piles of stuff around. He feels if he can straighten a pile of junk, its clean. So there is usually a pile of papers somewhere on the kitchen counter, on the floor by our dresser, and piles all over and around his desk.
Parker rolled himself right over to one of Mark's piles and made a mess of the nice. Instead of "cleaning" it up for Mark I laughed and took a picture and let Parker look at and eat as many pieces of the pile as he wanted.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Scrub A Dub Dub

Thanks to Karina we're able to have a camera that not only takes pictures but allows us to transfer them onto the computer. This has been a long time coming for us. So here are some of the first ones we've taken with our new camera.

Parker graduated from his baby tub and is now in the big bath tub. He is learning to sit, but I don't trust him to sit in the hard tub. Besides, he loves being on his belly. Sadly, these pictures don't show case his chubbiness. We'll have to get some more accurate, chubalicious ones on here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Talk on sunday

Christy and I have a speaking assignment this sunday. We've both been thinking about the topic "Feasting on the scriptures" a lot and hopefully we can put together good talks.

I'm pretty sure this week is the halfway mark through the school semester and I don't know about you but I'm feeling it. As my past has shown the next 4-6 weeks are usually pretty gruling for me to stay focused, motivated and interested. I am optimistic though I will continue to do well.

Thanks to Evaly & Nathans's Birthday present to christy we should be able to post some fun video we've taken of parker lately as soon as Christy finds the time to do it :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Just in case you wanted to know...

So you are probably tired of hearing about how bad the economy is and would just rather see more adorable pictures of Parker, but Parker's not hear right now so your stuck with me thinking. I just thought I'd share some recent insight I've had lately on the subject of the current economic decline. As well as some very scary similarities to a time period most people alive today didn't see.

How far will the stock market drop?
During the great depression, the stock market ultimately fell 90% of it's value (It crashed from OCT 1929-1932, it took nearly 3 years). Our current market is down about 39% (Since the all-time high exactly one year ago today, Oct 9th ... Don't tell me that isn't a little weird!)

Are speculators to blame?
The stock market surged nearly 120% in the four years leading up to the 1929 crash. In the four years before our current decline (Mar 03 - Oct 07) the market rose 80%. However this doesn't nessesarily mean they were overpriced in either time period.

What is one of the major causes (Debatable) that lead to the crash of the great depression?
Before the depression large increases in the "number of" and "investmet in" Public utilities, utility holding companies, and investment trusts. Which were also highly levered using large amounts of debt and preferred stock. These companies attracted speculators because they were mostly unregulated. When the government started to crack down on them, those speculators ran like cock roaches to light. Forcing all investors to cover there extended positions bringing down the whole market.

Does this sound familiar with our huge investment banks, and mortgage securities? A huge move to deregulate banking and fannie mae and freddie mac over the past decade led to speculation and overleveraged positions. And again forcing all investors to cover there extended positions bringing down the whole market. Basicly, the mortgage market got "infested" - not to be confused with "invested" :)

Absolutely nothing :) It's just for interesting thought really. However no matter how bad you think things are now just remember they could be much worse. We currently don't have the unemployment of the depression which peaked near 25%, (although this will be our next growing challenge in the months to come) or the lack of resources to turn us around. However good leadership in the home and from government will be key to any successful recovery.

Last thoughts...
I could go on but I find the longer my posts are the more people skip it. So if those few ideas sparked any curiousity feel free to explore it and please let me know what you find.

Sources of Great depression info (if interested)

Monday, October 6, 2008

By Popular Demand...

I have had more than a few requests to post about my birth story and why we decided to have Parker at home. The rest of this post is actually my first journal entry from after I had Parker (I left some things out- the things too personal for a public blog). I decided to post the journal entry giving our birth story becuase I believe the story itself answers the question of why we chose to have our baby at home. I believe the atmosphere and feelings described are harder to replicate in a hospital. Not impossible, just harder. Especially for a first time mom.

May 14, 2008

I have just had the best week of my life! My sweet little Parker was born May 8, 2008. He came at 12:57 pm, here in my bedroom in Mesa, Arizona. I think we have an amazing birth story and an even more amazing little boy.

My due date was yesterday but Parker decided to come early. I was actually supposed to attend my graduation ceremony on the 8th but Parker would have only been 4 hours old for the ceremony. It worked out in a way though because Mark’s parents and brother and my Dad (who just took a job in Texas) had just gotten into town for the graduation.

Labor started at 4:00 am with me and Mark laughing that we were having a baby on the one day we probably would have chosen not to. But now that he’s here that day was perfect and I wouldn’t change anything.

At 4:00 we weren’t positive we were in labor, so at about 4:30 we went for a walk around the neighborhood. Mark walked the dog, and I walked the curbs. And by the end of our half hour walk we were walking really slow and the contractions were coming steadily apart and getting more intense. So we got back here and started getting things ready… the pool, the bed, and charting contractions. I was still very mobile and not too uncomfortable. The contractions would just cause me to pause from what I was doing.

At 6:00 we called the midwife and told her the contractions were averaging 2 minutes apart and lasting 30-40 seconds. She suggested taking a bath to relax and actually wanted the contractions farther apart- thinking my body still needed to establish a steady labor pattern.

The bath wasn’t relaxing so I took a shower and got back on my bed. It felt really good to sway side to side and rock back and forth on my hands and knees. Mark was an all star. He continued to chart contractions and all the while with each one he would put pressure on my lower back, which felt so good!

At 7:00 my water broke and those contractions never separated out. They stayed about a minute and half apart. And after the water broke, got more intense.

We called the midwife again because my water was green, not clear like it should be. She decided to come check it out.

Mark and I continued doing the contractions on the bed, and she along with both sets of our parents showed up at about 8:30. They came over to give me a Priesthood blessing and Mark gave the most beautiful blessing I could have possibly received. Mark got a little choked up during the blessing and he said it was because he could feel Heavenly Father’s love and excitement for us. And he said he had feelings that everything was going to be okay and that we were doing everything right. He said he also felt a sacred power surrounding what was about to happen… meaning becoming a family, fulfilling our sacred callings and becoming parents.

So, at this time I was 3 centimeters and 100% effaced. Mary, the midwife, let me get in the labor tub (a kiddie pool) and left me and Mark alone and man we were “in the zone”. After the blessing, I tuned into my body and Mark tuned into me. We were a team. Mark rubbed my back the way I needed, poured warm water over me, and moved my hair out of the way when I needed it. Mary came back about 10:30 am and I was 6 centimeters. One of my favorite parts of labor came after that. She put me in the shower on a yoga ball and I aimed the water on my lower back. The contractions had intensified at this point. But in the shower it felt like it was just me and Parker. I was in there for about an hour just working with my body. I was alone, it was dark, and I could feel every sensation in my body! I felt womanly, maternal, and even beautiful.

Mary checked me after the hour and told me it wouldn’t be long. She wouldn’t specify except to say: “I’ll check ya in half an hour and it may be time.” I got back in the labor pool and Mark poured water over me constantly because the contractions were coming hard and fast. There was no chance for relaxation between contractions like there had been all morning. Mark told me I was beautiful and amazing when I needed to hear it and was quiet when I needed silence.

When the urge to push came along I started to panic. Because all day I was in a relaxation zone, and suddenly these uncontrollable urges to bear down were coming and I didn’t understand them. Right as I was beginning to wonder what was going on with me, Mary checked me and said it was time.

They moved me to the bed where the student midwife, Nedra, delivered Paker. The contractions were overwhelming and I did get scared. The midwives were telling me how to push, but it took me a few pushes to figure it out. I suddenly felt so disconnected from my body, which is the opposite of how it had been. After a few attempts, I finally figured out how to push and felt “in control” again. Mark said you could visibly see when I got “it” because I took control of when to push and pushed with more intensity. Right after this I started to feel the burn of Parker’s head crowning. That was an intense sensation I never could’ve imagined or could explain. But with each push it felt as if I was working through the burning- I wanted to get this baby out.

He came after my 9 hours of labor and 35 minutes of pushing. They placed Parker on my chest, Mark immediately came down to us and I just kept saying, “This is our son. Look at our son.” The feelings are indescribable. An intense amount of love, reverence, and awe was over me. I had the most beautiful, amazing spirit laying on my stomach and chest. I rubbed his back, kissed his head, and told him I loved him over and over again.

Occasionally, I would look over at Mark and he looked mystified. He had gotten teary eyed and cried a little bit. But I’ll never forget the look of love he had on his face. As he sat over us, like a good father would, I was just awe struck by the feeling of unity and team work. All three of us worked together beautifully to become a family.

We’re a team and were in this together. Our goal: the celestial kingdom. To become an eternal family.

Nedra and Mary- the midwives who delivered him.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A small request...

Well I've been swamped with school and work but I wanted to send out a quick update and a request for help.

First of all school is going fine, I made it through my first round of midterms with only minor cuts and brusies. I'm actively looking for an internship in either Chicago or London for the summer and hopefully beyond. Unfortunately the current financial market mess has led to my concern over how may opportunities are going to be ultimately available.

As many of you may or may not know, I have faced a great internal struggle of who to vote for this election. I feel so deeply obligated to be true to my personal beliefs that neither major canidate fully represented. I for a long time have considered third party canidates yet others are saying "It's throwing your vote away" or "What if who you would have voted for a"major canidate" if only given the option but you didn't and they ended up losing?

Well I voted yesterday, and I feel good about my choice. I won't be disclosing who I voted for until after the election because it was such a personal proccess that I think brought me there.
So I hope others take the time to look at how they really feel america should be, and take the time to vote. In the end one vote may not matter much, but it mattered to me.

Here is my Request for anybody interested in helping me complete a personal project:
Could you please either comment here or send me an e-mail with your thoughts on "What does a child need to know about money?" the age is between 6-8 years old. It can relate to any aspect, budgeting, savings, interest, counting etc... I just need to get ideas of what the general public believes is most important.

My personal project is to publish a children's story book that I also Illistrate. I intend to use the project as fuel to get an internship/job for the summer/fall. Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts.