October 12th

October is the best month of the year. I love it so much.  I am so happy I can document a day in October 2012.

 1.  Good morning Millie!  She is so much fun early in the morning.  Seth is lucky to get a few minutes of hugs from our girl  before heading off to work by 7:30am.

2. When Millie went down for her morning nap I FINALLY had time to finish my 1000 page Ken Follett book on WWI.  Now onto "Never Let Me Go" - which I have one week to finish before I host book club.  See what's also on my bookshelf?  That's right - the new JK Rowling.  Damn you book club for making me post-pone her new book for a week!

3. Millie is all dressed up and ready to head outside for a cold run with momma.  How cute is she!?

4.  We decided to go visit Seth at the hospital. I haven't seen where he works yet, or met any of his coworkers.  Plus he's been putting in long hours this week and hasn't had the chance to see Millie much.  It was a good visit.  And his stethoscope sure tasted good. 

5. We didn't have a ton of time for lunch so we stopped at Einsteins for a sandwich.  Millie takes after her mom and dad and ate her pickle.  

6.  I love this girl.  And whoa - I'm a brunette!

7. Grandma Patty came over to babysit for us.  They had a little story time.  Millie LOVES reading.  Note her pumpkin PJs.  

8. The drive up to Snowbird tonight was stunning.  It was a cold, rainy and foggy evening.  I made Seth pull over so I could take some pictures.

9.  Tonight was KUER's annual Brewmixer.  It was a 5 course meal/beer pairing.  Yum!  This was a pumpkin soup....

10. That's a lot of beer.  There were a lot of tipsy people there that night.  

11.  As we walked outside we discovered it was snowing. First snow of the season!

12.  Us. 

The Day I Became A Democrat

Election season is upon us.  Actually it seems like we are in a constant election season doesn't it?  But here we are 3 weeks until election day and I'm not sure I can take much more politics. Ok, that's a lie.  It's annoying but I love it.  

The last few months I have been thinking a lot about why I am a Democrat.  I realized that I can pinpoint the day - actually the hour I became a Democrat.  Before I can mention that moment we need a little background.  

I used to be a conservative.

I know.... I still can't believe it.  People that didn't know me in 2004 but know me now are shocked to hear I used to be a conservative.  

It's true though.  I considered myself Republican my whole life.  Even in junior high school when my teacher made us take a test that then told us where we were on the political spectrum and I was the MOST liberal person in the class - I still considered myself a Republican.  If you were to ask me I wouldn't have been able to answer other than "well that's what my parents are" or "Mormons are Republican."

Looking back on that time I feel embarrassed.  Not embarrassed for being Republican but embarrassed that I couldn't come to that conclusion on my own.  Embarrassed that I didn't understand more about it.  It took until I was 23 years old to understand.

I remember the night of the 2000 election. 

I remember sitting on the couch until the wee hours of election night with my boyfriend Jason and watching Fox News (OMG I used to watch Fox News!!!). At the time I had no idea that Fox News was the "conservative network".  I thought Bill O'Reilly was funny when he was mean to his guests.  Now I cringe when I watch him. I remember being excited and laughing maliciously when they announced Bush had won.  Ha, little did we know that night that it would take a couple of months before  Bush was officially declared winner. 

Fast forward now to 2003.  I was working at The Christmas Box House and went to my first conference.  I went to Washington DC to attend the Child Welfare League of America conference.  This is a huge conference every year for social workers, policy makers, etc.  It dealt with topics such as child abuse, foster care, etc.  The keynote speaker for the big morning breakfast session was none other than Hillary Clinton.  I am actually ashamed to admit this but at the time I had nothing good to say about the Clintons.  Don't ask me why - I couldn't have given you a firm answer.  I just knew that as a Republican that I was supposed to hate them.  So I did.  I actually said to my coworker, "Well I have to wake up early for that. I have to hear what SHE has to say." 

I went and took my seat among what had to be 800-1000 people.  And I listened.  And she blew me away.  She blew me away because she was talking about a new bill she was proposing as Senator regarding "kinship placements" for kids that were removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.  She blew me away because I felt like she got it.  She understood us. She said, "Right now, it is often easier for an abused and neglected child to live in a stranger's house in foster care than with a relative.  Too often, grandparents and other relatives want to intervene, but cannot afford to do so. In other instances, these individuals reluctantly raise the children in foster care so that they can receive compensation to cover a fraction of their expenses. My legislation will allow these relatives to become formal guardians of these children while still receiving a little financial help." 

This was the moment I became a Democrat.  It was this moment that my eyes were opened to another possibility of a political party.  It was this moment that I realized I didn't need to hate a woman who was actually trying to do something good for the children that I was working with every day.  This was the moment that I realized I didn't know why I believed I was a Republican if it was a Democratic senator that was introducing this bill. 

How bad ass is that?  Hillary Freaking Clinton swayed me.  She's a damn smart woman and I love that she turned the tables for me.

From then on I started to pay more attention to my political beliefs.  I started to realize that what I really believed tended to side more with the Democrats. I didn't become a flaming liberal at that moment.  Trust me, that has developed over time.  The important thing is that I have become this way through my own thoughts, research and discussions. I am not a Democrat because someone told me to be.  I am not a Democrat because I feel like that is what I have been told I had to be.  I am because I am and because I believe in it.  Also, working in various social service nonprofits added a lot to this reasoning. It's hard to be a Republican when so many of the services that the kids I served were threatened to be cut by the Republican party (programs such as CHIP, medicaid, etc.).  

I started to pay attention to more than just Fox News or KSL. I started listening to NPR. I started watching CNN and reading the New York Times and Newsweek Magazine.  I tried to broaden my understanding of the world. I am so glad that I did. 

And here I am today. Just over 8 years later and I am a full on Dem.  I'm a Democrat because I believe they are the party that fights more for abused children, low income families, and families that have lost all they have because their children get sick.  I'm a Democrat because I believe that stem cell research is vital to help us find the cure for horrible diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis. I'm a Democrat because I believe that all citizens deserve to be treated equally, no matter their race, religion, sexual orientation or gender. I'm a Democrat because I believe we need to take care of our environment. I'm a Democrat because I'm ok paying more taxes to improve our roads and to ensure that hungry families have food on their table.  I'm a Democrat because I believe all people deserve the chance to get a good education and be able to pay for that education. I'm a Democrat because I hate war. I hate how much money our country spends on defense. I'm a Democrat because I hate that one of my best friend's husband is in Afghanistan and has spent one week with his baby girl. This and many other reasons is why I choose to be a Democrat. 

This is why I proudly sport this sign in my yard.

This sign was yanked out of my yard one day and pulled apart, and bent and the pieces were thrown onto my lawn.  Sometimes it's hard being a Democrat in Utah.  I did leave a warning sign for the vandals however.

I have a hunch this won't be standing in 3 weeks - no matter the outcome.

Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that only Democrats have sought their own truth. I'm not saying Republicans are Republican because they have been "raised that way." This is actually becoming a regular topic in my blog.  Believe what you will.  But know WHY you believe it.  Don't listen to your talking heads. Don't listen to your religious leader, your parents, or your spouse. Seek it out for yourself so that you can know for yourself.    

And then get ready to debate me. 

Don't you just LOVE politics!?