Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Few Stops on the Celebration Train

The life of Libby has been a wee bit exciting as of late! Between my 2-week long birthday celebrations, events at work, and other general fun times that needed to be had, October is shaping up to end on a pretty good note.

My birthday was October 20, and Shane's is exactly 2 weeks after on November 3. This year, our birthdays fell on Saturdays which make celebrating a cinch! Last Saturday (the in-betweenie) our good friends took us out to celebrate, double-duty style.

Here we are blowing out our candles and masking the overwhelming feelings of suddenly feeling old. (Yes, it happened. The day I turned 24 felt like I jumped off a cliff without a harness...even though either way would have hurt my toosh!) I love this picture of us- it is so accurate to our relationship. Shane calm and composed, while I am just eager to celebrate!

While on the celebration train, we made a stop at our one and a half year anniversary! Choo Choo! (Hey, any excuse to celebrate our love, right??) Our children were so wonderful, they even made us a card! Aren't they thoughtful? Managing to write in cursive is no easy feat without opposable thumbs.

It is nice to feel the love coming at you from every angle. Birthdays are a great reminder of who really cares about you. Tune in next week when I reveal all the surprises I have up my sleeve for Shane's birthday! Can't share them here yet- he subscribes to my blog, you know. What a supportive Significant Other I have! I do think I will keep him around. (Thanks for supporting my dreams, honey!)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Life, Birth, Death (Whose Hands are They in, Anyway?)

This isn't exactly an easy post to write, certainly not one that will make me very popular with a lot of people, but it is a subject that I feel indescribably strong about, and therefore I am going to be blunt with my opinions, no matter the kick-back.

Life is a gift from God. Period.

If only it was that simple, right? But unfortunately, it isn't. People seem to think they can take the sanctity and blessing of life out of God's hands and into their own. And listen, I'm not excluding anyone here. I don't frankly care who you are: if you aren't God, you don't get to make those kinds of decisions.

So why is it that so many people are calling the comments of people against abortion "ridiculous" and "crazy"? Rape is a horrible, unimaginable, hellish crime, and the people who commit it should be behind bars for life, I would even make the "let the punishment fit the crime" argument here and say castration wouldn't be a far-fetched punishment.

I believe that life begins at conception. There is a living organism inside the womb with a heart beating at just days. (If you want to see a truly remarkable presentation on this, and a scientific one at that, click here. It is a fascinating mind-blower.)

I know that a pregnancy as a result of a horrible rape can be unimaginably devastating, a 9-month long reminder of the crimes committed against you and your sacred body. I do not believe though, that a crime committed against you gives you the right to commit one against another human being. Specifically one that shares your DNA.

I can not imagine how tough a decision process like this is. I do not wish it upon anyone. Who knows, though, what and who that child could grow up to become? You don't feel comfortable raising it yourself, I get it. Really, I do. If you knew the number of couples in our country alone who are unable to bear children of their own, and would give anything for the chance to raise the one someone in considering aborting... I would hope that would change your mind.

I understand that in the world of politics and news, things people say will forever be misconstrued and taken out of context. I do not believe that the comments given recently by Indiana Senate Candidate, Richard Mourdock, were meant out of malice or insensitivity to victims of rape.

It isn't the RAPE he was saying was in God's plan, but LIFE. Life! Life in general, life planned, and life unplanned. Your life, my life, future life, your children's life. Rape is, was, and will always be one of the most evil acts anyone can imagine. Life as a result of that rape is not the crime, though. I think that is what he was ultimately trying to communicate. 

Giving birth to a child as a result of rape would be one of the hardest things a woman would have to go through. But maintaining the sanctity of life is something we HAVE to do. A woman doesn't choose to go through these awful times, but she can choose to do something good with it.

And if you don't think you can find someone who will take care of that baby for you, give them to me. I'll take care of them.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Home is Where Your History Begins

The place I call home is a city smack dab between Tampa and Orlando, Florida. After the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan made a stop here before they flew to their next destination. A few years ago,  a group of girls beat their peer up and video taped it to put on Myspace. A while before that, a police officer and his canine counterpart, Diogi, unjustly died while serving, creating an uproar of support and encouragement from people around the world. It is a mecca for retirees, snowbirds, and those who work in the big city but do not see the appeal in living in it.

My home is Lakeland, Florida and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I have always loved Lakeland, but I knew in order to "do my thing" and really appreciate my hometown, I would have to leave. After high school graduation, that is just what I did.

Do you want to know the first thing I did when I drove home after being at college for just 2 months? I bawled. Oh, did I bawl! As soon as I pulled off of Interstate 4 onto familiar roads and started making my way down the roads to my house, there was just no stopping those good ol' female floodgates of tears.

I don't cry every time I go home now (Thank the Lord!), but I do look forward to my trips for about a month leading up to them. Last week, I was able to spend a few days at home prior to my birthday and it was a great time. Both of my brothers were there, got to see my new niece again, and of course partake in lots of celebratory things to ring in my new age [read: I am finally starting to feel old and need distractions!]

And now, enjoy an influx of photos...

I am glad to be back to my "new" home and into my daily grind again, but I always welcome a great break to my tried and true.

I am reminded of a quote from one of my apologetically favorite movies, Where the Heart Is:

"Home is where your history begins. Home is where they catch you when you fall."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Scaredy Cats Annonymous

Hello, my name is Libby and I am a scaredy cat. (hello, Libby...)

I am, perhaps by nature, but more likely by other contingencies (horror stories from my mother, the news,  books and movies of the "thriller" persuasion), a paranoid worry wart. I do hope I am not alone in this, as that is most often when it comes creeping up- when I am alone.

After a few bouts of college roommates, post-grad I decided to live alone. "No roommates until it's my husband!" I said. I perhaps should have thought through that decision a little better. I clearly was not considering the creepy noises refrigerators and walls make in the wee hours of the night.

After many visions of break-in bums danced in my head, I decided to get a guard dog. Yes, a guard dog! Not only would he be my companion for the lonely evenings spent in front of my T.V. that I'm too cheap to buy cable for, but he would be able to protect me from any harm, remove the extremities of an intruder, and sound the alarm when danger lurked.

I give you, exhibit A: The Guard Dog.

Okay, but can you blame me?? He's awfully cute, and he does sound the alarm- but mostly just to hear himself bark. And bark. And bark. Guarding the castle is just not what he was designed for.

Having my buddy, Simon around has helped though, despite his 6 pound stature. That is, until last night when an unidentified noise came from outside my dining room window at one o'clock in the morning.


Okay, Simon, this is getting us nowhere. Pace, pause, staring contest with Simon, pace, call boyfriend, pause, listen, pace, call boyfriend, pace...

Finally, I put Simon back in his bed, and willed myself to change my thinking to more rational thoughts. Between the weird dreams and waking up every thirty minutes, I'd say I was successful..well, ya know, relatively speaking. 

That is, until this morning when I turned on the Today Show. Top story: woman gets raped for 5 hours after a date with an anesthesiologist she met online. Well, isn't that just what I needed to fill my thoughts today...

So today, I double and triple checked my backseat as I got in my car, gave an extra mean look to the lingering-eyed man who told me to have a good day outside the library, and kept replaying in my head the S-I-N-G scene from Miss Congeniality. (Stomach, instep, nose, groin!)

I am bound and determined to have a peaceful night's sleep tonight. I am going to lock my doors, say my prayers, and not think about any scenes I have ever seen on Law and Order. Ever.

And if that doesn't work, I shall buy me a hot pink, bedazzled gun. Who says I can't have rhinestones while I'm kicking ass?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dear Avery, Love Mom

There are two things in this world that I have always known I wanted to be: a writer and a mother.

Some people go through elementary school with a football under their arm, a stethoscope around their neck, or a pair of ballet shoes they just can't come to terms with taking off. Me? I attended to my doll babies and constructed elaborate stories, poems, and dialogues. I had a fun childhood full of ballet, pa-sghetti, sponge curlers, and sleepovers. My mom and I held hands as we walked through Dillards and ate chicken fingers at Chili's. I wrote poems and songs that I would read aloud at the dinner table or to my most influential teachers. These traits would follow me, as I am still honing them now: I am still learning to weave writing in my everyday life, I love nothing more than being around babies, and am excited for the day I will have my own (although, I am content waiting a few years for that.)

I read the most incredible blog last week that I just could not peel my eyes away from, and yet it has haunted me just the same. A co-worker shared with me the blog of a girl she had grown up with, and now lives in Kentucky with her husband. A girl known for her charm, sweet disposition, and servant's heart, Carey is the kind of person you know is destined for great things, and "her children will call her blessed" (Proverbs 31).

When Carey discovered she was pregnant with her first child, she was ecstatic. She started her blog, Dear Avery, as a collection of letters she writes to her unborn child. Although my co-worker spoiled the ending for me, I started reading Carey's blog from the beginning. 

I have never been pregnant or brought life into the world, but I know that the love Carey expressed to the child growing inside her was something I have yet to experience... it was the most astonishingly beautiful account of love one could read. I almost felt privileged, let in on a secret I wasn't sure I should know all about.

Carey spoke to her daughter, Avery, as if she was sitting in front of her, soaking up every word that was typed. And when Carey found out about her daughters condition, I felt a twinge of the hurt Carey felt.

You will need to read about Carey and Avery's journey yourself... I read through the entire blog in one sitting, bursting with a plethora of feelings I didn't know I could feel for a family I have never met.

The love Carey felt for her unborn child, the decisions she made, and the pain she endured is something I personally know nothing about. But sometimes, you just know where you are called. I am a firm believer that God never gives you more than you can handle, and nothing that you cant go out and do good with. Carey, I believe, fits that category. It may not have been the hand she deserved, she prayed for, or could ever imagine... but something good will come out of her story.

Please read Carey's blog. It will do something to your soul I can't even explain. Or maybe it won't, but it sure did something in me.

I know bumps, bruises, and detours happen when we least expect them and usually, at the most inopportune times. Like Carey, though, I will never let that get in my way of what I feel called to become.