Wednesday, March 26, 2014

#4 Real Stories from Real Mommas { Vulgar times}

I am sharing the story today because I have a great one and it just needs to be up here.

Today Owen and I went to Home Depot. We were looking for dowels for this project. The only way I could get him to hold my hand was by bribing him- saying he could hold a big stick. He is a male, so naturally, it's just worked. Owen can't quite enunciate the "st" sound. Instead, it comes out more like the "d" sound.

While wandering through the isles, O saw a guy holding a long piece of molding. He started yelling

"BIG @!$%" 
"BIG !$@#"

This guy looked appalled at first and then started laughing his head off. I calmly said "He's saying "stick" and walked away. So now, everyone within hearing distance heard my little two year old yelling vulgar words. I laughed so hard and we have been working on the "st" sound. 

Good times. 




Sunday, March 23, 2014

Paraguay {Favorite Day 3/22/14}

With a surprise knee surgery on Thursday, I have been a little behind, but I feel like I may be able to catch up. Chris took Thursday and Friday off to help with Owen and that has been the greatest blessing.

I am finally doing my first Favorite Day post- So here it is!

On Friday of last week my brothers mission call came in. We had so many friends come over and give their guesses. We had dear friends (our second parents) on Skype awaiting the announcement. As soon as he read-

"Elder Jeffrey Petersen..you have been called to serve in the Paraguay, Asuncion mission".

I started bawling, mom and dad were crying, there was not a dry eye in the room. I felt so proud and I know my parents did too. This is the first missionary to go out of our family so it's a pretty big deal. Neither of my grandpas nor my dad served a mission.

It was such a great day, full of love and joy. We are so proud of you Jeff.

Mom, Colton (Jeff's 1st best-friend), Jill, Alan , and Cooper


 Jeff's sisters- Kelly, Susan, CeLin and Grace




His reaction after reading "Paraguay"





 The 2nd best-friend Bailey





Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Jan-Mar 2014 Recap

I finally charged my camera and found a bucket load of memories- from a couple months ago til now. I figured I should document them, so here they are.

We played in flour because we don't have a sand box..










I started an herb garden- because I like salsa and caprese 

Cilantro



 Grass elephant- just to see if anything would grow.. and it did!!

 Caprese Pizza


 We played with Jeff's swim cap- hahahaha (he threw a tantrum when we took it off)

 Ate some hot cheetos and loved every second
 "cheeeessssssssssseeee" I know it's super blurry but it's still great!


 My youngest sister Bec turned 15! So we threw her a little party (after we got home from listening to Sister Dalton speak- around ten). 


 And we forgot candles- so 8+8-1= 15 (that's also about as good as my math gets) I'm so dang creative.
 It's been a great first of the year and to add to it, Owen started sleeping through the night. Twenty months old and is just now going to bed around 9:30pm and sleeping in til nine. It's been a miracle. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

19/30 Where to live?

Alight- I'm finally back to the 30 Things Series

19/30- If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?

This is a tough one- Because we are currently living in my parents basement, anywhere sounds great. No offense to my parents and family. It just sounds good to be on our own, anywhere. You understand right?

Las Vegas- I love the heat and I am familiar with it. That would be a great place to live. I loved living there when I was a kid.

Hawaii- What? I know. You're all saying "You said you hated it". haha "You never wanted to go back".
Well, here's what I have to say- The only reason I would move back is because of the people and culture. I loved the people. I have never lived in a place as welcoming, selfless, and loving as Laie. We were often given whatever we needed out of love. There was no judging of any kind. I loved that. I could (and did most days) wear Chris' over sized T-shirt, his basketball shorts, a messy bun on the top of my head and no make up and I was still invited places. haha

Moving back to the mainland was hard. Obviously there are great people everywhere but Laie was a happy and loving place. Part of it, was that we were all extremely poor college students.
Our Thanksgiving dinner

 View from Diamonhead



Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Speak Up- Thoughts from a sexual abuse survivor

I have received numerous amounts of messages of love and support from friends, and people I don't even know, since posting my story of being molested. The more I hear about your stories and your lives the more I feel the need to talk more about it. This topic is usually on my mind but I have been thinking about it sincerely for weeks, and there are so many things I want to address. So many feelings. This is meant to be an encouraging post so I hope you feel it comes off that way.

Wow, Where to start?

 Oh! I know- I just want to start by talking about the "victims". Like I said before, I don't like this word. I also don't like people that choose (yes, choose) to be the victim. Every victim of sexual, emotional or physical abuse has a choice to make- to be a victim or to be survivor.

 And these two words will change your life. Change the way you view yourself, your children, others and the world. Everything.

To be a victim:
1. a person who suffers  from a destructive or injurious (hurtful/damaging) action or agency
2. a person who is deceived or cheated as by his or her own emotions or ignorance

I love that in the world wide dictionary it says "agency" and "by his or her own emotions". This is what I got from that, Choosing to be a victim because of hurt feelings. Now listen, I am not downplaying being sexually abused, I hope you know that. It is an excruciatingly painful business, but the point I'm trying to make is, it doesn't have to be.

Now, to be a survivor:
1.a person who continues to function or prosper in spite of (in disregard of) opposition, hardships or setbacks.

To me the answer is simple.. now. I only wish I'd understood sooner.

  I feel such a power now. I feel so free. So liberated. Happy. (This guy makes me pretty happy)


I have so many thoughts and I tend to get very "passionate" (the word Chris likes to use) about this subject. So bear with me (I even looked up the word bear- it sounded weird to use like that but it means to "support", so I left it.)

It may sound heated or like I'm getting pumped up for a game but to me that's really what it's like- getting ready, educating yourself and your children, saying "no", defending yourself. I know that this stems from being molested and looking back at the completely helpless and defenseless little five year old. It use to make me angry and now I just feel empowered and motivated to educate and speak up for myself and others.


No one wants to though- I shouldn't say no one, but it sure feels like it, wants to speak up about these things. Because it's "not cool", embarrassing, shameful, sad, humiliating..
Guess what?! 
It's life and yes, it's sad and unpleasant. But it's like trying to ignore a neon pink elephant in a room.

We can't. We shouldn't.

 Why though, why is it painful to talk about? I have an idea from my point of view.

After this happened, I felt like the only "freak" who had experienced something like this because no one talked about it. I was the only "broken" or "damaged" girl. The only one. Heaven know that's not even close to true but I felt like it. Had I met another women (survivors) who were willing to talk with me, things may be different, they may be the same. Who knows?
I do know that I would have felt more normal, more comforted, not completely shattered.

This, right here, talking about it is giving me (and other survivors) power. The less we talk about it the more they get away with it, the more power they have. I am not going to freely give it anymore. For a long time I did, I played the victim card. After a while it gets old. And I promise you, this side is so much better. I guarantee you he didn't think I'd be the one talking about it now. He knew he could get away with it then, but look where I am now. He isn't getting away with it anymore.

Since I realized what happened to me didn't define me, I have been determined to be the one to talk about it, as painful and ugly as it is, to help others deal with the aftermath.

To be a survivor, not a victim.

And as I've mentioned before, it took me a long time to "forgive and forget", so to speak. Going through this trail I have become so passionate about educating and helping others. I often wish I could be a motivational speaker, a therapist or a counselor so I can share my knowledge and passion with other women. That has been a dream of mine for a couple years now. Since I am in my birthing and raising children years, this probably isn't the right time to pursue this dream, but please believe I will not give up on it.

I want to share the peace and happiness I have found through overcoming this.. I want to scream it from the rooftops! There is no need to feel ashamed, ugly, embarrassed, humiliated, hurt. There simply, is no need. I don't feel ugly, I don't feel sad, I don't feel defiled, I don't feel unwanted.

 Even though I felt that way, on and off, for a good fifteen years, my only wish is to help women cope faster than I have. Being a "victim" of sexual abuse makes you feel ashamed, ugly, embarrassed, disgusting, not wanted and broken. Here's the thing.. you aren't. You did nothing wrong.

{I was able to hear Sister Dalton speak to our stake this last week and I had a really cool experience with her.}
She was speaking about our individual worth, and motherhood. It was very encouraging and uplifting. I was so grateful to be there. I had most of this post written before I went and I kept thinking, "That would be so cool if she talked about being sexually abused". I still went, knowing that wasn't the topic.
About half way through, she paused, and said

            "If you have had your virtue taken from you, there is no need to repent. You did nothing wrong. You are still a daughter of God and He loves you."

Then finished the rest of her talk about individual worth. It was crazy. I felt the confusion in the room when she said that, but it hit home for me. After she was finished speaking, a whole line of women lined up to talk to her. She was so kind to take her time, listen and give advice to these women who desperately needed it.

My dad was assigned the "security" for her and had to walk to her car after it was over. I wanted to talk to her but I didn't want to wait in line, nor tell her a sad story. The Stake Presidency and some of Sister Dalton's friends walked out to her car and that was my opportunity. My friend (who got Sis. Dalton to speak) introduced me to her and I told her little about me and what happened when I was little. I told her it wasn't a sad story, but more of a victorious one. She smiled and asked me more about it. I told her I started a blog and I talk a lot about my journey and I am trying to help women heal.
She seemed so pleased. I told her that I was shocked at what she said about being sexually abused and she said,

"Sarah, I have never been more prompted and inspired to say anything before, like that. I kept putting it off, and questioning myself. I thought even that these women don't need to hear this and I heard a distinct "Yes, they do". So I said it. I felt better after I did and it turns out, more women talked to me about that than anything else".

What?! How awesome is that? She told me to keep doing what I'm doing and it will get to the women that need it. Such a huge compliment for me. She was so encouraging. I just love that inspired woman.

Somehow being raped or molested leaves you feeling dirty, used and defiled. That's why most predators get away with what they do. We are too afraid to speak up because we feel guilty and embarrassed.

Overcoming something as terrifying and lamenting as being sexually abused takes time.
It takes a lot of time. It takes support. It takes love.  I love this quote-

       "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

So if you need support, I am here to lend you my advice. If you need to cry I will lend you a shoulder. If you need help, please seek it. Bishops and therapists are so loving and kind. Being on the other side of hurt and sorrow is love and joy. It's worth talking about. It will change your life.

With love,
Sarah



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

#3 Real Stories From Real Mommas

Today's Real Stories from Real Mommas post is given to us from an old friend that I went to high school with. Her and her hubs just found out they are having TWINS!!! (Also, interesting fact: she is a twin). She has a pretty incredible story about getting pregnant through in vitro. It's truly a miracle. Here is her experience with morning sickness? Ever had anything similar?

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 Here's a pretty funny story I thought you could use about the first time morning sickness really hit me me.

I always thought being pregnant would be this magical time where I felt beautiful as my body and heart grew with a growing baby. And my heart has grown immensely for these two little babies as they grow every day. But there are some plain and ugly truths about pregnancy that I just didn't expect. 
Morning sickness....I knew morning sickness was going to happen but in my mind I was convinced that it wouldn't be too bad. So I couldn't keep food down every now and then, big deal. Well by the time I was a little over seven weeks I only had mild nausea. No throwing up, and with twins I thought I was just going to be one of those extremely lucky ones who kinda got to skip the morning sickness phase. Haha, oh my naive little self.
I was seven weeks five days pregnant and it was the week of Christmas. It was about 3:30 in the morning, and Sam and I where all packed and on our way to the Oakland airport. We live in a city about 15 minutes south of San Francisco on the peninsula. Even though the San Francisco air port is closer the Oakland is usually cheaper. To get to the Oakland airport you have to drive over a seven mile long bridge that connects the peninsula to the east bay, because Oakland is over on the east bay. (This is all a part of the story I promise!)
So it’s 3:30 in the morning and we're in the car driving over the bridge. I had just taken my meds before we left and with one of the meds I have to drink A LOT of water with it. I had my water bottle with me in the car and was drinking away as we’re driving. Like I mentioned before, the bridge that connects the peninsula to the east bay is about seven miles long and we were just starting the bridge. Sam and I were just chatting away when all of a sudden a HUGE wave of nausea came over me. In those early weeks I could usually just breathe through the nausea without throwing up. I gave Sam the "hold on a second" finger while I tried to breathe through this nausea. 
Now when it comes to being sick I am not one that can hold it in until I get to a bathroom. When it’s coming up, it’s coming up now and there is no warning or stopping it. All of a sudden I felt it coming... I was just barely able to get the car window down before it all came up! 
Now the-not-so-funny-at-the-time-but-it-tells-a-good-story-afterwards, is that on the bridge there are NO shoulders to pull off on!!! We were forced to keep driving!!! The speed limit was 70 miles per hour, Sam did slow down to 50 mph for me. But here I am puking my brains out the window of a moving car going 50 mph while driving over a seven mile long bridge!!! And if you've ever had to puke out a moving car you know how difficult it can be! Thankfully the only thing I had in my stomach was water! The closest car behind us was pretty far away but I still felt so bad because I wasn't sure how far "it" could travel. I've got to admit for about 20 minutes after I felt better. Once we got off the bridge we pulled off to the closest gas station while I went inside to cleanup Sam squeegeed our car. And I'm just now realizing it probably wasn't very nice to use the gas station squeegee to clean throw up off our car. But remember it was basically just water. 
Going through the airport was slow with the holiday travelers and I got to the point where I wasn't feeling very good again. I made sure to have a trash can in eye sight at ALL times! I just prayed and kept praying that if I was going to throw up again it wasn't going to be until we made it safely to my in-laws and I had a nice private bathroom to myself. Thankfully, Heavenly Father answered my prayers. I took three barf bags from the plane to keep with me in my purse at all times and even at 16 weeks I still have them. That was just the beginning of my morning sickness! I now keep a barf bowl with me in every room of the house. I wasn’t kidding about not being able to hold it in until I get to a bathroom. Mornings were definitely the hardest for me. Ginger ale and saltiness have become my best friends! It has eased up a little since the second trimester started. I've gone six days, so far, without puking, so its progress!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Favorite Day

I had an epiphany, okay just a new idea for the under-construction-blog, it's called favorite day.

Some family friends of ours started this tradition a long time ago of telling everyone in the family their favorite part of the day before family prayers at night. It's been a tradition Chris and I have loved incorporating into our family. It makes us stop and think, for just a second, of what we are grateful for that day. Taking that time makes a difference. Instead of talking about what we don't have and what we don't like, it helps me, especially, think about how good I have it. It also helps me to look for those things during the day.

That being said I want to start adding that into the new blog "schedule"," routine"?  And hopefully it will make you think of something you are grateful for that day too. So here's to Favorite Day Friday! And don't forget to catch up on Real Stories from Real Mommas Tuesday!

Like this guy- thankful for him. He is so hard working and kind. I love him so much more now than I ever have (truth). He treats me so well and he is an incredibly patient dad.

I will do the first official Favorite Day Friday this coming Friday.. my brothers' mission call should be here then!!