Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Our Trial by Fire

Let's rant about life, because this is my therapy.

All my life, I feel as if I were given an easy path. I was the baby in the family and pretty much always got what I wanted. Besides having my father pass away at 20 years old, my trials have been pretty pathetic, but I have always had faith in God and have always stayed true to my beliefs.

Fast forward 5 years, Rachel and I have been married for 4 years and have been trying to have kids for 3. Rachel's goal in life, the one thing she has always told me she has dreamed of being, is a mother. After 3 years with no success we decided something must be wrong, so we went to the fertility center. From the beginning I told Rachel that I hoped I was the one with the problem, thinking it would be easier to fix me than to fix her. Well after the first semen analysis my hope became a reality. I was awarded the results of a zero sperm count. For those who may not understand what that means I'll explain. Most of the time, infertility in men, come in the form of a low sperm count, and most of the time it's treatable. Zero sperm count on the other hand is bad news. It means either 1. The boys aren't producing any, or 2. There is some kind of blockage in the tubes. But not all hope is lost, so far, all signs of testing point to blockage. So what's stopping us from extracting those suckers? Money.

To be 100% sure it's blockage we need to do a biopsy ($2000) then if we find out they are swimming around down there we have 2 options. We can fix the blockage ($7500) with possible complications for me in the future or we can do In Vitro ($12,500-17,000) with no guarantee of success. Most of this will be done with no help from our insurance #thanksObama. So with Rachel and I both making about 15 dollars an hour, we are looking at a minimum 2 years before we can look at fixing our problem. 

So, here is what I'm going through, as I can only speak for my feelings I can only imagine how Rachel feels. So here I am, the man who can't make babies and worse than that, the man who is standing in the way of his wife living out her dreams. My wife, loves me more than anyone, and she will never hold me accountable for that, but I will always know deep down, that I caused her to miss out on that experience.  Do you know what it feels like to grow up dreaming of having little read heads calling you dad, only to have that ripped from you? Why would God make a commandment to multiply and replenish the earth, then make it nigh impossible to fulfill his commandment due to a technicality. I mean, He can help Moses part a the Red Sea, He can create the earth in 7 days, He can feed an entire gathering with a couple loaves of bread, but He can't allow my wife and I to bring His children down to earth without doing it through some scientific procedure.

At the end of the day I'm not mad at God, I'm just confused. All things are for our good and our trials make us or break us. God has a plan for Rachel and I, whether it be adopting, being patient and saving money, or just plain teaching us to be humble. I just wish I could be miraculously healed, not because I want to have kids, but because Rachel doesn't deserve this trial. She should be able to be a mother, to her own child. Who knows, maybe God will bless us in ways we could never imagine, and I hope he does. Till then we will be faithful and patient. We will keep his commandments and continue to shrug off the constant barrage of questions and remarks such as, "When are you guys gonna have a baby?" and "Wait till you have kids of your own, then you'll understand." because we know they mean no harm, it's just hard to be constantly reminded that you can't have what you desire most.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Starbucks cups, get over it!

Seriously, it's a freaking cup. It has holiday colors on it, and people are offended there isn't more Christmas plastered all over it? Give me a break!
Let me tell you how to effectively let Starbucks know you aren't happy with their decision. 1. You can write them a letter. Let Starbucks know about your disappointment due to the lack of Christmas on your cup. 2. You can draw on your own cup, really all Starbucks has done is just enabled you to be creative and write what you want on your cup. 3. Don't buy Starbucks during this Holiday Season. Your money speaks louder than words. You can always get your coffee or hot chocolate fix somewhere else. There was coffee made before Starbucks and there will be coffee for a long time after they are gone.
But to all my friends who are so upset about their coffee cups, Christmas was never about coffee cups, toys, or department stores. Christmas was a time to remember the birth of the Savior of the world. It's not so much about how others help you remember Christmas, as it is how you and your family remember Christmas.
Go serve others, go spend time with your family, go caroling, go see a live nativity, spend time with the elderly, surround yourselves in the Christmas spirit by remembering, teaching, and living like the Son of God. I'm pretty sure we have better things to worry about than the design on our coffee cups.
But those are just my opinions. Merry Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Scouting in the Church.

I am an Eagle Scout, I had great leaders who taught me tons of life skills, the Boy Scout Program has been good too me. But in light of their adjusting moral standards I don't see any need for the Church to remain partnering with them.

Non-Mormons, let me clarify. I am not saying that the Church should no be accepting of everyone, that's not the point. But the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, aka the Mormons, is a Church of principle. They do as God commands because it is a Church led by Jesus Christ himself. I believe that, and that's not up for debate. But we as a Church are accepting of every person that walks on this earth and we view them as our brothers and sisters. Members of the Church are taught to love one another despite our differences. "Love the sinner, hate the sin." And I try to live my life in accordance to that.

I feel as if the Church has adequate programs, to separate itself from the BSA. The Duty to God program is amazing. It has all the ingredients to transition a boy into a man. From the Aaronic to the Melchizedec. Time to take up the uniform of the Priesthood and retire the uniform of the Scout.

I think one of the coolest things that would happen is that it would put the power of the quorum back into the hand of the youth and their presidencies. We have become so focused on the path of the Eagle that I believe we skip over the spiritual growth of each boy. The Duty to God program should incorporate a lot of the lessons taught in scouting. There should be camp outs and first aid training, hiking, swimming, education. But there should also be more service oriented goals. Give the boys a guideline to work with and let them plan it themselves.

Don't misunderstand me avid scouters, my time as a Boy Scout was great! But I knew many boys who felt differently, who felt pushed, and forced to do a program they weren't even planning on finishing. Think of how many young men were only at Scouts on Tuesday nights because they had to be, and had no desire to be there other than hang out with the boys their age.

All in all, with the Church moving toward a more "Teach by the Spirit" approach when it comes to youth, I feel the scouting program hinders the ability to plan activities that will strengthen the youth according to the needs of the quorum.

At the end of the day, I will stand by whatever the Church decides, because I know it is a Church ran by Christ himself. I have no ill feelings to my friends and family who choose to live a lifestyle different than mine. But these are my opinions, take em' if you want them. The funny thing about opinions is that they are free, and worth about as much too. ;)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cops: They Have a Tough Road Ahead.

You know what's a rough job? Being a cop.

Not because the price of doughnuts is close to $10 a dozen, which I will gladly rant about in another blog post, but because they are now the number one victim in RCPR's (Random Camera Phone Recordings). If anyone knows how to relate to (inset modern day movie star with paparazzi issues) it's police officers. They constantly have cameras in their face. Can you imagine if you were doing your job with a camera on you all the time? But when we give someone the duty of maintaining law and order, we should hold them accountable. We have all seen way too many YouTube videos of cops over stepping their boundaries.

Reddit.com is pretty good at pointing out both sides of the countries current fascination with police. I for one, am glad more and more officers are getting body cams. I want to keep officers honest but also I want to protect them from accusations that are false or protect them when they are in the right for using force.

Take for example the Arizona Walmart parking lot brawl. I want to make sure those officers safe from any accusations against their choice to use lethal force.(http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/video-shows-walmart-brawl-christian-family-band-cops-article-1.2181445)

In the last couple of weeks there have been some stories come out against officers where the officer was clearly in the wrong. Body cameras would have been nice in these instances, but luckily we had citizens armed with cameras to record the wrong doings.

First is the shooting in South Carolina where Walter Scott was shot at while fleeing. The video clearly shows the officers planting a taser/gun on Walter Scott's body. The full story can be found here.

The second was a woman who was in some sort of altercation with police when the officer comes over and destroys the phone the woman is using to record the officers. Luckily there was another citizen recording across the street.

 I'm thinking we will start seeing a lot of backlash against cops. People don't take well to stories like the previous two. I predict people will become more cautious around officers. And this is all really sad not only for us but for the officers. Cops deal with a lot of people on a day to day basis. With so much skepticism and animosity towards officers floating in the air we are bound to see the "A" holes come out in full force with their RCPR's. Here are some example of citizen stupidity ...

 Stupid guy thinks he knows his rights

 Stupid girl thinks she knows her rights  

Regardless of how you feel toward the men in uniform, it's going to be tough for officers. People are going to be recording, they are going to get nasty, they are going to be ignorant, and they are looking for them to screw up. I respect anyone who chooses to wear the badge and have to deal with these problems, hopefully they are full of patience and are understanding of peoples current perception of cops in general.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Sometimes, People Fall Out of Love.

Haha April Fools, we are still madly in love with each other! Have a great day!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Speak Your Mind!

This is Robert Downy Jr.
You wanna know what I like about RDJ? He's Tony Stark! I'm pretty sure he will always be Tony Stark. If ever there is another Iron Man, they will not fill the roll as well as RDJ.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way, one thing I like about Tony Stark, is that he speaks his mind. There isn't much you don't know about him as a character. His opinions are right on his sleeves, and those opinions are usually blunt, honest, and to the point. I like that!

I was reading a comment thread the other day on Facebook. The topic of this thread was the BBC dropping Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear. Now, that's not important, to me at least. The part that struck me was that the OP of the thread had a dilemma. Short sweet and to the point, he felt one way about the firing of Jeremy Clarkson and his friends felt another way. He was almost disgusted that his friends could feel so passionately about an opinion that was contrary to his. He wasn't quite sure what to do.

My advice to my children will to be always speak your mind. Some might disagree with me on that, with the assumption that peoples feelings might get hurt, or that speaking your mind may affect you negatively sometimes, but hear me out on this one before jumping to conclusions. In my relationship with the people of this world I have found more likely than not, that when I have a problem with someone, it's because of a lack of communication. Thoughts weren't properly expressed leaving me and the other party to fill in the gap with our own assumptions. This is why I always try to express my opinion, I don't want people guessing which side I am on.

So what should you do when others have opinions different from yours? Accept them. Opinions make us who we are. We are all comprised of different opinions, that were constructed through different experiences, trials, joys, and other things we have lived through. They are formed by what we watch, who we associate with, where we live. Think about it, not one person in this world is exactly the same as you. Difference in opinion should be celebrated, not frowned upon. Expressing what is in your mind is like sharing a part of who you are. We should never be against sharing opinions. 

Now, going back to where you may disagree with me. It's all about presentation. There are times to share your opinions and there are times to hold you tongue. But you should never leave a situation thinking "I should have said" or "I wish I would have". You shouldn't push your opinions on others, and you should be accepting of opinions that differ from yours. That is how in fact we makes our opinions stronger.

A person cannot grow if he or she constantly places themselves is "safe" situations. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I cannot shun myself away from those with different beliefs. One, that isn't what God would want, two, how would I grow if I only surround myself with things that were comfortable to me. 

Your opinions need to be challenged, they need to be expressed, and you yourself sometimes need to hear your own voice solidifying what you believe. So share you mind. It's what makes you, you. I wouldn't have it any other way.