16 February 2014

Mormon Missionaries Aren't Humans

I will never forget the first time I made a phone call as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It involved a man screaming at me at the top of his lungs and telling me I was wasting my time out on a Mormon mission among other offensive things. Yeah...I cried after I hung up the phone. 

Afterward, I wondered why he felt it was OK to treat me like that. I could understand why he might disagree with what we were teaching as missionaries, but why did he feel like it was OK to treat me like trash? 

As you can imagine, experiences like this came often on my mission. Some people made fun of us, others opened their doors to list off the reasons why my mission companion and I were terrible people. I even had someone pull a knife on me once when I tried giving him a card with our church Website on it (which is a great story to tell now, but I about wet my pants when it happened). 

Some of these experiences made me laugh, others made me roll my eyes, some just made me cry.

Some days, I didn't feel like a real human being anymore. People talked to me like they could say whatever mean thing they wanted just because they disagreed with me or didn't understand what I believed.   

I don't want you to get the wrong idea about me sharing these negative aspects to a LDS mission. I loved serving as a missionary for that year and a half. I was able to meet and help so many amazing people. The wonderful people and memories from my mission  far outweigh the hard parts, and I have never regretted serving. However, although many people were kind, I was amazed at how many people treated us terribly over a difference in opinion.  

I think that sometimes we can get so caught up on the things we disagree with that we forget to show love, tolerance, and compassion for others no matter what our personal beliefs are.

There have been so many times in my life where I have been guilty of saying hurtful things to someone's face or behind their back just because I disagreed with them. Many times, I didn't even care to see things from their point of view. 

Serving an LDS mission has helped me be more willing to hear others out and try to see things from their point of view (However, I do avoid listening to telemarketer spiels). Although there are lots of topics where I disagree with others, I try and take an interest in what others believe because I would hope that they would give my beliefs and points of view a listening ear as well. 

09 January 2014

I'm Still Here!

My poor, neglected blog. I am always in the mood to write a great post, but life has been so fun and busy. We just got back from a three-week visit with Lorin's family in Utah for Christmas and had a great time. Now, it is back to real life. I thought I would share some pictures of the fun times we had over the holidays.

As you can tell, sledding was a big hit with Miranda:

We played lots of fun games:

Grandma gave Miranda her first haircut: 

Aunt Erika showed Miranda her horse:

Miranda got some sweet gold pants for Christmas from her aunt:

Mom and Dad Baird are playing air hockey here, but what you can't see is the awesome laser tag arena where we spent many an hour.

We celebrated the new year in giant bounce houses!

 Miranda had her nails painted for the first time:

Well, those are some holiday highlights for you. I hope all of you had a great Christmas too!

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15 November 2013

When God Leads You Down the Wrong Road

After about a year of teaching as adjunct faculty at BYU-Idaho, I started entertaining the thought of going to grad school. Since Lorin was already planning on furthering his degree, I knew my decision to join him would be a financial strain and would also affect the childhood of the bean growing inside my stomach at the time. Despite the different obstacles, I still wanted to go. I felt like grad school was something that I needed and wanted to do.

Everyone has their own way of making big life decisions. For me, I take things to God and ask him to guide me in the right direction.

After a lot of thought and prayer, I felt great about going to grad school. Not only did I want to go, but I felt God was leading me in this direction for a reason.

Well, one child, one miserable semester and $8,000 later, I found that grad school was most definitely NOT the right thing for me to do.

God had lead me down the wrong road.

I didn't understand. Why the heck would a loving God do that?

Maybe this can explain:

From going down the wrong road that semester, I was able to know for sure that I am on the right road now. I stay at home with Miranda and am able to work from home as well. This road works so much better for my family and I.

The thing is, if I would have skipped school and gone straight down the road I am on now, I would have always been wondering what life would have been like had I chosen differently. I wouldn't have appreciated what I have now as much.

So, I'm not mad a God for leading me down the wrong road. In fact, I'm glad He did.

Have you ever felt really good about a decision, but found out it was actually the wrong one? What is your experience? Did you find something else that worked better for you?
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07 November 2013

Why My Husband Took Away My Facebook Password

Social media can be a blessing and a curse.

A couple of months ago, if you would have taken a look at my internet history, you would have seen that I checked up on my Facebook at least 10 times a day. You know, I just wanted to see what was going on. I wanted to talk with friends—socialize.

I don't know what it is about Facebook, or why I felt a need to check it so frequently, but it was beginning to be a problem and a waste of timemaybe even bordering on addiction. Things kind of felt like this:

I hated that pulling feeling that made me want to take out my laptop to check if a friend answered my message or to see what so and so said about the picture I posted.

I reasoned with myself, saying Facebook was pretty much the only way to keep in contact with old friends, or the only way to get social interaction during the week (since I'm a stay-at-home mom).

The odd thing was that I didn't feel any closer to friends or family by going on Facebook a million times during the day. In the end, I just wasted time scrolling down my Facebook feed and felt disappointed when I saw that nothing had changed since I last checked my Facebook 30 minutes before.

So, that is when I told Lorin to change my password and keep it from me.

This has been a GREAT change. I still go on Facebook and keep up with friends, but I have Lorin type in the password. I am amazed at how much my Facebook time has decreased since holding myself accountable for the time I spend online. I find that if I don't have a good reason to go on Facebook, I just don't go on. I find other things to do. When I want to socialize, I find myself interacting with people in person or by telephone more often.  

For the record, I think Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends; however, Facebook can never replace having a fun ladies night at a friend's house or hearing the voice of a brother, sister, or parent over the phone.

What are your thoughts about Facebook? Have you ever had to limit your Facebook time?
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16 October 2013

Remembering Who I am Doing This For

5:00 rolled around today, and I was lying on the couch, exhausted with a Ziploc bag full of Rice Krispie treats in hand. There were children's books, toys, and baby socks all over the living room floor. Our dining room table was covered with more books and dirty dishes from this morning's breakfast that I never got around to putting away. The kitchen was...well, you get the idea. Then, there was Miranda who was running circles around the house, making the occasional trip over to the couch to poke me in the eyes or beg for more Rice Krispie treats.

I often find that the state of my home often reflects how I feel.

I just kept thinking, one more hour until Lorin gets home. One more hour until Lorin can help me clean up the house, get the baby ready for bed, and make dinner.

And then after lying down on the couch and shoving one more Rice Krispie treat in my mouth, I decided to suck it up and get everything done because I don't know a single person that enjoys coming home to a hot mess right after school or work.

Now the house is nice and clean, we had a good dinner, and the babe is bathed and in bed. I feel a lot better.

Days like this happen all the time. Some days, I feel like I can't pick up one more dirty sock or sweep up one more of Miranda's messes. But then I try to remember how much Lorin appreciates coming home to a clean house or having something to eat when he gets home. When I think about who I am doing all of this for, the task doesn't seem so hard anymore.
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08 September 2013

The Forbidden Shed of Mystery

I'm still here, but life has been super busy lately. One of these days, I will write up an interesting and thought-provoking post on motherhood or family life, but today is not that day.

However, something exciting happened this past week! Lorin's parents, sister, and uncle came into town and surprised Lorin with tearing down our forbidden shed of mystery and rebuilding it. The shed is still a work in progress, but it is already SO much better than it was before. Here are some before pictures:

Then, with the amazing help from our family, many friends from church and school, and the missionaries, we made a lot of progress.

Building this shed helped us realize even more what amazing family and friends we have. 
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25 August 2013

7 Things About Our Life

I have finally found a quiet moment to write a blog post! And by quiet, I mean I can hear Miranda waking up from her nap and squawking a little in the background. I guess this means I need to type fast.

Here are some things that have been happening in our lives lately:

1. Lorin just started up his second year in his PhD program.
2. Miranda is cutting teeth like crazy and made quite a spectacle of herself at church today because of it. There was lots of screaming involved.
3. I have been working three part time jobs from home (Which I am SO grateful for!).
4. Miranda has been picking up a southern accent. Whenever Lorin leaves for work, she waves and says, "Baaa!"
5. Miranda can also say bird, more, bath, bear, book and pat.
6. We have been North Carolinians for a whole year now.
7. Lorin and I will be celebrating our 3rd anniversary this Saturday. We did an early anniversary celebration back in May at Myrtle beach and partied it up at the miniature golf courses, ocean, and $5 movies. It was great fun!
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