Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

I'm thinking about you all, today.

Aunt Allison (Pictured Left)
My Aunt passed away in a car accident when I was 2. But I've always been told stories of Allison growing up. I've read her book that my grandma put together of pictures, letters, and notes. I was given a little glass slipper that was Allison's and my Grandma always talked about how Allison wanted to find the right guy and was reminded by the glass slipper/Cinderella story. And the slipper was passed on to me.

Kiefer Sandoval
I met Kiefer back in Junior High. When I was in 8th grade and he was in 7th grade. I remember he had this weird long hair and then he cut it and he was a STUD. My senior year, his junior year, he passed away in a car accident. I remember maybe just the week before he passed that we shared a cookie together. It was devastating to hear the news over the intercom at school. I will always remember him. He was an AMAZING actor.

Maloree Rose Hunt
1989-2005
Maloree was a year older than me. She battled with Leukemia since about 10 years old I believe. She went into remission for about year and it relapsed and none of the medicine was working and passed away when she was 16. Me and my best friend Ali would come over to her house and visit her and she got to meet Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. I was SUPER jealous. They were my idols at the time. Maloree was such a loving person and caring to all. I saw her dad today at Tucker's viewing and he said he googled Maloree's name and found a post that I had written about her back in October. And I talked about a dream about her giving me a stuffed animal and he told me today that he has one to give me. Geez, make me cry even more! Her whole family is amazing. :) They're an inspiration to me!

Grandma Jodie
My grandma (Dad's mom) passed away about 2 weeks before I went into labor with Olivia. I'd like to believe my grandma got to tell Olivia all about me before she came down. And knew the difficult decision. I loved going to my grandma's house. It was an older house but I loved the antique feeling of it. She suffered from dementia and was living on Hospice her last few weeks but she was a sweet spirit and wasn't frustrated or upset when she didn't remember who you were. I'm sure she'd had to keep asking who I was. But she was always so nice.

Tucker Nielson
June 12, 1989 - May 28, 2010
Tucker has recently passed and I went to his viewing tonight. I grew up in the same neighborhood as Tucker (and Maloree). I remember I would go over to neighbors houses and ask to jump on their trampolines and Tucker would make his way over and jump with us. I was always so scared because he was make me jump super high. And I'd play on the playground in his backyard. We were in the same ward until it split. We road the same bus all through junior high and high school and probably hung out with him a few times in high school. And that's about it. My heart hurt when I heard about his passing. He was a funny, popular kid in high school. He was on the football team and wrestling team. He just knew how to make everyone laugh and hugged everyone who entered the room. He was such a sweetheart to all who knew him. He'll be greatly missed.



Jessica Harris
June 9, 1992 - March 8, 2010
Last but not least. My best friend Jessica. I went and visited her today before Tucker's viewing. And it was good to just sit down and talk with her. I hadn't seen her headstone since it was put in but the decorations with it were beautiful. And I put in the picture of Jessica and Olivia. Her mom always tells me that was probably Jessica's happiest days of her life. I miss her so much every single day. I miss having my best friend here. Especially when I just want to vent and be so mad at people and she'd agree right along with me how awful of people they were. It's always something I wanted to hear but of course, it was only to get the anger out. I love her so much. I thought I'd share a dream that I had about her a couple of nights ago. I did not want to get out of bed because it was such a good dream. I left this on her facebook, "This beginning part is kind of funny. Me and Tayler were bringing your casket over to your house. I don't know why. And I guess I tripped and that jumpstarted you and you came back to life. And you just walked around the place like nothing happened. You hugged me and Tayler. And I said, "Dude. You died. Don't you remember?" You said, "What? No Ididn't. You're lying." I showed you everything on your Facebook. Then your mom came home and she saw the casket lying open in the front room and ran over to the kitchen and saw you and she didn't believe it. And you walked over crying and hugged her and she was crying and you both fell to the ground and she held you like when you were a little girl. And Joel came over. So the original four (You, Me, Joel, and Tayler) just sat around and talked like the old times. Laughed and joked. I wanted to remember every single thing about you in that moment. Your laugh, your smile, and your voice. It felt awesome to hear and see all of that again. It was unreal. You said your I love you's to everyone in the room. And the end of the dream you turned to me and said, "I didn't realize how much people really loved me." And my alarm woke me up. Which was the song, "Only You Could Love Me This Way." Thanks for the dream, best friend. I needed it. I love you."


I wanted to post this video to all those who are missing someone(s) today. I'm sorry for your loss and they'll be greatly missed. I hope you'll be comforted today.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Temple Thoughts

I honestly don't know how to write about what I'm thinking right now. I have plenty of mixed emotions. It might be that I've been pretty sick the past couple of days. It's not awful. Just that dreadful I want to lay in bed feeling, sore throat, headache. Whatever. And I'm on the verge of tears? Really?

I am happy but so stressed out. Probably over nothing.

I just graduated dental assisting school. I'm currently looking for a job. I had an interview the other day- it went well. They're just looking for somebody with more experience. They had like 4 different dentists at that office and they all have different techniques that I'd have to learn. And my sister said that she worked for an office like that and had 3 different dentists and that was hard for her. So I'm hoping soon I'll find a job.

I'm also stressed probably over the littlest things.

You know, I look at people's wedding pictures who get married in the temple and I am envious. I read about people getting married right now and how so many people ask, "What temple are you getting married in?" I can't say I'm getting married in the temple right now, we're waiting a year to be sealed. That's a personal decision and a bishop's recommendation.
I'm genuinely happy for those people so why can't I be happy for myself? The ultimate goal for me is to go to the Temple but I can't be there?

I've had people ask why not. I've had people judge and think that me and Tayler are terrible people. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever felt this way by people. I've had someone say, "Maybe it's not the timing, maybe it's just the person." I'm happy with Tayler. More than I've ever been with anybody. I'm just unhappy with myself. I think, maybe if I just did everything right in the first place, that's where I'd be going right now.


I look back and I would have NO idea where I'd be if I did that. Would I be with my soul mate?


God gives us trials to learn from them. I went through so much hell to bring myself to happiness. Ive been brought back to the Gospel. Probably by not the most ideal way, unplanned pregnancy, but that's the wake up call I needed. And you know, if I did stay on the right path, I probably would've never met Tayler. I met Tayler because I signed up for LDS Singles with a friend just jokingly to go out with people.

I never knew I was going to find my best friend.

So, as I sit here wiping away tears. I don't want you all to think that I've given up on the Temple. It is our goal and we're working on it as a couple. And it's the toughest thing as a couple that we'll probably ever endure. But I'm learning from it. Every single experience that I've encountered, I've learned from it and I grow from it. I'm so grateful for that. And trust me, I'll be celebrating the day that I get a Temple Recommend. When I walk through the doors with my husband and come out as eternal companions. I want that more than anything.

This is Tayler's adorable handwriting. These were the notes that were on the roses the day he proposed.

I remember the other night I was just talking to Tayler and I was just remembering everything from the hospital. It does almost feel dreamlike sometimes. I'll look at pictures and I look at my hot body now (HA!) and I'm like, Daaaaaang. I had a baby 8 months ago?! I just told him every single detail about that day even though he read my labor and delivery story. But it's always something different when I tell somebody about it. I really had to dig deep to find the emotions that I had that day. Because I have felt like lately, that I've dealt with everything head on. That day, I couldn't look 8 months into the future and see where I am and where Olivia was. And that was hard. But I can look back at that day and be amazed about how far I've come. I may overcome little obstacles in my life but I know I can get through anything when I remember that day. It was almost so painful that I couldn't bear it but at the same time, I could because I felt so at peace. All this inner turmoil but somehow I got through it and I know I'm here today because God has helped me through so much.

Speaking of the Temple, D&V are coming out next month and we've been talking about their sealing day. I'm excited for them. I would love to watch them come out of the Temple and know that they're now an eternal family. I know they've been counting down the days and I'm right along with them. I can't wait for them to be with each other for Eternity. And I can't wait to be with Tayler for Eternity.

I can't wait to see you all there to celebrate our wedding day. And for my family to see me and Tayler in the Temple.
I'm so incredibly blessed to have such supportive friends and family. :) Thank you!



484 more days until forever starts :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thank You, America

Minutes after winning American Idol- Lee walked up to me and said, "Hey get a picture with me." I said, "Okay."
yeah, i'm a bit pathetic


This song seems fitting for the win tonight.
Hallelujah

Monday, May 24, 2010

8 Months Old

My favorite picture above :)








Happy 8 Months, little angel :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Frog or Prince? (Topic:Abuse)


We've had many Wednesday night groups where it's been about finding your prince charming. If you're dating a frog or a prince. Being in an unhealthy relationship. I've decided to sort of just combine all of those together. I had someone ask me on my formspring a while back how I know about being with the right guy or having to tell someone about them being in an unhealthy relationship and want to help them get out.

I'm going to try to be completely honest and sort of tell you from my perspective. I didn't really realize how much abuse that I did put myself through. I had so many people tell me that I needed to get out of my unhealthy relationship with... I'll just call him J. But there were so many times that it was just comfortable. Everyday I was being hurt but I didn't get out of the relationship until after two years and that's because I was led to believe I couldn't find anyone better.

After being told, time after time, that no one is going to want me after what he had put me through. I believed it. So I stayed. I stayed with being verbally, emotionally, and sexually abused. I'm sure if I stayed longer it would've led to physical abuse.

I'm really trying to figure out where to start all of this.

I wish I could've really looked at my relationship in the beginning and would've been like, "Oh yeah. This guy is a psycho." I know a lot of you don't understand why I can't go to the Temple and believe me and Tayler made this huge mistake. But it's because I hadn't confessed my past and I've been too scared to let it all out. I had put this huge roadblock in my mind to never visit there. And for the time being, I'll let it out. I really just had a long talk with someone last night about it. I'd rather know that I'm worthy to go to the Temple then just go and wonder if I was worthy and pay the consequences later.

J and I started dating my junior year. I was already sort of on an unstable path. It didn't help that I felt abandonment from people that I loved dearly. So I thought he would help fill that void with me. I don't know what I'm feeling right now and if I'll just skim the surface on some topics or be very vulnerable. So please respect me and what I've been through.

You know some people don't understand that verbal abuse is that tough. Please look at this picture and tell me that it doesn't just hurt looking at it.


Verbal abuse is just as bad as physical abuse.

I just sort of grew up in this fantasy world in high school. I felt like my sister's found their soul mates in high school and that's where I was destined to find mine. When I felt I was at a low point in my life. J came along. J knew my deepest, darkest secrets and took advantage of it. When arguments came up he would use that crack of self-esteem that I had in my wall and throw a freaking boulder through it. He made me feel bad about myself most days.

I wasn't the only one living on a fantasy. Except my fantasy was different. I was hoping for love and someone who understood me unconditionally. J's fantasies always involved other women. He was addicted to porn and was curious about everything. J wanted me to change my outward appearance so it would fit his criteria of a perfect woman. I changed my hair constantly the way he wanted me to have it. He always talked about how I should get certain jobs (i.e. boob, butt, whatever). I never got them done, just in case you all are curious. I'm not that rich. Ha.

I always felt uncomfortable but there were so many red flags in our relationship. Do you know if you are in an abusive relationship? Here are some questions that I found that could mean that you're in a potentially an abusive relationship.

1. Does your partner tease you in hurtful ways in private or in public?
2. Does your partner call you names such as, "stupid" or "bitch?"
3. Does your partner act jealous of your friends, family, or co-workers?
4. Does your partner get angry about the clothes you wear or your hair style?
5. Does your partner check up on you by calling, driving by, or getting someone else to?
6. Has your partner gone to places with you or sent someone to "keep an eye on you?"
7. Does your partner insist on knowing who you talk to on the phone?
8. Does your partner blame you for his problems or his bad mood?
9. Does your partner get angry so easily that you feel like you're "walking on eggshells?"
10. Does your partner hit walls, drive dangerously, or do things to scare you?
11. Does your partner often drink or use drugs?
12. Does your partner insist that you drink or use drugs with him?
13. Have you lost some friends or no longer see some of your family because of your partner?
14. Does your partner accuse you of being interested in someone else?
15. Does your partner read your mail, go through your purse, or other personal papers?
16. Does your partner keep money from you, keep you in debt, or have "money secrets?"
17. Has your partner kept you from your job or caused you to lose your job?
18. Has your partner sold your car, made you give up your license, or not repaired your car?
19. Does your partner threaten to hurt you, your children, family, or pets?
20. Does your partner force you to have sex when you don't want to?
21. Does your partner force you to have sex in ways you don't want to?
22. Does your partner threaten to kill you or himself if you leave?
23. Is your partner like "Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde," acting one way in front of people and another way when you're alone?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions then you may be at risk with domestic violence. I'll be honest with you J was 22 out of 23 on those questions.

You're probably asking, if J had all of those characteristics then why did I stay? That's where my self-esteem comes in. I wanted to change for him. If I didn't change for him, he would say it was because I didn't "love" him.

The 7 Cardinal Mistakes of Self-Esteem
by Sol Gordon, Ph.D.

1. Comparing yourself unfavorably to others. There will always be people who appear to be handsomer, prettier, richer, luckier, and better-educated than you. What's the point of comparing? We are all created equal. We are all created to serve in a special way.

2. Feeling you won't amount to much unless... Choose your favorite ending to this sentence: a) someone falls for you, b) someone marries you, c) someone needs you, d) you earn a lot of money, e) your parents are satisfied with your achievements. IN fact, you have to be someone to be attractive to someone else. You have to be self-accepting before you can please someone you care about. If you don't amount to anything before someone wants you, you won't amount to much afterwards, either.

3. Thinking you must please everyone. You must first please yourself... and thereafter, only people you care about. Those who try to please everyone end up pleasing no one.

4. Setting unreasonable goals for yourself. Lower your standards to improve your performance. You can always advance beyond today- tomorrow is always another day.

5. Looking for THE meaning of life. Life is not a meaning, it is an opportunity. You can only find the meaning of life at the end of it. Life is made up of meaningful experiences- mainly of short duration, but repeatable.

6. Being bored. If you are bored, then it is boring to be with you. If you are bored, don't announce it. It is especially unattractive to bemoan how you don't like yourself or that you have "nothing to do." if you have nothing to do, don't do it in company.

7. Deciding that your fate is determined by forces outside yourself. Mainly, you are in control of your life.

And dealing with your self-esteem you put yourself in lifetraps. Finding out the origin of your lifetraps is often a first step in changing them. Lifetraps were developed as appropriate adaptations of relationships we create. When certain of our core needs were not met completely, we develop our lifetraps in response. The problem is that we continue to repeat them later in life, when they have no useful purpose.

The Eleven Lifetraps and how they begin.

When our need for basic safety is not completely met, we may develop:

1. Abandonment- You fear that loved ones will die, leave home, or abandon you.
2. Mistrust and abuse- You expect that people will hurt or take advantage of you.

When our need for connection to others is not completely met, we may develop:

3. Emotional deprivation- You believe that your need for love will never be met.
4. Social exclusion- You feel isolated from the rest of the world.

When our need for autonomy is not completely met, we may develop:

5. Dependence- You depend on others to act as a crutch and need constant support.
6. Vulnerability- You don't feel safe, due to excessive and unrealistic fears.

When our need for self-esteem is not completely met, we may develop:

7. Defectiveness- You feel inwardly flawed and fundamentally unlovable.
8. Failure- You believe you are inadequate in major areas of achievement.

When our need for self-expression is not completely met, we may develop:

9. Subjugation- You constantly sacrifice your own needs in order to please others.
10. Unrelenting- You strive to meet extremely high expectations of yourself.

When our need for realistic limits is not completely met, we may develop:

11. Entitlement- You feel special and can't accept restrictions and limitations.


After I felt like my self-esteem had been battered and broken down and decided to build up a wall where I couldn't get hurt anymore or feel hurt. I just felt numb to everything. I didn't care that I was being used. I didn't care that J wanted to be with other girls while being with me. I didn't care that drugs were going to potentially ruin me or put me in jail. I was still searching for love. I decided finally after finding Nic that he seemed like this night in shining armor (but trust me he had some chinks in his armor. He wasn't near perfect). But it was enough for me to leave the abuse.

J knew I was going to leave eventually. I cried every single night saying that the only way I would stay is if maybe he would do somethings for me and that I didn't have to do it his way. Things were getting pretty serious. He and I sat down to talk to my parents about getting married. Which is completely ridiculous. J told me all the time he wanted to be a polygamist or be swingers. Or just have an open marriage and he can be with whomever and I couldn't be with anyone. Not that I wanted to be, I'm faithful and loyal. The only time I wasn't, was when I was trying to leave J. But I think that's pretty good reasoning.

J would tell me all the time he would kill himself if I did leave him. That's why I stayed a lot longer than I did. And even then, it was still hard for me in the beginning to fully commit to just J or Nic. Because I felt once I left J that Nic would never want to stay with me and realize how screwed up I was. Apparently, it only took Nic 6 months to realize it all.

When I did leave J left a bunch of stuff at my car that I gave him while I was dating and like 8 page letter of how sorry he was and how he should've been a better boyfriend. And of course, when that didn't work out and I didn't want to get back together with him, he called me and told me that the money that he was saving up for an engagement ring he was going to buy a gun and kill me and Nic and then himself. I definitely called the cops. That was in November '08 I believe. After that, J overdosed twice but survived both overdoses.
My advice to those girls who hear that guys will kill themselves if they leave. Just do it. Either they're bluffing or won't go through with it. That was ultimately J's choice. I wasn't shoving the pills down his throat, that was with his own hands ladies.

Are you wondering how do you figure out the warning signs, not maybe in your relationship but possibly in your daughter's boyfriend (or future boyfriends) or sister's husband's? You name it. I'll go through the signs to look for in an abusive personality. The types of abuse (emotional, economic, physical). Finding out if you're in an abusive relationships and the traits and characteristics of violent offenders.

Signs to Look for in an Abusive Personality
Many people are interested in ways to predict whether they are about to become involved with
someone who will be physically abusive. Below is a list of common behaviors that are seen in
abusive people. Many victims do not realize that these early behaviors are warning signs of
potential future physical abuse, such as the last four (***) behaviors. If the person has
several (three or more) of the first 12 listed behaviors, there is a strong potential for physical
violence -- the more signs a person has, the more likely the person is a batterer. In some
cases, a batterer may only have a couple of behaviors that the victim can recognize, but they
may be very exaggerated (e.g., will try to explain his behavior as signs of his love and
concern), and a victim may be flattered at first. However, as time goes by, the behavior
becomes more severe and serves to dominate or control the other person.

1. Jealousy: At the beginning of a relationship, an abuser will always say that jealousy is a
sign of love; jealousy has nothing to do with love, it is a sign of possessiveness and lack of
trust. He will question the other person about whom she talks to, accuse her of flirting, or be
jealous of the time she spends with her family or friends. As the jealousy progresses, he may
call frequently during the day or drop by unexpectedly. He may refuse to let you work for fear
you will meet someone else, or even do strange behaviors like checking your car mileage or
asking friends to watch you.

2. Controlling Behavior: At first, the batterer will say that this behavior is because he is
concerned with your safety, your need to use your time well, or your need to make good
decisions. He will be angry if you are late coming back from an appointment or a class, he will
question you closely about where you went and whom you talked to. As this behavior gets
worse, he may not let you make personal decisions about your clothing, hair style,
appearance.

3. Quick Involvement: Many people in abusive relationships dated or knew their abusive
partners for less than six months before they were married, engaged or living together. He
comes on like a whirlwind, claiming, “You are the only person I could ever talk to” or “I’ve
never felt like this for anyone before. He will pressure you to commit to the relationship in
such a way that you may later feel guilty or that you are “letting him down” if you want to
slow down involvement or break up.

4. Unrealistic Expectations: Abusive people will expect their partner to meet all their needs;he expects you to be the perfect boyfriend/girlfriend, the perfect friend or the perfect lover. He will say things like, “If you love me, I’m all you need and you are all I need.” You are
supposed to take care of all of his emotional needs.

5. Isolation: The abusive person will try to cut you off from all resources. He accuses you of
being “tied to your mother’s apron strings,” or your friends of “trying to cause trouble”
between you. If you have a friend of the opposite sex, you are “going out on him” and if you
have friends of the same sex, he may accuse you of being gay.

6. Blames Others for Problems: He is chronically unemployed, someone is always waiting
for him to do wrong or mess up or someone is always out to get him. He may make mistakes
and blame you for upsetting him. He may accuse you of preventing him from concentrating on
school. He will tell you that you are at fault for almost anything that goes wrong.

7. Blames Others for Feelings: He will tell you, “You make me mad,” “You are hurting me
by not doing what I want you to do,” or “I can’t help being angry.” He really makes the
decisions about how he thinks or feels, but will use feelings to manipulate you.

8. Hypersensitivity: An abusive person is easily insulted, and claims that their feelings are
hurt when really he is very mad. He often takes the slightest setbacks as personal attacks. He
will rant about things that are really just part of living like being asked to work overtime,
getting a traffic ticket, being asked to help others with chores.

9. Cruelty to Animals or Children: This is a person who punishes animals brutally or is
insensitive to their pain and suffering. He may tease younger brothers or sisters until they cry.

10.“Playful” use of Force in Sex: This kind of person is likely to throw you down or try to
hold you down during making out, or he may want you to act out fantasies in which you are
helpless. He is letting you know that the idea of sex is exciting. He may show little concern
about whether you want affection and may sulk or use anger to manipulate you into
compliance.

11. Verbal Abuse: In addition to saying things that are meant to be cruel and hurtful, this
can be seen when the abusive person tries to degrade you, curses you, calls you names or
makes fun of your accomplishments. The abusive person will tell you that you are stupid and
unable to function without him. This may involve waking you up to verbally abuse you or not
letting you go to sleep until you talk out an argument.

12. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Many people are confused by their abusive partner’s “sudden”
changes in mood -- you may think he has a mental problem because he is nice one minute
and the next minute he is exploding. Explosiveness and moodiness are typical of people who
are abusive to their partners, and these behaviors are related to other characteristics like
hypersensitivity.

13. *** Past Battering: This person may say that he has hit girlfriends in the past but the
other person “made him do it.” You may hear from relatives or past girlfriends that he is
abusive. An abusive person will be physically abusive to any one they are with if the other
person is with them long enough for the violence to begin; situational circumstances do not
change a person into an abuser.

14. *** Threats of violence: This could include any threat of physical force meant to control
you: “I’ll slap you,” “I’ll kill you,” or “I’ll break your neck." Most people do not threaten their
partners, but the abusive person will try to excuse his threats by saying, “Everybody talks that
way.”

15. *** Breaking or Striking Objects: This behavior is used as a punishment (breaking
loved possessions), but is mostly used to terrorize you into submission. The abuser may beat
on the table with his fists, throw objects at or near you, kick the car, slam the door or drive at
a high rate of speed or recklessly to scare you. Not only is this a sign of extreme emotional
immaturity, but there is great danger when someone thinks they have the “right” to punish or
frighten you.

16. *** Any Force During an Argument: This may involve an abusive partner holding you
down, physically restraining you from leaving the room, any pushing or shoving. He may hold
you against the wall and say, “You are going to listen to me.”

Mixed Messages
• My partner loves me . . . he didn’t mean to hurt me.
• Abuse is about power and control. It is not about love.
• My partner promised to get counseling
• Abusers tend to make promises when they feel they are not in control.
• When you file charges, you have taken control away from your abuser, who is likely to
promise anything to get that control back.
• It is just that my partner was under a lot of stress . . . or drunk.
• You can chose to believe that there are reasons, but there can never be a justifiable
reason for your abuse.
• It will never happen again.
• It might. Chances are, it will if your abuser is not held accountable.
• It’s really not that bad, we have had great times.
All relationships have good and bad times, but violent relationships are not good for anyone.
Healthy relationships are based on caring, equality and respect. They are not about power and
control.

Types of Abuse

EMOTIONAL ABUSE - This is often the first sign of abusive behavior exhibited by someone
who batters. In the beginning it may as simple as the silent treatment, but it often progresses
to angry words and put downs.
• Finding faults in all your friends/family (this is the first step in the isolation process)
• Withholding emotions, not talking or sharing, withholding approval or affections
• Does not acknowledge your feelings
• Continuous criticism
• Name-calling, mocking, put-downs
• Yelling, swearing, being lewd
• Pressure tactics (using guilt trips, rushing you, threats to leave)
• Humiliated in public (including outbursts of anger to insults in public)
• Manipulation by lies, omitting facts, or telling only portions of the facts
• Angry gestures, slamming doors, throwing things, hitting walls or furniture near you
• Threats (to harm you, to not pay bills, to not buy groceries, etc.)
• Using children (making threats to take them or to call DHS, criticizing your parenting
skills)

ECONOMIC ABUSE - Again, this begins in subtle ways and develops into the abuser's
dominant control over all economic aspects.
• Insisting that you quit your job (saying he will take care of you, sites faults with
coworkers and bosses - point out how they "mistreat" you)
• Recanting on promises to pay bills (for example, your car payment, insurance, etc.)
• Makes you account for your spending with no accounting for abuser's spending
• Limiting your access to funds (taking ATM card or removing your name from accounts)
• Not paying bills, buying groceries, or taking care of the children's needs

PHYSICAL ABUSE - This is usually first exhibited by getting "in your face" or invading your
personal space during an argument and progresses into offensive and harmful touches.
• Shouting at you
• Invading your personal space
• Poke/pinch
• Grab/hold
• Push/shove
• Pull hair
• Slap/Punch
• Bite/spit
• Kick/stomp
• Cleaning/displaying weapons
• Refusing to let you leave
• Being locked in/out of house
• Destroying your possessions
• Abandoned in dangerous places
• Driving recklessly
• Disabling car, hiding keys to car
• Refusing medical care
• Hurtful/unwanted touching of sexual parts
• Rape (use of force, threats, coercion, or manipulation to obtain sex)
• Intimidating by blocking exit, making threatening gestures
• Refusing to let you sleep until he is ready to sleep

Are You in an Abusive Relationship?

Answering the following questions may help you determine whether the relationship you are in
is abusive. Check the questions that apply to you:
Does your partner:
• Embarrass you in front of people?
• Belittle your accomplishments?
• Make you feel unworthy?
• Criticize your sexual performance?
• Constantly contradict himself/herself to confuse you?
• Do things for which you are constantly making excuses to others or yourself?
• Isolate you from many of the people you care about most?
• Make you feel ashamed a lot of the time?
• Make you believe he is smarter than you and therefore more able to make decisions?
• Make you feel like you are crazy?
• Make you perform sexual acts that are embarrassing or demeaning to you?
• Use intimidation to make you do what he wants?
• Prevent you from doing common-place activities such as visiting friends or family, or
talking to the opposite sex?
• Control the financial aspects of your life?
• Use money as a way of controlling you?
• Make you believe that you can not exist without him?
• Make you feel that there is no way out and that "you made your own bed and you
must lie in it?
• Make you find ways of compromising your feelings for the sake of peace?
• Treat you roughly (grab, pinch, push, or shove you)?
• Threaten you (verbally or with a weapon)?
• Hold you to keep you from leaving after an argument?
• Lose control when he is drunk or using drugs?
• Get extremely angry, frequently, and without an apparent cause?
• Escalate his anger into violence . . .slapping, kicking, etc?
• Not believe that he has hurt you, nor feel sorry for what he has done?
• Physically force you to do what you do not want to do?

Do you:
Do you believe you can help your partner change his abusive behavior if you were only to
change yourself in some way, if you only did some things differently, if you really loved him
more?
Believe that you deserve to be abused or punished?
Find that not making him angry has become a major part of your life?
Do what he wants you to do, rather than what you want to do, out of fear?
Stay with him only because you’re afraid he might hurt you if you left?
If you answered "yes" to many of these questions, you have identified an abusive relationship.
If the abuse has occurred during dating, it is very likely to continue after marriage. Once
physical abuse has occurred, it is likely to occur again and to escalate over time. You cannot
change your partner’s behavior. You can only change yourself. It is not necessary to stay in a
relationship of fear. You have the right to choose how you wish to live.

Traits And Characteristics Of Violent Offenders
1. Low Frustration Tolerance - Reacts to stress in self-defeating ways, unable to cope
effectively with anxiety, acts out when frustrated. Frustration leads to aggression.
2. Impulsive - Is quick to act, wants immediate gratification, has little or no consideration for
the consequences, lacks insight, has poor judgment, has limited cognitive filtering.
3. Emotional Liability/Depression - Quick-tempered, short-fused, hot-headed, rapid mood
swings, moody, sullen, irritable, humorless.
4. Childhood Abuse - Sexual and physical abuse, maternal or paternal deprivation, rejection,
abandonment, exposure to violent role models in the home.
5. Loner - Is isolated and withdrawn, has poor interpersonal relations, has no empathy for
others, lacks feeling of guilt and remorse.
6. Overly sensitive - Hypersensitive to criticism and real or perceived slights, suspicious,
fearful, distrustful, paranoid.
7. Altered Consciousness - Sees red, “blanking,” has blackouts, derealization/
depersonalization. ("It’s like I wasn’t there" or "It was me, but not me”), impaired
reality testing, hallucinations.
8. Threats of Violence - Toward self and/or others, direct, veiled, implied, or conditional.
9. Blames Others – Projects blame onto others, fatalistic, external locus of control, avoids
personal responsibility for behavior, views self as “victim” instead of “victimizer,” selfcentered,
sense of entitlement.
10. Chemical Abuse - Especially alcohol, opiates, amphetamines, crack, and hallucinogens
(PCP, LSD), an angry drunk, dramatic personality/mood changes when under the influence.
11. Mental Health Problems Requiring In-Patient Hospitalization - Especially with
arrest history for any offenses prior to hospitalization.
12. **History of Violence** - Towards self and others, actual physical force used to injure,
harm, or damage. This element is the most significant in assessing individuals for potential
dangerousness.
13. Odd/Bizarre Beliefs - Superstitious, magical thinking, religiosity, sexuality, violent
fantasies (especially when violence is eroticized), delusions.
14. Physical Problems - Congenital defects, severe acne, scars, stuttering, any of which
contribute to poor self-image, lack of self-esteem, and isolation. History of head trauma, brain
damage/neurological problems.
15. Preoccupation With Violence Themes - Movies, books, TV, newspaper articles,
magazines (detective), music, weapons collections, guns, knives, implements of torture, S &
M, Nazi paraphernalia.
16. Pathological Triad/School Problems - Fire-setting, enuresis, cruelty to animals,
fighting, truancy, temper tantrums, inability to get along with others, ejection of authority.

Alan C. Brantley, Traits and Characteristics of Violent Offenders, FBI Academy.

I hoped every single day that J would change his decisions and behaviors. That if I stayed longer with him that I could help him be the man that I knew he could be. They can be a better person but it takes more than just you. It may be with the law (J has been in trouble with the law since all of that) or psychiatric help. But YOU CANNOT be YOUR boyfriend's psychiatrist. He will only lead you down the road to hell.

I know that I said Nic had chinks in his armor. He never was abusive but the only thing that I could really point out that is, he "lost" his job. And he didn't have one the whole time we were dating. He made me pay for everything. He was inconsistent and unmotivated. That is also a red flag for the future.

I'm very grateful to have Tayler in my life to know that he doesn't fit into any of those categories. That he does fit in the fantasy that I've wanted since high school. I may not live in that fantasy world since I was snapped into reality since J. I did have to kiss some pretty nasty bullfrogs to get my prince but I'm grateful to finally find my soul mate even through a rough path.

But I know that there is somebody out there. If you want to know if your man can be a frog or a prince. Pick up this book. I highly recommend.

I'm sorry this post is sort of long. But you know, if I could help at least one person get out of an unhealthy relationship. Or help somebody not start a relationship with someone like that. I'll do whatever it takes. I don't want anyone to have to deal with what I did. Thanks for reading. :)

My formspring is up and running. Please use it wisely :)
If you have topics that you wish I would cover. Anything really. You can tell me on there also.

As of tonight, I'm a certified dental assistant.

(Not the best picture but it gets the job done)
Which reminds me, I went to Olive Garden with my parents after and there is some black tie mousse cake left in the fridge. Peace out PEEPS.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Decisions


Tayler was in town for the weekend. I hadn't seen him in two weeks (I know, boo freaking hoo).

Just the highlights of the weekend.

Sunday- We went on a walk around the neighborhood. Honestly just walked around hand in hand. Talking about our future and everything else going on in our lives. We're hopeless romantics. :)
I wore the wrong shoes though and MASSIVE blisters on my big toes. No beuno.


Monday- We went to 5 Guys. MMMM.

Sunday night, we registered online at Wal*Mart. Tayler works for Wal*Mart major discounts for us anyway? I think YES. Then the rest of the day until about 5 we were at Bed, Bath and Beyond. We went around the whole store doing the scanning thing for fun. It was a blast. I haven't decided yet if we're going to register at Kohl's too.
We went to Wadley Farms where we'll be having our ceremony and reception. It'll seriously look SO awesome in September. Definitely a "Love Story" Romeo&Juliet vibe. Tayler was sort of funny at the WF. He told me that he just imagined everything and it made him just nervous/excited to see it all coming together. It's like reality hit him, OHHH. I am getting married! It was kind of the same for me.

#1- This is just a building that they have there. The top part is an apartment that they rented out to UVU students. The balcony doors don't even open but I thought the bottom part would be cool for pictures and around the stone wall through the door. That same building on the lower floor is the brides room. They were remolding so I didn't get a picture of it.

#2- This "Rapunzel" Tower, as my mom calls it, they're putting stairs in it and it'll be done by the time me and Tayler get married :)

#3- Fountain. It'll be running. It's infront of the railroadhouse that we rented for the reception part.
#4- The Railroadhouse

#5- The Gazebo where the ceremony will take place. Also where we'll be standing for the line. The father/daughter dance the "first" dance will take place in there. It'll look A LOT better in the summer it'll be covered in leaves and such.

#6- The grooms cottage. ADORABLE.

They have other things like a buggy that we'll be putting the gifts in.
We went out to dinner with my parents at the Pizza Factory.

We stayed up late and watched the season finale of Gossip Girl. I'm devastated by it. My heart can't handle that much drama.

We also watched Tough Love Couples.

Tayler left this morning. :( I'll probably see him again around his birthday which is June 7. He'll be 22!

I graduate tomorrow from MATC where I did my dental assisting. After I get my certificate I'll definitely be out there and hopefully get a job VERY soon.

I also wanted to get everyone else's opinion on this topic. I'm just going to ramble a little bit. I don't know what you all really want to hear from me since this blog was for during my pregnancy and during placement. I don't really know what to talk about since placement has happened. I think I have dealt with a lot of aspects of the adoption head on. I definitely am not saying I'm "cured" or "over it." I have a sense of I have moved on from the pain of placement. I'm sure every once in a while I do have some sort of break down from it. But that's occasionally.
Dustinn, Val, Bradshaw, and Olivia will always play a big part in my life. D&V have always been close family friends and probably even closer now since all of this. Oh man, I didn't think I'd actually tear up from typing this but I am. It's completely unreal to think about looking back maybe 5 years ago from actually meeting them and thinking they could play a big role in my life, personally. Dustinn and my brother in-law Joseph are BFF's. To just even think back when they were like 8 years old that Joseph could also play a part in blessing their lives by marrying my sister. And that D&V were able to contact my sister when they found out my situation. That I can also remember them and remember they'd come over and play games. Or when Erika made their wedding video. You just never know how much your little connections with somebody in your life could turn into this HUGE impact.
Anyway, I'm sort of getting off topic. I just don't know where to leave off on this blog. Do you think I should continue this blog when things with adoption do come up and have a personal blog on the side for when me and Tayler get married? Or should I just keep using this as a personal blog? With my everyday life- I just don't know how much adoption would be brought up anymore. I just don't know what you all want to hear. You can give me ideas via comments. I've sort of contemplated making a formspring again just so you can ask me questions and if I feel like I should put the question on here and make it sort of a blog post of the week. I totally will. IF I do make one, please refrain from inappropriate questions. I shouldn't have to make a list for you because it's common sense what to ask somebody and what not. I am pretty open about somethings and I do sometimes have a short fuse and/or low tolerance for stupidity. ;)

So vote.

Keep this as my personal blog?

or

Keep as an adoption blog and make a separate blog?

And should I give my formspring another shot?

Let me know your ideas also :) Thanks!

Friday, May 14, 2010

This Song Is For You


I was recently introduced to this song. I thought I would dedicate it to all the exboyfriends and jerks that I've had in my life. I'll pray for you :)

Pray For You lyrics

I haven't been to church since I don't remember when
Things were going great til they fell apart again
So I listened to the preacher as he told me what to do
He said you can't go hatin' others who have done wrong to you
Sometimes we get angry but we must not condemn
Let the good Lord do his job, you just pray for them

I pray your brakes go out runnin' down a hill
I pray a flower pot falls from a window sill
And knocks you in the head like I'd like to
I pray your birthday comes and nobody calls
I pray you're flyin' high when your engine stalls
I pray all your dreams never come true
Just know wherever you are, honey, I pray for you

I'm really glad I found my way to church
Cause I'm already feelin' better and I thank God for the words
Yeah, I'm gonna take the high road and do what the preacher told me to do
You keep messin' up, and I'll keep prayin' for you

I pray your tire goes out at 110
I pray you pass out drunk with your best friend
And wake up with his and her tattoos

I pray your brakes go out runnin' down a hill
I pray a flower pot falls from a window sill
And knocks you in the head like I'd like to
I pray your birthday comes and nobody calls
I pray you're flyin' high when your engine stalls
I pray all your dreams never come true
Just know wherever you are, near or far
In your house or in your car
Wherever you are, honey, I pray for you
I pray for you

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hey Brownie

Today has been pretty spectacular.

Well, yesterday I finished up my internship ours at the dental office. I've been told of a few places that are hiring. I called my internship to see if I could get a letter of recommendation with my resume and hopefully I'll get that this week. :) I definitely would like to have a job before I get married and have money saved up.
Me and my friend McCall went to Wingers and got some spray on tan. We were nervous that we were going to be orange. It actually turned out really well. I'm happy with the results. No my ethnicity is NOT carrot. I look more brown than anything. This is a big deal. The first time I have ever been tan in my lifetime. I'm not even joking.

Some funny brown stories:

At work, I clearly work with some hispanics. I'm NOT racist. I just like to joke... a lot. People you must understand that, I'm just that type of person. I work with this guy Mauricio. And I asked him what he thought about my brown-ness. He said I looked hot. Then I said something about being brown. And Mauricio yells, "You're NOT brown." I told him, "Look, I don't like it when you tell me things like that. It hurts my feelings."

I told him that I told the lady at the tanning salon that I wanted to brown just like him. Mauricio was like, "NO YOU DID NOT!" I told him I did.

A Hispanic girl that I work with walked by. I don't think she recognized me and I was like, "Look! I'm brown just like YOU!" And she looked at me and the look of shock came over her face and she was like, "WHAT HAPPENED?!" I'm like, "dude. No need to flip a switch. It's just spray on."

At the end of the night, Mauricio walked by and I was asked him if he wanted to look at my stomach. He asked, "Why? Do you have a tat?" I said, "Nope. I'm just brown."

One of my friends that I worked with came in also. And we had this inside joke that he was the father. Long story short. He wanted to get this chick off his back so he pretended to be Olivia's papa. I said hi to him. And he yelled, "WHAT! I didn't even recognize you! You're brown... and you're NOT carrying my child!"



This story breaks my heart.


I went on KSL last night saying that they hadn't found the little boy. Then I read today that they did and the mother and step father murdered him. And my heart hurts so much just reading it. How could anyone just do that? My prayers are with his father and family at this time.

Anyway. I get to see Tayler on Saturday :) I can't even WAIT. I know it's lame that it's been like 2 weeks since I've seen him. But I can't help it. I was used to seeing him practically every weekend. Ohhhh I'm so stoked. And I know he can't wait to see me brown. Baha.

Well, if you any of you know any dentists who are hiring in Utah county. Let me know before I'm married. Kthanks :)

Oh yes, for birth mothers day. V&D sent me flowers :) And Tayler sent me flowers also! Seriously, they're all the BEST. I love them to death.

New pictures of little miss:



Saturday, May 8, 2010

So many LINKS

Happy Birth Mother's Day!

Today is a pretty neat day. A year ago yesterday. I found out I was having a little girl. A year ago today, I announced to Dustinn and Val that they were going to be the parents to little miss Olivia. I'm glad that it happened all right around Mother's Day.

I went to the Adoption Awareness Walk today at Provo High School. My mommy went with me :) And I got to meet new people (Lindsey from the R house) and see friends I hadn't seen in a while. Adoption is amazing. And of course, I got to meet Cosmo the BYU Cougar! Go Utes!

We're all wearing the same T's. Alyssa made them. It's for the American Fork agency for birth moms. This is the blog. Design. Over your heart it says, "Love." The back says, "The Sisterhood of the Maternity Pants". The bottom is the blog link. And on your sleeve (which Alyssa is sporting in this picture) you can write the name of your angel (birth child or birth mom). Lindsey gave us the idea to make an etsy shop for the t-shirts. They're 5 dollars.


I went to a friend's bachelorette party last night. Oh my heck. It made me SO excited for my wedding and bachelorette party!

After the walk, me and my mom went to the mall and looked around and talked about wedding plans. I got a dress for little miss. Olivia will be a flower girl, of course! I got some sexy red heels for my bridal pictures. I also got a headband for my dress.

Recap:
I have my dress and veil.
Our reception will be at Wadley Farms in Lindon.
I'll be getting my wedding cake here. It'll look something like this.
This is my photographer.
Maroon, (Golden) Yellow, and Gray are my colors. Maroon will probably be the main color with gray and yellow accents.
Tayler will be wearing a tweed/plaid gray suit. Like this one.
Groomsmen- Gray suit.
Bridesmaid/MOH- Maroon dresses.
Probably yellow flowers for them.
Now we're just looking for a florist. Wadley Farms gave us some suggestions. Next Monday, Tayler will be coming into town so we can have a tour of the place and ask them questions about things. We will also be registering at some places. Probably Bed, Bath and Beyond. And either Target or Kohl's. :)
I'm also looking at some centerpiece ideas. I thought of doing like beta fish centerpieces. Is that too tacky or look too cheap? Let me know!
I'm also just looking for maroon flats for my wedding day. I'm not a heels person at all. But the photographer said it'd be good to wear some heels for the pictures.
It's SO crazy to see all of it coming together. It makes me more and more excited everyyyday.

So, the only thing is. I'm trying to look for bridesmaid dresses. Mostly styles. I'm having someone make the dresses. So keep your eyes out on some really cute, 2010 bridesmaid dresses. It'll be summer so knee length is what I'm kind of looking for and modest.

Any ideas or help or info that you have.
I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
I'll know more reception stuff once I do the tour at Wadley.
Such as music/dance floor/tables/decorations. Whatevs.

September 24th is our wedding day. The day after Olivia's birthday!
139 more days until I'm Mrs. Stefanie Despain :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Reminder

Sometimes I get little reminders every once in a while that adoption truly is AMAZING.

This morning, I started out my day. I was running a little bit late and had to bring chips and salsa to work to celebrate Cinco De Mayo. I saw the card that Dustinn and Val sent me on the counter. And I wasn't sure if I should bring it or not. A few people at the dental office, that I intern at, know about Olivia. But I wasn't really ever thinking of going around and showing pictures of her. I didn't know if that would be inappropriate in any way. But you know, if they ask, I'll show them. I had a feeling to just bring it. So I did.

Early in the morning, I had some kid's cleanings. They were all from the same family. 3 boys. THE cutest kids I had ever seen. Ages 10, 8, and 4. But they all looked slightly different from each other. And when the mother came in to sit down with them. I realized all of her kids had blue eyes and she had brown eyes. I didn't want to ask or say anything so I just sat there and listened. And one of her kids had a crossbite. And the dentist asked the mom if she had a crossbite. She said, "Well, no. My kids are actually adopted."

The little 4 year old (SO CUTE and a BIG FLIRT) walked up to me and said, "Can I have a balloon?" So I was making balloons for all the kids and I told the mom, "So I just wanted to tell you that's awesome that you adopted your kids. I'm a birthmom." And she's like, "You are?!!" And the oldest asks, "She's a what?" And the mom said, "She's a birthmom!" She looked at me like I was this celebrity. I thought it was super sweet. I asked her about the adoptions and if they were open. Because you know, 10 years ago, open adoptions weren't very common. She said that all of them were. And she asked me what the best thing the adoptive couple had done for me. I just told her you know, e-mails and updates, pictures whenever. I told her about the dress. I showed her the picture (Complimented up and down about how beautiful she is- I know). And she pretty much said, "I adore you and respect you for your decision to place. It's a tough thing and you're so courageous."
That probably wasn't word for word but that's what was pretty much said.

I love adoption. And all the lives it touches. It helps families grow, helps emotional wounds heal, so many blessings. How can you not love it? :) I'm so very grateful for my open adoption and the love and support I have from my family, friends, ahem- blog readers/stalkers, my fiance and especially from D,V, B&O. I love you all!
:)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day of Mothers

Well, I wanted to share this with you. I'm going to try to keep this short since American Idol is starting and it's Frank Sinatra night (oh yeah, you know where my priorities are).

Dustinn and Val sent me a birthday present all the way from Virginia. Out of all the things that they got me. The thing that meant the most was the little purple dress they gave me that was Olivia's. I bought it for Olivia for her baby shower and also for the professional pictures we took. I didn't know how much this gift would really effect me. A little not on the dress was, "We wanted to give you something sentimental from when Olivia was a newborn. She was so fragile and precious." It makes me realize how much I miss just my little newborn. Yeah, I see her grow up in pictures she'll be 8 months old at the end of this month. She's probably going to start walking soon!
But it's those moments that you miss that little one in your arms that you remember. And I think it was a few nights later. I picked up the dress and I stared at the picture that she sent me with me and Olivia at her baby shower. And I cradled the dress and cried. I wanted nothing in the world in that moment but to hold my little girl again.


I got a little card from Dustinn and Valery that they made. And on the front it says, "I love my birth-mommy!"

And on the inside by the picture it says, "This beautiful girl exists because of you."


Sometimes the littlest card can be the biggest reminder. There are days where I'm like, "Seriously? I had a baby?" It's sort of a dream to me. But it's not. There are days that I'll remember the pain and heartache I went through such as nights of holding that dress and I know it really did happen. I sometimes look at pictures of her and I'm like, "She's theirs, not mine." Sounds crazy. But it's true. She has my awesome good looks but she's Dustinn and Val's daughter.

Birthmother's day is this Saturday. Oh yeah, I have my own HOLIDAY. whaaatttt! Of course, it's the day before mother's day. I don't know how I feel about it though. I mean, it's a little tradition in the family ward to give out flowers to all the mama's. So Birthmother's day is, "Well, sorry you don't have a baby to show off- but have a holiday, but not so much a holiday because if it were during the week, you wouldn't get school off. If you have to work, you wouldn't get work off, and you don't get a flower on Sunday." Thanks. I appreciate it. That probably sounds way rude. But it's what I think. I have mixed feelings about Mother's day. I think a girl asked why there wasn't an adoptive mother's day. Well, because they are a mother. They have our little one.
Well, to celebrate Birthmother's day. I'm going all out. Baha. Not really. This Saturday is a Birthmother's walk? It's at Provo high school. It's at 9 AM. If you are associated with adoption in any way. Goooooo! Support the birth mama's in your life, community, friends, sisters, family, whatevs.

Anyway, Thanks for all the birthday wishes. And a public thank you to Dustinn and Val for being so WONDERFUL. They're moving this week so they'll be a thousand miles closer? Ish? That's all I got. American Idol and GLEE are on tonight. I work early tomorrow. Bummer. :(

Vote for Lee Dewyze.
MMMMMM. HOT.