Monday, July 29, 2013

how loud are we singing? a plea to the church

Have you seen this video? It's called How Do You Kill 11 Million People? (It's based on a book by the same title). Obviously it's about Hitler and specifically about how he rose to power in Germany. And it's a warning to other nations about not being complacent, but being vigilant and standing up for something. And in so doing, standing up against evil.

There's one part of the video, about 2:00 minutes in, where I began to cry. A few people are telling the story about how the trains carrying Jews to the concentration camps would pass through their village. Over time, the people in this village began to realize exactly what was going on. They knew that when they heard the whistle of the train coming, it would be carrying hundreds of men, women and children, on their way to death. Here is one man's description:

Week after week that train whistle would blow. We would dread to hear the sound of those old wheels because we knew that the Jews would begin to cry out to us as they passed our church. It was so terribly disturbing! We could do nothing to help these poor miserable people, yet their screams tormented us. We knew exactly at what time that whistle would blow, and we decided the only way to keep from being so disturbed by the cries was to start singing our hymns.

By the time that train came rumbling past the church yard, we were singing at the top of our voices. If some of the screams reached our ears, we'd just sing a little louder until we could hear them no more. Years have passed and no one talks about it much anymore, but I still hear that train whistle in my sleep. I can still hear them crying out for help. God forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians, yet did nothing to intervene.

Where do I even begin? I have read a lot about the Holocaust, both fiction and non-fiction, but no story that I've read cut as deeply as this one. Maybe because it hits close to home? Maybe because it's about the Christians of the time? Maybe because it makes me examine how exactly I would have reacted in that same situation?

Maybe because it forces me to examine what my fellow Christians and I are doing about a present-day holocaust?

Probably all of the above. But definitely that last one. If this story teaches us anything, it's that man is depraved. It reveals the true human condition. We care about other people, but how much do we really care? How far are we really willing to go to help someone in need? To stop someone from impending death.

Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. Proverbs 24:11

When I say present-day holocaust, I am specifically referring to the thousands of tiny human beings, boys and girls, who are slaughtered in their mothers' wombs every single day in this nation. What are we, as the church, doing to intervene? Or are we simply trying to ignore the reality of what is going on? How hard are we trying to ignore the screams of the 3000 children who are murdered every single day? How loud are we singing?

Brother or sister in Christ, please consider:
  • When was the last time you prayed outside of an abortion clinic?
  • When was the last time you stopped a woman on her way in to have an abortion and counseled her about her options?
  • When was the last time you donated your money or time to a local Crisis Pregnancy Center so that they could reach abortion-minded women?
  • Or a maternity home that puts a roof over the heads of teenage girls in high risk situations, who would choose abortion without the support offered to them?
  • When was the last time you called your state or US representative or senator and asked them to vote in support of life?
  • When was the last time your pastor preached, from the pulpit, about abortion and the horrific toll it takes on children, their mothers and their fathers?
  • When was the last time you had a simple conversation with someone about what an abortion actually is, and what happens to the baby?
  • When was the last time you prayed to God and begged Him to change the hearts and minds and culture of this nation?
  • When was the last time you asked for Him to end the horror?
It all has to begin with prayer, no doubt about that. This is foremost a spiritual battle and will only be won by the might and power and glory of God. But there comes a time when action needs to be taken by those who have been praying.

First we pray, and then we work.

Notice that the verse from Proverbs I quoted above is a call to action? Notice what the man from the video said, "God forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians, yet did nothing to intervene."? He could have tried to justify their actions (or inaction) by saying, "We were in church! We were praying to God! We were singing praises to God! There was nothing more for us to do given the situation." But the man acknowledges that even given the situation, given that those people in the village, had they attempted to do something, would have been risking their very lives, they should have done something anyway. He asks forgiveness for doing nothing, which shows how guilty he feels for his inaction. It shows that deep down he knows that his complacency, his passivity, was a sin. And that holds true for us today as well.

Doing nothing, when you know the truth, is sin. 

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins. James 4:17

We are in the midst of a holocaust. Since 1973, when abortion was legalized in the US, over 55 million children have been slaughtered. Do we want to look back and have to ask God's forgiveness for our complacency, for our outright disobedience, for our choice to not intervene?

I submit that we don't. Instead, we want to be the generation of the church that stands up and says, "No more! Not in our villages. Not in our cities. Not in our states. Not in our nation. In this place, we stand for something and that something is life."

May God grant us the courage and the voice to speak out against evil and to act against injustice. And may He end abortion in this land, here and now. May we not be the church that hides in our churches and sings loudly so that we can ignore injustice. May we be the church who steps outside and lends a hand to those in need and stands up for life. Soli Deo Gloria.

baby in womb [source]

The screams of the unborn during an abortion are a real thing. Just because we can't hear them, doesn't mean they aren't screaming. If you have never witnessed an abortion, if you are brave enough, you can view an 11 week abortion here, called The Silent Scream. While it is not for the faint of heart, I know that there are some of us who will continue to deny the truth until we see it with our own eyes.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

a post about finding the "right" house

                                        [ecard by your's truly]

I've written several times before about last year, and how it was pretty rough. We left Texas after about 15 months and moved to Las Vegas, my husband's and my childhood home town. But in between being kids and moving back last year, it's been close to 10 years since we've lived here. And moving back meant we were starting from ground zero. No job, no home, no nothing. Because of that we lived with my parents for a time and they were so gracious to put up with the 3, and then 4 (Eli was born in November), of us.

But we trusted the Lord, that He would provide, so long as we worked to find work and change our situation. And He did just that. He provided.

We moved to Vegas, and in to my parents' house on July 1, 2012. After what felt like decades, we signed a lease on our townhouse on December 28, 2012 and by January 1, 2013 we were in our own space. It was a new year and a new beginning for our family of 4.

I don't know about you, but being in your late 20's, you start to notice this theme on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter, that what seems like, everyone you know is buying their first house. Or their second house. And if they aren't buying, they're making upgrades to their house; new landscaping, appliances, floors.

It's like there is a part of me that wants to be jealous. Do I wish we had our own house that I could decorate as I please? Absolutely. Do I want to be able to settle down in a house and make it into a wonderful home for my family? Of course. But that is not what is important in my time on this earth. I was placed here for a purpose and I can guarantee that my purpose is not to own a house.

And then I read this from John Piper this morning,

I am wired by nature to love the same toys that the world loves. I start to fit in. I start to love what others love. I start to call earth "home." Before you know it, I am calling luxuries "needs" and using my money just the way unbelievers do. I begin to forget the war. I don't think much about people perishing. Missions and unreached peoples drop out of my mind. I stop dreaming about the triumphs of grace. I sink into a secular mind-set that looks first to what man can do, not what God can do. It is a terrible sickness. (Don't Waste Your Life, emphasis mine)

Right there. He nailed it. We so easily fall into that mindset because it's our flesh. We're wrapped in it 24 hours a day, and on top of that it's all around us: Designer this, fancy that, flashy this, "you need that."

Ben and I have been renters since we got married 9 years ago. We love renting. It's usually cheaper than owning and I don't have to fork over any money or worry when something breaks. My landlord takes care of that. Our leases are a year or less and so we're free to move if we need or want to. We've talked about renting for the rest of our life. (There are people who do that ya know). And we've also talked about buying.

But we've never been obsessed with buying.

This year, the budget is tight. Like I said, we're getting back on our feet. That's hard to do. And I think it's the craziest thing ever, but in the market where we live, right now, if you can get into a house, it's cheaper to own than to rent. And that's appealing to us because it would free up money monthly for our family.

We've been house-hunting since March. The first time we made an offer, it was accepted. Almost unheard of in this market (think bidding wars). After a few weeks of paperwork, inspections, and negotiations, Ben and I decided to walk. They wanted more than we were willing to pay and far more than it was worth. And we knew that it wasn't the home that the Lord had for us.

We know full well that God has a home for us, in His time. He has a place for our family, surrounded by specific neighbors, in a specific neighborhood, at a specific season. If that is a house we buy and get to renovate, update and decorate, He knows I would be very pleased. But it's not about what I want. It's about what He has pre-determined. If that place is this townhouse we're in right now, then great, we're already here and we don't have to move! And right now, this townhouse is the home He has for us.

God is sovereign over all. And that includes where we live. And I trust Him with that. My prayer during this process has been simple: that we would end up exactly in the place that He desires us to be, in the neighborhood that He has for us, and in His time.

[Jesus] said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority Acts 1:7

Last month we had another offer accepted, after making plenty that had been rejected. It's a short sale and we are in the waiting process. But the funny thing is, I'm not anxious about it at all. God has built up my patience over the years and taught me how to wait. We still have no idea how this will work out. We don't know if the same thing will happen that happened with the first house or if this will be smooth sailing. All we know is that God has a plan and we are simply called to trust and wait on Him. Lord, your will be done.

Friday, July 19, 2013

he's been out almost as long as he was in

8 months. This little boy is 8 months old!
That means he's now been out of the womb almost as long as he was in there.
And can I tell ya, he looks nothing, acts nothing, like he did as a newborn.
This is a completely different baby.
I cannot get over how much he has changed in 8 short months.
And I know babies go through a lot of changes but his have been more drastic than Isaac's.
At least that's how I feel.
Anyways, to the stats shall we?
Well, not stats per say. I don't have a clue how much he weighs (20 lbs?)

At 8 months old, Eli is:
scooting instead of crawling
pulling up to standing on his own
sleeping from 8pm-7am and shares a room with his older brother
naps a solid 2 times a day and sometimes a 3rd time (we're currently cutting that nap out)
jibber-jabbers all day long
never stops smiling. seriously tho. it's ridiculous
thinning out and getting taller
eating everything in sight
food faves: oatmeal with applesauce, split pea soup with pears and parsnip, nectarines
he is also eating finger foods like a pro


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

life lately

Things have been pretty quiet around here lately. Ben is taking summer school and working so he's busy most of the day. I've been taking the kids out in the evening to give him some peace and quiet to work on homework. But this week he finally discovered the library at school, so he'll be spending a lot more time there during this session.

As for the boys, they've been fighting sickness for what seems like the last month. Eli ended up with the measles, at least from what I can best determine based on symptoms. And then on top of that he woke up from his nap last week covered in hives. I'm almost certain it was from those freeze-dried yogurt bites I had given him with lunch. He is so sensitive! Isaac had a runny nose the whole time I was in Texas, I think due to allergies. And then, after a trip to the library last week he came down with hand-foot-mouth disease. That's wonderful. Poor thing was miserable for several days with a huge sore on his lip. But this week things seem to be clearing up. Eli's spots are almost gone and his fever has been gone a long while. Isaac is in much better spirits and I'm hoping we're all done being sick!

The week before I left for Texas, we made an offer on a house sight-unseen. That's just how ridiculous the market is in Vegas right now. We had completely forgotten about it because we had made several other offers that week and all were rejected. The day before I left we found out that our offer was accepted. I got home on Saturday and Monday morning we went to look at the house. It's a short sale, so we're just waiting now. And waiting, and waiting. We have no idea if it will work out. We have no idea if this it the neighborhood and the home that God has for us. But we can't wait to find out! Well, actually we can wait, because we have to.

Isaac has been driving me insane lately. We're definitely knee-deep in the terrible-twos. I just can't handle it. He is so stubborn and strong-willed. But I can't be surprised. The last week I've been using Montessori homeschool exercises with him and they've been working really well. The kid has a ton of energy and he's also very, very smart. I've found that getting him to focus that energy on an activity that is educational and a bit challenging really works well for him. With almost everything we've done he wants to do it over and over and over again. I'll definitely share some activities here on the blog in weeks to come.

My younger brother and his wife had their first baby last week! Yay! A little boy named Ethan. Her, my other sister-in-law and I have all had babies within the last year and they are all E names! Elijah, Elliana and Ethan. I love it!! Cousin E's. How sweet is that? It was not planned, I promise.

Elijah will be 8 months tomorrow. He isn't quite crawling yet but that doesn't stop him in the slightest. He just inch-worms himself all over the house. I'm starting to wonder if he's going to crawl at all or just start walking. He can pull to standing on his own and he can stand, leaning against something, for a long time. Not yet cruising. It's so interesting having two and comparing the milestones. By this point Isaac was crawling (6 months), pulling up (7 months) and cruising (8 months). I mean, the kid walked at 10 months. I'm really thankful that Eli slowed things down a bit!!

2013-07-11 12.03.172013-07-15 10.40.022013-07-11 17.19.412013-07-09 16.02.282013-07-12 11.52.23

a few notes on the photos: That smile on Eli, it's always there. The foam alphabet puzzle was in the Target $1 section and Isaac loves it. He is able to name 10 or so letters and can put all 26 letters in the right spots. That firetruck puzzle, he put that whole thing together all by himself. I did not help at all. And that's his "I'm awesome and proud of me" smile. He really says those things about himself after he accomplishes something. I love it (and encourage it ;)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

my take-away's from the National Right to Life Convention

Again, I have to say a huge Thank You to those who supported me financially and prayed for me (and Eli) while I was in Texas for the convention. Without your support, I would not have been able to go. And I would not have learned what I needed to learn and experienced what I needed to experience.

2013-06-29 14.44.01

The convention was 3 days. You can see my photo re-cap from the weekend here. The days were structured the same every day. We had a general session in the morning with a few different speakers. Some were big names (Governor Perry, Senator Ted Cruz, Lt Gov David Dewhurst, Carter Snead, Wesley Smith) and some were board members, directors, or members of the National Right to Life Convention. All were encouraging and educational. In the afternoons we broke off into workshops. There were 3, 4 or 5 a day. And the topics ranged from how to raise money, to the history of Planned Parenthood, to the science of fetal pain, to personality types. Again, all were so encouraging and very educational and helpful.

I have pages and pages of notes from all the speakers and workshops, but don't worry, I won't share all of it with you. We'd be here for days. Instead I thought I'd share my major take-away's from the weekend:

the pro-life movement is on fire
If you pay attention to social media, which I'm sure you do since you're reading a blog, than you may be aware of what is going on in Texas right now. Or even North Carolina or Ohio. Pro-life laws are being passed across this country at an unprecedented rate. People are standing up for the right to life and they are urging their legislators to do the same.

I was so encouraged by the variety of people who attended the convention. There were a lot of young people. In fact, at the same that our convention was taking place, the National Teens for Life Convention was also going on. How awesome is that? That gives me hope.

In one of the workshops I attended, the speaker made the point that my generation (late 20's, early 30's) is polled as more pro-life than our parents. And one major reason for that is the decade long partial-birth abortion debate of the late 1990's, early 2000's. We were teenagers at the time. We were developing our moral compasses, our sense of right and wrong. Because we were exposed to a national debate about abortion, a lot of us decided then that it is wrong. That is exactly the time that I started to take notice and care enough to want to do something. And this brings me to my next point:

as pro-lifers, we welcome a national debate over abortion. we want the debate
Abortion is such a controversial topic that I think most people would just rather not talk about it or think about it at all. Believe me, I don't want to talk about abortion. It's heartbreaking. It's devastating. It's not fun to talk about. But I have to. When you stop and truly consider what it is and what it's implications are, you cannot be quiet about it until it's gone.

But because of that, I think some people would just be more comfortable if it never came up at all. And I think some people are afraid of the debate that follows. Okay, most people are afraid of the debate that follows.

But, we don't have to be afraid because truth is on our side. Science is on our side. The facts are on our side. Love and compassion are on our side. And dare I say it, God is on our side. Because really, we're on His side fighting for His truth to be known and recognized in the hearts of all men.

So when states are working to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Acts and all of a sudden the country has erupted over what is going on in state capitals, that is a good thing! Because, whenever there is a national conversation about abortion, it gets people thinking. It gets them curious and interested. And then when they begin to see the facts, their hearts and minds are changed. And the polls swing further right.

And when hearts and minds change, that leads to policy change. And that leads me to the next point:

what if there was a pro-abortion reversal of roe v wade?
I have been reading Wesley Smith's blog for yeeeeaaars. He is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. And he makes me think about other life issues besides abortion (embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning, environmentalism, animal rights activism and the list goes on and on). To be honest, him being a speaker was one of the major reasons I wanted to attend the NRLC. And I am so glad I was able to hear him speak.

Of the many brilliant and thought-provoking issues he discussed, one point I had never even thought about, but I can absolutely see it as a reality, is a pro-abortion reversal of roe v wade on the grounds of equality. As it stands, Roe v Wade was determined based on privacy. Somehow, the justices were able to find a "right to privacy" in the due process clause of the 14th amendment. But, as I have written about before, many pro-aborts advocate for abortion based on the grounds that without it, women are not equal. If this were argued before the Supreme Court, and if Justice Kennedy could be convinced, Roe v Wade could potentially be reversed, making all abortion again legal across the United States. All restrictions, regulations and pro-life laws that have been enacted since 1973 would be struck down and abortion would, once again, be legal from the day of conception until birth for any and all reasons. "Abortion on demand without apology."

That is a scary notion. And that is something we need to be reminded of as we fight battle after battle. We fight against an ideology that is based on an absolute lie. Women are not unequal to men. We are very equal to men. We're just different. Good different. We have the ability and privilege of bearing children and nurturing life. To the pro-aborts, they are fighting a civil rights battle for women, at the expense of the unborn. But we are fighting a civil rights battle for the unborn child. Because it is that child who has been denied his or her unalienable right to life. And together, we can change that. So on to my next point:

grassroots is where it's at
Things are only going to change at a national level when we are working at a local level. Let's face it, the pro-life movement is not very rich. In fact, we are outspent by the pro-aborts by huge margins. But, we have the numbers. We have the passion. We have the voice of the people. And we have people who are willing to work tirelessly to get things done.

One of the workshop speakers made the point that our grassroots groups within our communities are like "little platoons, working to enact change and betterment." We are working to educate and persuade our peers, our neighbors, our colleagues, our fellow students. People in your community are more easily persuaded by someone else in their community than by someone on the TV, or twitter or the radio. So use that to your advantage! Talk with your friends and neighbors. And above all else, pray for your community.

States and local governments are the laboratories of ideas. There is always so much focus on national politics. But the truth is, what happens in your city and your state ultimately affects the nation. Just look at Texas. What they are doing right now to protect babies in the womb, 20 weeks and older, is having an incredible impact on the country. People are talking about it. And Texas will be the 10th state to enact such a law. States are taking the lead on ending abortion and I could not be more excited to be involved in the process.

2013-06-28 09.54.41

With all that said, I am ready to get going here in Nevada. For those of you who don't know, I recently took on the position of director of Nevadans for Life, which is the southern Nevada affiliate-chapter of Nevada Right to Life. I was blessed to meet several of the NV Right to Life people at the convention. They are awesome. I cannot wait to work with them to change the culture of this state and this country. It's time. Let's do this!

Monday, July 8, 2013

the many ironies of abortion "rights"

There's this terrible notion that's been around for a while that abortion is a "women's rights" issue. That the two are inseparable. That if you are a feminist, than you must believe in abortion rights. That you can't have one without the other.

But that couldn't be further from the truth.

And here's why: because abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.

But let me lay some ground work first before we get into that.

Some of you read my rant on Facebook last week about one of the pro-abort's signs at the protest in Texas. The sign read, "hoes before embryos." It truly makes me sick. That attitude, that mentality. But it is at the heart of the abortion argument. I'll just quote from my Facebook status here, instead of rewriting it:

I posted about this tasteless protest sign on twitter yesterday, but had to share here. To understand why pro-abortion advocates would say such a thing ("hoes before embryos"), you must first understand their mentality. You see, they believe that women are oppressed, not by men, but by their own bodies. That because a woman can get pregnant, she is less equal. This is especially the case when it comes to sexual behavior and sexual activity. A woman cannot be promiscuous like a man because she has the consequence of pregnancy. Therefore, in order to be equal to men, in order to be able to sleep around without consequence, she must have access (paid for by the government or her employer, of course) to abortificient birth control and abortion on demand, without restriction, without apology. Quite frankly, this mentality disgusts me. It degrades women, men, babies and the act of sex itself, which was given by God to be a gift to a man and his wife.

This argument, that women are not equal to men, unless they have access to contraception and abortion is blatantly false. And furthermore, it's offensive. To argue such a theory is to believe and advance the notion that women are naturally, by their very nature, unequal. That we are born unequal. And that simply is not true. Nor do I think feminists actually believe that. At least I hope they don't.

But, it also advances the idea that to bear children makes women inferior. That somehow, being a mother, a nurturer, being that who we, by our very nature, were designed to be, makes us unequal. What a bunch of, to quote good 'ole Joe, malarkey!

I recently began re-reading Why Prolife? Caring for the Unborn and Their Mothers by Randy Alcorn. If you are pro-life and are wondering how to better defend your position through science and logic as well as scripture and ethics, I highly recommend this quick read. If you are an abortion advocate, I also recommend this book as a very simple defense of our position. Either way, read it.

Now back to what I was saying. I'm currently reading the section about The Mother (newsflash: Once you become pregnant, you are a mother. You don't get to decide whether or not you'll become a mother. That decision was your's to make before you had sex. You now get to decide whether or not your child gets to live. And it's sad that we live in a world that allows a mother to make such a decision, without consequence, for her child). Alcorn mentions a quote from a former NARAL president that says, in part, "We have to remind people that abortion is the guarantor of a woman's... right to participate fully in the social and political life of society."

Excuse me? Abortion is what guarantees my right to participate in society fully? How can women everywhere not be outraged by that statement and that attitude? The truth is that God, you know, the Person who the Founders referenced in the Declaration of Independence as "our Creator", guarantees our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I don't need abortion, or even birth control for that matter, to guarantee my rights.

But of course, if by "participate in society fully" she is referring to sex without consequence, then I guess she's got an argument. But it's still not a very solid one.

Which brings me to my initial point of this post: abortion exploits women, it doesn't help them or empower them. Did you know that the most pro-abortion category in this country is single white males between the ages of 20 and 45? (statistics from Why Pro-Life?) Now isn't that interesting? It's not women. It's men, young men. Men who are the most likely to be sleeping around and wanting to not be tied down by the responsibility of a child.

 If you want to read it from a man's perspective, I don't know that I could word it any better than Matt. This piece is fantastic and right on. And while you're there, read his Open Letter to Wendy Davis. Amazing.

What abortion actually does, rather than empower women, is empower men. And it empowers them to be irresponsible. It empowers them to do what many feminists would like to be able to do: sleep around with no consequence. For a man, so long as abortion is legal, he can simply pay for a "procedure" to "take care" of his "problem." But instead of taking care of a problem, he is paying for the murder of his own child and subjecting his girlfriend, wife or one-night-stand to heartache and pain. That is the exploitation of women.

Abortion also aids in the cover-up of statutory rape and sexual abuse. Don't believe me? Here is undercover video of Planned Parenthoods in 5 different states who are willing to ignore sexual abuse and not report statutory rape of girls who are seeking abortions as a result of their abuse. That is the exploitation of women.

But if that weren't bad enough, little women in the womb are the target of abortion far more often than little boys. And not only around the world, but also right here in the United States. But let's start in Bombay where, out of 8000 amniocentesis tests that revealed a girl in the womb, all but one of those girls was aborted. One woman survived. And in America, when 99 mothers were informed the sex of their baby, 53 being male and 46 being female, only one boy was aborted while 29 girls were aborted (statistics from Why Pro-life?). That is the exploitation of women.

And yet, President Obama said he would not sign a law to ban sex-selection abortions. But wait, I thought he cared about women's rights? Doesn't he lead a political party who swears up and down that the Republicans are waging a "war on women"? All the while, a true war on women is taking place every day. A war on women in the womb. And these women have no defense; no words or ability to defend themselves.

But if he truly cared about women's rights, then he would care about the right to life. Because, the right to life is required in order to exercise all other rights. Without life, women have no rights at all! And if abortion truly was about women's rights, sex-selection abortion would be made illegal. Truly, all abortion would be illegal, not protected, heralded and encouraged. Early feminists and suffragists believed this and modern day feminists would do right to take heed.

"Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women." ~Alice Paul, author of the original Equal Rights Amendment (1923)

For more information about pro-life feminists, visit Feminists for Life

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

our first night in Texas: a reminder of why we aren't so fond of that place

warning: if you are from Texas, this post may offend you. But as a west coast gal, I just can't help myself. There is a reason we didn't survive in Texas very long.

2013-06-26 17.01.56

Eli and I arrived in Texas on Wednesday night, late. Our plane left Vegas around 5:15 pm. I didn't check any bags because, let's face it, I'm cheap. So I pushed Eli's stroller, with the car seat attached and wore him in the Ergo. I put my carry-on in the stroller and pulled my suitcase. I'm sure everyone thought I was nuts. I am.

I gate-checked the stroller and car seat. Eli sat in my lap for the flight. As we loaded the plane, I carried by bag and my suitcase. When I got to my seat, I was hoping that someone would help me put my suitcase in the over head storage, considering I was wearing a baby and all, but that didn't happen. In fact, the guy sitting in my row just stared at me as if I had 17 eyes. Good thing I'm strong enough to lift a suitcase over my held, while wearing a baby.

Anyways, we landed at DFW around 10. And as if that airport isn't confusing enough, they have most of the exits out of the terminal blocked off that late at night. I must have walked almost the entire C terminal before finding the only set of round-about doors to get out. Now just imagine me, pushing a full sized stroller, wearing a baby, pulling a suitcase trying to fit into that turning door. I fit it all in with centimeter to spare. Seriously, centimeters. And then to get it to turn, I had to inch my way. It probably took a good 3 or 4 minutes. The whole time an airport employee is just staring at me, as I look at her with a face as to say, "seriously? there isn't another door I can go through?" It was ridiculous.

And so, my first impression being back in Texas was, I'm starting to remember why we weren't so fond of this place.

From there I found the elevator downstairs so I could catch the shuttle to rental car. But once inside the elevator I discovered that no floor was labeled. I had no idea which button to push and where to get off. So that was fabulous. Thankfully a nice man was standing at the doors when they opened and he kindly escorted me to the shuttle pick up location.

We picked up our rental car. By now it was nearing 11:00. I was tired. Oh man, was I tired. As we exited the rental car area, I had no idea where I was going. That airport is so poorly marked. The sign that said exit had an arrow pointing me back into the rental car place. So I know I looked like a mad person making u-turns, trying to find my way out.

And on top of that, when I finally got out of the DFW airport (for those of you not familiar with it, that place is basically a small, or decent-sized city, and it's confusing, especially at night), I was completely turned around. One thing I struggled with a lot in Texas is that because it's flat, there are no major landmarks to use as reference points. In Las Vegas, we are surrounded by very distinct mountains. Don't know where you are, find a mountain that you can identify and re-orientate yourself. But in Texas, in the dark, there is nothing. Just lots of trees and flatness.

So I drove for quite a while, going the wrong direction, my phone being absolutely no help. The freeway is under construction, because it always is, so all the entrances are blocked and the signs are no help. And generally, I have a really good sense of direction. I hardly ever get lost and I don't generally need a lot of guidance or direction to find a place. But in Texas, that all goes out the window.

I told Ben later that night, there was a point that I almost just pulled over and cried. It was late. It was dark. I was alone with a baby. I had no idea where I was or how to get to where I was going.

But instead of crying, I sucked it up, I pulled up google maps. I did a serious map study. I found some landmarks, mostly restaurants, and re-oriented myself. At that point I realized how far southwest I had gone. I needed to be on the northeast side of the airport. Awesome.

After finding a place that was open, to pick up a bite to eat, we made it to the hotel some time before midnight. We checked in, set up the pack 'n play for Eli (thank you Lauren!!) and settled in. I ate my dinner and called Ben to report we had, in fact, made it safely, and then crashed for the night.

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I told Ben on the phone, I was reminded, within minutes of being back in Texas, of all the things we complained about when we lived there. It's funny how when you've been away from a place or a person, even, for a while, you forget all the bad. You mostly remember the good. That is, of course, until you meet again.

But don't worry. My trip wasn't all bad. In fact, it was mostly good, mostly awesome. My purpose and reason for being there could not be thwarted by all the Texas-ness I encountered. And I promise, I'll share how fantastic the National Right to Life Convention was, because it was awesome.