Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ignorance is Bliss...But Knowledge is Joy

I have noticed a pattern in my life: ignorance. Being raised in a culturally encapsulated environment (translation - homogenous group; pretty much white and LDS for starters), in an uneducated, unexposed family environment, I developed the ability (or limitation, rather), to make assumptions and form opinions based on my imaginative perceptions rather than on information or truth. Over the years, through travel, mission, college, work, and living with people from many parts of the world, I have been gratefully blessed with having this ignorance challenged. Over time, I grew to not fear the word "ignorance," nor to be ashamed to admit that, "I am ignorant," because it is not tied to my worth, it's merely a state of having knowledge or a lack of it.

Just the other day, I realized I have had yet another revelation of my former ignorance. The pattern I'm seeing is this: When a subject arises, of which I am ignorant yet have strong assumptions regarding it, I now seek more information from several valid and reliable sources in order to validate, or adapt if necessary, my position. The result has been that as I gain more credible information, I have the tendency to adopt a position on that subject that is outside of the mainstream's value base, or a more "radical" stance than the bulk of society. Not ever being one to feel insecure with peer pressure, this "outsider" position hasn't tortured me, nor tempted me to resist my movement towards a less popular alliance, when my move is based on my values and beliefs. Simply - I am okay with letting others have their beliefs even when mine are different and still being great friends.

What I have noticed is that perhaps this ignorance is a greater part of society at large than simply a reflection of a small town, LDS community and individual family.

There seems to be a tradition of ignorance in our modern American history. There's a broad difference in the education and thoughts of our founding fathers and mothers and the average level of education of an American today.

I digress.

What has brought me to reconsider that perhaps I am not the only ignorant person is being confronted by the uneducated, uninformed oppositions toward some of the choices I am making in my life: homeschooling my children and homebirth. (Just to pick 2).

I do not mean this in a condeming way. The oppositions simply remind ME of the uninformed beliefs I ONCE HELD on the same topics and the persecutions (whether they were verbal or kept to myself) I heaped upon others who have made the choices that I am now making.

I reflect in horror at how determined I WAS that somehow I knew, or knew better, than someone else who was in fact making an educated choice where I was not exercising ANY choice, simply following the popular crowd.

As I thought about these experiences recently, the phrase, "Ignorance is bliss" came to mind and I have challenged it for myself that if it is bliss, than "Knowledge is Joy," because pulling away from the mainstream and living my life in an assertive, empowering, personalized way has been liberating.

I'll get more specific next time.

P.S. Don't be offended - this is my blog - my thoughts - my opinions - it's NOT a reflection of anyone else's worth.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Washington DC trip photos....finally

Dad and Maika at Jefferson's home - Monticello (you can't see the home, but it's a cute pic.)
Little George (Sikeli) at Mt. Vernon, George Washington's plantation. Visiting this spot was Sikeli's goal of the ENTIRE trip. As we walked down the lane, he took my hand and told me this was the best day of his life. At that moment, it was mine, too.

Did we forget Maika? No, he was sleeping in the stroller - but Maika - we DID take you to the White House.

The Capitol. Exciting?

Jefferson's Home - Monticello - another highlight. Jefferson is my hero. What unbelievable genius contributed to the founding of our nation.

Stonewall Jackson's House. (Sikeli demonstrating his position as a Yankee. He made Aisea carry the confederate flag).

Washington and Lee University.

The Air and Space Museum - Smithsonian Institute

Safari Park - feeding animals right from our car!

Washington DC temple.

It's nice to finally get our trip photos uploaded and have a look at them. What great memories.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Halloween eating...
Dorothy sneaking a kiss from Lion.

Last Winter we saw the play, The Wizard of Oz. We've been crazy fans ever since.

Using this love as our Halloween theme was a great way for me to participate and enjoy a holiday that I otherwise do not appreciate.

My sister was Glinda, the "Good Witch" and Sai - well, I guess he's "too cool" to dress up. He didn't think the "Great and Powerful Oz" needed any costume.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Where in the world are we?

This is just for the sake of updating, b/c I can't stand to think of my blog - it's like it's in a coma.

This is why:

We came to St. George, Utah, from Aspen the end of September. I started the marathon on Oct. 4th and did 10 miles in the cold, rain. It DOES NOT rain in St. George - just that ONE day in all the days before and since that we've been here! Being 3 months pregnant at that time, I decided the weather was just too much of a stressor and did not want to risk getting pneumonia. I gratefully took the shuttle into town and look forward to next year's marathon.

We took our first ever "learning vacation." (Term coined by Sikeli). Frankly, it was our first vacation that wasn't just a trip home for me from Hawaii or Colorado. We spent 10 days in the Washington DC/Virginia area. For the past year, my boys have been enthralled with US presidents, US wars, slavery, the Constitution and Declaration, etc. Let's just say colonial history up to the Civil War. We kept saying, "When we have the money we'll take them back east to see all these sights they love reading about." I finally realized that my intention with that statement was continually attracting a lack of money. So we set the intention that we WERE going in October and set the dates and did everything AS IF it would happen - and it did. There was a huge miracle that came just 2 weeks before the trip that was totally unpredictable and made the whole thing completely possible.

Setting intentions (i.e. Faith - view previous post if confused) is real. You know those "dream boards" or "vision boards?" They work. This was on our dream board.

So, imagine 10 days with endless questions from my curious children - far too many that I could not answer, such as, "Mom, what countries fought in the Korean war and what were their strategies?" This was my sheepish response, "I don't know, son. Just look at the memorial. We'll get a book on it when we get home."

Really, I tried to do better at other times, this was on the last day and my brain was FRIED!

Some of the highlights -

Thomas Jefferson's home

George Washington's home

Stonewall Jackson's home

White House,.....and all in that neighborhood.

Awesome Smithsonian Institutes

And a safari zoo where you drive your car into a free range zoo, open your van door and feed the animals out of buckets as they come up to, and STICK THEIR HEADS INTO, your van. For real - camels are stinky and scary when they're nose to nose with your child!

So - have been wanting to blog - but guess what? We moved everything from Aspen to St. George (long story) but I can't find the camera cord to download photos.

Sai returned to Aspen last week to work - better job opps than in St. George. He visits on the weekends.

I'm now 21 weeks pregnant - expecting to have a boy - no official info on that yet, however. Planning a homebirth and have a great midwife. "Why didn't I do this before?" is my only question. It's just so much more normal to meet with someone who treats pregnancy and birth as a natural thing and not a disease. I used to think, "But what if something happens during delivery and you need the hospital's equipment and specialties?" But now that I know a little more, I'm embarrassed that I ever thought that! This midwife, I can only speak for her, b/c I don't know others, but she has safely delivered more babies without the need for c-sections, than any doctor I know. She actually knows other techniques besides incisions when things aren't going smoothly. What a concept? Anyway, she's delievered 2 of my friends in the past 2 weeks and has delivered more than 1,000 babies. I'm excited about this journey and thank all of my friends who have been inspirations to me in this area.

I also started using cloth diapers about 2 weeks ago. I searched for months to learn more and finally ordered from comfy bummy online. The main reasons I went this way were:

1 - environmental impact. The hundreds of diapers I personally throw into the environment MONTHLY is a shame.

2 - cost. Research estimates a savings (after all things considered) of $2,000.00 per child over the course of diapering years (0-3).

3 - my children's bodies, i.e. health and comfort. Knowing what I'm putting against their skin is natural.

Do I sound granola yet? Regardless - I'm happier and more content with life than ever before, so, it can't be too crazy.