Thursday, March 26, 2015

Jury Duty

I just finished my time serving as a juror in a child molestation case at the 2nd District Court in Davis County.  It was difficult.  In the end after two days of testimony, we had to fnd the defendant "not guilty" but basically because the prosecution didn't do a good enough job getting us to believe without a reasonable doubt that he was guilty.  There were so many more questions that should have been asked.  So many more objections that should have been made to the "side show" the defense was putting on.  It was truly sad....and the guy probably really is guilty.

No one likes to be called to Jury duty...and sitting there with my fellow 45 other potential jurors, I was racking my brain to see what objection I could make to get out of it.... but in all good conscience, every "out" that was given, I just didn't have an excuse in the end I was the loser-winner, or winner-loser, whichever way you want to look at it.

They put all of us new strangers in a room, and then tell us we can't discuss the trial, until the end of the trial, and really the only thing we even have in common is the trial.  So there were long stints of awkward silence during recess periods.  And the fact that it's called recess at all is pretty funny... our "recess" consisted of being escorted by an officer into a locked room.   Sometimes they threw in oreos to keep us happy.  

A court room trial is  a long interesting process, but one I'm actually glad I experienced and can now check off my "I have never" life list.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Natural Woman for the Win

Oh..... some days the "Natural Woman" totally wins.
I don't do anything on my TO DO list.
I want to nap
binge watch tv
 go to a movie by myself
 out to lunch 
 eat junk food
 surf the net
 hide from my people.  

The thoughts of serving others, or helping my family, or working, or yardwork outside or cleaning my home or exercising is just too much....

Wednesday was one of those days....

Natural Woman-1
Melinda- 0

The good news is, not all of my days are like this.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

11,688 Days

I've been married to my Wayne for 11,688 days.... AMAZING!

11,688 Days =    32 Years
11,688 Days =280,512Hours
11,688 Days =16,830,720Minutes
11,688 Days =1,009,843,200Seconds

We are celebrating 32 years today by going to a movie, doing sealings at the Temple, biking and tending our grandbaby...Alfie.   ( and........we will throw in  some sweet lovin' somewhere, sorry kids, try not to gag. )

I've decided the most important decision you can make in a life is not where to live, or what to do for a living, it's who to marry.....who to spend a life hour by hour, day by day, year by year in tandem, together life.    It's a pretty big deal, and one, thank goodness that I excelled at.  I chose my Wayne. He is remarkable in every way...and most remarkable is that he chose me.

In a book I've been reading by Anna Quindlen, called,  Lots of candles, plenty of cake, she writes, "Marriage is a journey that includes shared experience, setbacks, challenges, knowledge and many many things that make you crazy as well as some things that make you happy.   If a marriage is to endure over time, it has to be because both people within it  have tacitly acknowledged something that young lovers might find preposterous:  it's big, and more important, than both of us.  It's love, sure, and inside jokes and conversational shorthand,  but it's also families, friends, traditions, landmarks, knowldege, history.  It's childen, children whose parents' marriage is bedrock for them even if they're not children anymore.  Perhaps especially if they're not children anymore. "

I agree.  So I'm in this marriage of mine for the long haul...and I'm happy about it.  Here's to another 32!  I treasure  my marriage.
This is me and my sweet Wayne at our "second marriage ceremony"  during Guys and Dolls... 17 years ago.  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Angel's Landing with the Angels

Ahhh another weekend in St George  and I'm thinking being a snowbird sounds lovely. This weekend was spent with my theatre girlfriends Maurie and Jan. Julie was coming too but then her father passed away ... So it was just us and eventually Holly Reed joined in for hot tubbing and s'mores. 
We hiked Angel’s Landing in Zions. This was a first for me.  This was quite the hike.  I didn’t know it would entail spider man-ing  a rock wall to get to the highest level  of the peak...the Angel’s landing part.  It’s quite rigorous. We all felt accomplished so we went and bought Angel bracelet charms to celebrate. 
Another funny part is we got stopped by three guys on the way down to take a picture with us. They have a travel blog. As we talked to them we found out they were 3 gay men--- so Maurie and Jan wanted their pics taken just for fun. I said this is nothing new for me. I have 3 gay men at home. Everyone laughed!
We ate a lot of great food, played cards, sang, talked, saw the movie CINDERELLA ( so good) and the movie:
  2ndExotic Marigold Hotel ( very sweet)  sang and hiked some more.  We are singing to get ready for a friend's surprise party. We are part of the program. It will be fun!  
We ate amazingly good food and celebrated Pi day with pie. 
 On Saturday we hiked into the Red Cliff Rec area outside of Leeds.  It was cool. There is a river bed and stream to  walk through and slippery red rocks to scale and some foot hold  type rock places. It was awesome.  SO pretty and red and rocky and well, you get the idea. Maurie jumped in the freezing cold swimming hole-- she had to go potty and it was the only way. The funny part is the water was so cold she couldn't go after all. She was just wet.  It was fun to be with ladies who like to hike and are so active.   We laughed a lot and my thighs are killing me now. 
I can't believe the beautiful dessert landscapes and mountains and I always feel so blessed to have so many great friends to do things with. I'm one lucky girl. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Change of Heart

I used to believe that being gay was a choice..and not a very good one.  One that would divide a family and shouldn't be talked about..... a whispered lifestyle, that if light was shed on it and it was acknowledged would  only destroy..... ( It seems crazy even as I write it down. )
I've come a long way baby! 
I have had a complete change of heart......I know being gay isn't a choice.  To love unconditionally is the choice.  
 I know that I can love and accept all of my people and your people too.......... but to get to this point took repentance.
That's right.... repentance on my part.
I never thought about it like this until I was sitting in a Relief Society lesson on repentance.  One of the main points was "Repentance involves a mighty change of heart."   I know I have had a mighty change of heart  from the first time Landon came out and rocked my world, to the second time when Truman did.  I know I have  had to repent of judgement and pride.  Really that's what keeps us from loving people.  We set ourselves up as judges.  We allow our "Church Lady"  to take over as we look down our noses, preach at and belittle others.  We let "what will people think" get in the way of truly loving.  Yet the Savior never called upon us to be that, or to do that...he only called upon us to LOVE others.  Unconditionally.   He asks us to love one another 95 times in the Bible. He asks us to love with no ifs, ands or buts.
I have almost raised five children and  one of the biggest challenges I face is allowing my children their agency. I'm really good at planning their lives out for them...what classes they should take, who they should marry, when they should have children, what they should major in, where they should live, etc...   I want to  force my children to do what I feel is right, but Heavenly Father does not force me to obey His commandments. He lovingly guides and directs me with "patience and love unfeigned."   Such a great example for my own parenting.
I know when we love unconditionally it has a powerful effect.  Relationships are strenghthened; hearts and hands are lifted;  families are saved. 
I can honestly say,  I wouldn’t trade this life experience for any other. It has brought me closer to my Heavenly Father and Savior as I have grown in compassion, hope, patience and faith. I have  repented and my heart is changed.
SIDENOTE:   What seems to be one of the most surprising facts to LDS members surrounding homosexuality is that the church clearly states on their website that same-gender attraction is NOT a choice …
On this same website,,  Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Twelve Apostles said,
“As a church, nobody should be more loving and compassionate. Let us be at the forefront in terms of expressing love, compassion and outreach. Let’s not have families exclude or be disrespectful of those who choose a different lifestyle as a result of their feelings about their own gender.”

Monday, March 9, 2015

10 tiny things

10 Tiny things I'm grateful for
1.  Taking Alfie on a walk around his block 
2. Hearing him say bird, car and dog over and over
3. Walking in gorgeous spring weather with Si 
4. Having Si help me with dinner ideas
5. Sharing Mud pie ice cream with Laila
6. Driving Laila to lessons while she talks about her school day and friends
7. Taking some errands off of my Wayne's  shoulders so he won't feel so overwhelmed 
8. Using my iPad and iphone. 
9. Finding a new mascara that I love
10. Driving a clean car 
And then there's  this tiny cowboy

Treasured Brother

I may be a week late in wishing my favorite brother a Happy 50th Birthday...but... I have been thinking about him all week.  I love this guy so much!  He's been through a lot, has been tested and tried and he continues to move forward with faith.  He's a great example to me.
Adam and Christine with Aaron, Rachel, Becca and Jenna 2013
I treasure my brother Adam. I have scattered memories of growing up together.

As his big sister, I have known Adam from his beginning.  I remember holding him and playing with him, like he was Marcie’s and my doll.  
2 year old Adam 1967
When I was in grade school, I didn’t pay much attention to my little brother Adam, beyond what a pest he was.  We had a lot of summer fun swimming at Grandma Butter's pool, water skiing at Bear Lake and hanging out with the Poulter cousins. He did all of the typical "boy" things,  he was rough and daring and had broken bones, concussions, and stitiches to show for this. 
13 year old Adam.
His teen years, were my older teen years, so I was very self centered and didn’t really know what was happening with my brother, except when he was hurt or in trouble or making my mom cry. (I don’t recall the reasons for any of these.)   He had a big ego and in the summer with his bleached blonde hair and deep tan, he was like a Summer God!

I do remember being so happy for him  and grateful that he went on a mission  to Mexico City, Mexico. I kept his mission scrap book for him.....
1984 at Airport with Grandpa Butters
  He grew up a lot…and when he came home I was a new mom with baby Addison…. So again I was at a different stage in life and worried about bottles and sleepless nights, while Adam was back in school, and dating and figuring out his own adult path.
Bash Banner 1987
Adam married Christine, had Aaron quickly and settled into family life.  He was/is an adoring father.  He is hands on, funny and fun…and gives great bear hugs.
Adam went back to get his MBA from BYU after he had 4 children…and it was  difficult..yet he did it. My parents were so proud of him.
It was nice having Christine and him move back to Bountiful, and have so many of his children my children’s ages…. this was filled with fun and tears as the cousins struggled and thrived through jr. high and high school.  We were all just learning and growing as parents and trying to figure out family dynamics along the way.
Adam and Christine Cole family 1993
There are many things I love about this brother of are a few stand out qualities.....
Adam is hilarious.  He remembers jokes and is always putting a funny twist on a situation.  He loves to  change the words to songs so they will be funnier, and  they just are with his silly voices and lyrics.  
He is an eternal optimist….a glass half full kind of guy which has been very valuable for him with his roller coaster employment.  He is always hopeful and helpful with our momma and now our dad.

Adam plays the guitar and I love that he learned this as an adult and practices and works on his music.  I love sitting and singing with him at Bear Lake or at Dad’s house at Christmas time. 
He has a great voice.  Adam was in many musicals in his youth and continues to sing in choirs and  at church functions.
He is athletic and now his boyhood basketball and skiing dreams have been replaced with  golf.  Adam loves his golf.  He could be a golf pro in another life. 
He is an artist…he draws and paints and admires beautiful scenery. He is a true romantic.
Lyle and Sheri Cole Family  Christmas 1979.  Look how pretty my mom is
Being a sister and having a sibling viewpoint is different than other types of relationships.  I love him. I care what happens to him and his Christine and his darlin, daring children.  We are bonded through growing up experiences and  family life.  We come together on holidays and family weddings and funerals.
But I’m really just a by stander in Adam's life…
… I am a watcher, a cheerleader, a shoulder to cry on,  a joint decision maker when it comes to our dad...and a memory keeper.
So what do I wish for my brother on his big 50th birthday? I wish  him  success, a loving family and that  his testimony remains strong.
I love Adam…… He is a wonderful person, a faithful father and friend, a loving son and treasured brother. 
The COLE men...Adam Butters Cole, Lyle Nelson Cole, Aaron James Cole -- Dec. 2014

Sunday, March 1, 2015