Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A letter from my friend Steve to his Parents and the Mormon Church

Dear Father, Mother and the Elders of my former Church,

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has joined a coalition which has not just supported, but actually filed a brief with the California Supreme Court defending the established definition of marriage as the union between a man and a woman. *(Source:1). First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent a letter to Church leaders in California to be read to all congregations on 29 June 2008: In the letter the Church states its intention to participate with the coalition to see that California Proposition 8 passes. They fail to mention the church is not just supporting but part of the coalition and that the legislation they are supporting was drafted and submitted by the coalition. The letter then directs Local Church leaders to provide political propaganda and how to get the Church members involved in passing their legislation. “We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage.” *(Souce:5)

I do not mind if the Church does not wish to condone Gay’s within their organization although I am astonished that they would participate in suppressing other groups and religions the right and dignity of marriage. It is a sad day when “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” violates their own teachings and joins with other organizations to initiate legislation that promotes intolerance, separatism, bigotry and the oppression of one group over another. As a Baptized Mormon I am a little uncomfortable telling you that I am ashamed of the Mormon Church and that its members including my extended family; would participate in and condone this type of behavior as acceptable.

Elder Wickman and others from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in conjunction with the Church’s Public Affairs staff have confirmed the Church’s stand by filing a brief to the California Supreme Court as well as their Coalition to defeat bills and other propositions that were in support of Gay Marriage. “ELDER WICKMAN: One way to think of marriage is as a bundle of rights associated with what it means for two people to be married. What the First Presidency has done is express its support of marriage and for that bundle of rights belonging to a man and a woman. “ *(Source:2) They even comment as to their role and intent on formally changing the Constitution of the United States… clearly defining this a Political Concern.
It should be noted that there are mainstream churches that do marry gay men and the actions being taken by the Mormon Church and others will tread upon those religion’s beliefs and its rights under the law. This is a direct violation of the churches foundational rules and principles set forth on August 17, 1835 within section 134 paragraph 9 of ‘The Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-Day Saints’. “We do not believe it just to amingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.” *(Source:3).

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” is out to protect their future image by sowing the seeds of intolerance and bigotry into our laws thus stifling tolerance within the United States. Elder David A. Bednar a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles expresses one of the reasons the church is getting involved is a fear of future public opinions should Gays be granted civil rights. Specifically he references fear of fines or sanctions against the church should some future action be brought against the church should its views on Gays fail to remain popular with society. *(Source:4). You could say the church learned their lesson when African Americans gained civil liberties. The only difference between now and when the church would not accept African Americans; is that the church is out to change laws to reinforce today’s bigotry so they will not have to live through a time when society once again may become more tolerant than the church itself. Can you imagine the difficulty in converting new members including those in non Caucasian countries when society knew the church was racist and actively discriminating and not allowing African Americans to hold the priesthood? Now the Mormon Church is telling members that it’s ok to encourage the Government to with-hold marriage from Gays, because some states created a compromise called a ‘Civil Union’ which has the same rights as being married without letting them marry. Tell me how that is any different than when the government told Blacks they cannot drink from the White drinking fountain, that there was an equal but separate drinking fountain for them. Similar but separate laws for any specific group over another only serve to rob our fellow brothers and citizens of dignity and respect. At the cost of reinforcing bigoted, discriminatory, intolerant and separatist feelings within our society.

The psychological influence a religious organization / church has over its members is quite significant. Statements by the Church are often acted upon by its members as though God himself commanded it. I do not know about you but I refuse to believe that bigotry and intolerance is a trait God would practice or wish to be made into Law. These laws are flat out discriminatory. Making it unlawful for another church to marry two men. The audacity and self-righteousness of it. Any organization that perpetuates self supremacy and the superiority of their thoughts and beliefs at the expense of another’s, are no better than the Nazi’s were prior to the rise of Hitler. Do you think Germans had this deep unsatisfied desire to commit genocide and kill all the Gay and Jewish people they could possibly shove into ovens? Of course not. They were merely raised within a self-righteous society that promoted suppressing other groups and religions, a society where separatism and bigotry was considered righteous and just. Intolerance paves the way for people like Hitler to justify radical supremacist ideals by capitalizing on the intolerance while promoting hate and bigotry towards that group as a means to overcome anything and everything wrong with the world.

I was raised Christian and taught love and respect for others. I find these actions to be specifically un-Christian and damaging to God’s name and works. Actions like these are those that cause people to lose faith. I feel in these actions by the Mormon Church reinforce a thought process and behavior that represents the worst of mankind. Something I thought was on the verge of becoming an historical reference as something overcome during the spiritual growth of mankind.
I do not mind if you are Mormon. I do not mind if the Mormon Church does not wish to allow Gays to hold the priesthood, nor to join their family in heaven. Although I do not want there to be any confusion in the fact that your tithing is profiting a church that supports intolerant and separatist coalitions which are determined to prevent civil liberties for those who are unlike them. I am hurt to admit I find this to be a hateful act on behalf of my families loved and trusted religion “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”.


Steve Kelly

*Source:1 (http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/public-issues/church-joins-other-faith-groups-in-defense-of-traditional-marriage
*Source:2 (http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/public-issues/same-gender-attraction)
*Source:3 (http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/134)
*Source:4 (http://www.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/media/mediaplayer.swf?media=http://broadcast.lds.org/newsroom/video/flv/bednar_edit02_150k.flv&type=FLV)
*Source:5 (http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/california-and-same-sex-marriage).
1.) Anti-Gay Civil Liberties Coalition Members: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has joined with the California Catholic Conference, the National Association of Evangelicals, and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of American” *(source:1)
2.) Additional Un-sited Information regarding the LDS church and Same Sex Marriage, including Proposition 8. Reference:1 (http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/same-sex-marriage-and-proposition-8).

Saturday, November 8, 2008


This is really moving.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Talking to Christians

I loved this article. This Yogi and Evangelical formed a great friendship and this article a brief excerpt from there friendship...


Sunday, September 28, 2008

This is another brilliant sketch. Amy Poehler doesn't really look like Katie Couric, but wow spot on!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

French Toast...

Several years ago Jeffrey met this couple while working in Taipei for Disney. From his email, and after he returned I heard about the show, but what I heard most was Robb and David this, and David and Robb and that... These two people enjoyed the things that Jeffrey enjoyed and not only were they roommates, but they had a great many adventures together. It wasn't until three years later that I met David. You see Robb went on adventure, and the few times I was in New York Robb wasn't around. Then Robb decided it was time to head home. We picked him up from the airport the day he arrived back, and I finally met Robb. He was tired, rundown, and I think all he wanted to was rest. Anyway, that's how I came to know Robb and David. You are probably asking yourself, "What does this have to do with french toast?" Well, It was a couple of years later that Robb taught me the right way to eat french toast. Not that there is a wrong way to eat french toast (well maybe if you put anchovies on it, GROSS!!), but Robb taught me his family's method.

We were all at my house one weekend and David offered to make french toast. Robb said that would be great as long as we had peanut butter. I questioned this, as I had never heard such a thing. You see, Robb eats his french toast with peanut butter and syrup. I thought this was odd, but I like peanut butter, and I like syrup, so I tried it. For those that know me you know that I don't try things easily, but this was something I could wrap my head around. Well, let me just say that I found a new, exceptional way to eat french toast.

Why am I writing about this, you may ask? Well, we had some stale french bread in the house, and I decided to make french toast. After our trip to Washington DC (where I rediscovered the "correct" way to eat french toast) I thought, "I have peanut butter and syrup, so let's make it right."

Anyway, thanks to Robb I know the best way to eat french toast. Hey, you now know too! Thanks Robb!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thank You for the Inspiration...

My very dear friend Robb (one of the only BLOGs I read regularly) inspired me to change the colors. It's been really, really, really hot here lately, and I thought that Blue would be a calming, cool color. Did I mention it's been HOT! I don't do well in the heat. I think that Jeffrey is probably sick of hearing me complain, so I will do it here. Live with it people, I don't like the heat. I would prefer 80 during the day and 50 at night. Those are perfect conditions.

On another random topic. My friend Alyssa (who I work out with twice a week) is getting married today. She and Teri have known each other for 28 years. I am really excited that she and Teri get to do this today, and her minister gets to sign the marriage license. They have an 8 year old daughter who apparently is calling all the shots. Check out their BLOG (to the left, Alyssa and Teri).

That's all I have today, but I am in the midst of writing something more substantial, I just don't like where it is at this point. Stay Tuned!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Marriage, My Point of View Disclaimer

I wanted to post a special BLOG to let everyone know that the views expressed in my last BLOG (Marriage, My point of view) are my opinions, and only mine. Any reference to my relationship, or anything you may have read below came from me, and do not express Jeffrey's opinions. Although he may or may not share my views below they are mine, and weren't discussed with him prior to the post.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Marriage, My Point of View

As I read the News, the BLOGS and the articles around the California Supreme Court decision I can only wonder, "What does it really mean." Yes, it means that I can now get married and enjoy the same rights and protections that opposite sex couples can enjoy. Yes, it means that I now have equal protection under the law. What it also means is that I have to fight the people that have some moral objection. I have to fight these people that want to write discrimination into the constitution. These people who spew hate and discrimination, while hiding behind their bible and their religion.

One of the things that bothers me is that in two separate legislative sessions in California they approved a bill allowing same sex marriage. Both times the Governor vetoed this bill based on the people in California's vote to define marriage between a man and a woman (this is the law that the Supreme Court overturned). My (straight) friend Jeremy made a comment that resonated with me, "if the voters of California voted that slavery was OK, does that mean that it's OK?" I will now be faced with the ballot initiative to change the Constitution. To add discrimination into the constitution for this great state. Just because 26 other states have done this doesn't make it right, and the state of California doesn't need to follow suit. Doesn't the bible teach to love thy neighbor as you would love yourself? Doesn't God tell us to "Judge not, lest ye be judged."? He doesn't mean to pick and choose your judgment, he means if you judge someone, then you will be judged by him (God).

I read on one of the religious websites backing this amendment that allowing me to marry the person that I love will open the door to two men and one woman, a man and his cow and I could go on. This is ridiculous. I am not asking to marry three men, an animal or any combination. I are two consenting adults who love each other and want the same rights and protections afforded to everyone else in this Country. Just because you may not understand the love that I share, accept the fact that I love. Accept the fact that I have been in a committed monogamous relationship for more then fifteen years. What I don't understand is that the people that spout the sanctity of marriage are the ones that are on wife number 3 or 4. These are the ones that have mistresses and sometimes even another man on the side (Google Ted Haggard). These are the things that the bible refers to, these are the things that destroy the sanctity of marriage. I can name several same sex couples that have been together a lot longer then some of the opposite sex couples, and vice versa. The point is that I am no different. I have the same love and the same fears. I just happen to be two men, or two women.

I applaud the California Supreme Court for seeing that it's my right under equal protection of the law to marry, and enjoy the benefits and protections that affords. I now take my views to you, my friends, my family. People I have known all of my life or just a short time, so that you can understand that my relationship doesn't harm anyone (I know that you know this, but it's worth stating here). The simple fact is that I fell in love with someone who happens to be of the same sex is inconsequential. I don't harm people because of my relationship, in fact I like to believe that I have made a positive difference in the lives of those I come in contact with. I enjoy quiet evenings at home, spending time with friends and family. I hike, I go to the beach and I travel. All I want now is to get married and continue to enjoy the life I have built together. All I want is to share the love that I have with the people I love. This isn't about my bedroom. This isn't about how I choose to live. This is about removing discrimination, not adding it to the constitution.

If and when the time comes and you live in or know someone that lives in California tell them to vote NO. Tell them that it's time for the State of California to show the rest of the Country that I don't hate. That I won’t give in to discrimination. If I can all show the people in our lives that what I and so many others have should be celebrated.

Thanks for being a part of my life past or present. In one way or another you have touched my life, and I hope that you can share this with those in your life who may not know anyone that is gay or lesbian.

Friday, May 2, 2008

This one goes out to my two wonderful friends Robb and David.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

New York, New York, it's a hell of a town...

When last I wrote we had left D.C. and our wonderful friends behind for the bright lights of Broadway, Times Square and the great city of Manhattan. We arrived Tuesday afternoon after an uneventful, yet nice train ride. We took a short cab ride to our Hotel, The Milford Plaza. We went to check in, and were told that our room wouldn't be ready until 3:00. With an hour to kill we decided to take a walk around Times Square and find some lunch. After having a super lunch we headed back over to the Hotel to get our room key and get settled before our first show. At this point it was about 3:30. The woman told us our room still wasn't ready and could we return after 4:00. This was getting ridiculous. We got the 3:00 thing, as that's normal check in time, but now we were told after 4. We decided to wait it out in the lobby. At about 10 minutes after 4 Jeff went to check on the room. It still wasn't ready. Jeff started to say something about the delay when the manager walked up and told the woman to provide an upgrade. We got to the room only to find that they had just given us another room of the same type that we reserved. What a ploy. This is not a place I would recommend staying. The shower wouldn't maintain any hot water, the room was musty and old and the overall hotel is under construction and the people aren't very friendly. Anyway back to the important parts...

Once we got settled we showered and headed to our first show. This one was a surprise for me. If you remember in my last post I mentioned that I heard Robb say something about Laura Linney? While, I now know why he said her name. Jeffrey took me to see the preview of Les Liaisons Dangereuses starring Laura Linney.

As the show is still in previews it isn't perfect. Although the female cast was spot on. I have never seen any iteration of this show, so it was all new to me. Linney was phenomenal. I have always loved her and really enjoyed seeing her in the role of La Marquise de Merteuil. It's hard to describe this character without ruining the plot, but she was spot on. The male cast had a lot of work to do. The lead, Ben Daniels (Le Vicomte de Valmont) was really great until the second act. The fight scene was laughable, and not done well at all. I only hope that they continue to work on this and other areas. In one month this show should be flawless.

After the show we went back to the hotel and spent a great deal of time discussing the show. Jeffrey being a very skilled actor had much better points then I did, as I am easily entertained and don't look as deeply as he does. We woke up the next morning, had some breakfast and got dressed for our first of two shows. After picking up the tickets for the Matinee of November, starring Nathan Lane and Laurie Metcalf we grabbed a slice of New York Pizza. We then proceeded to the theater to see David Mamet's new play. I don't believe that I have laughed so much, or enjoyed theater like this in a long time. If you get the chance to visit NYC this is definitely a play I would recommend. Nathan Lane plays a fictitious (although the character resembles my interpretation of GW) President. Laurie Metcalf is his Lesbian chief speech writer who has just returned from China after adopting a little girl with her partner Daisy. The show just goes from there onward. It is hilarious!!

After the play we headed back to our hotel to rest a bit before dinner and our evening show.

We had a wonderful dinner and headed over to the Shubert for Spamalot. Clay Aiken (from American Idol fame) is currently playing Sir Robin, and I have to say that I was prepared to hate his performance. I assume that because I had such low expectations that was the reason I really enjoyed his performance. This is Monty Python at its best. It is hysterical with great bits and overall great performances. We know the music, as it's something we own and have listened to a few times. Seeing the production was just extremely fun. It was kind of funny to see the people that come back again and again. As we were trying to exit the theater the woman sitting next to me asked if this was our first time seeing the show. I told her it was and she went on and on about how many times she had seen it, how she brought her daughter the previous Saturday for her sixteenth birthday, and purchased a picture with Clay Aiken. It's that time of year where Broadway Cares, Equity Fights AIDS collects money at each performance. Clay was offering signed Polaroids for $250.00 each to raise money. I have to assume that Spamalot is raising the most money based on the number of people purchasing these pictures. We were not included. Anyway after escaping the lady we headed over to Sardi's for dessert. We had a nice dessert, a good cup of coffee, and some New York Theater history. All in all a fantastic day and evening.

We woke up late the next morning and showered and packed getting ready to check out of the hotel. Once checked out and our bags stored we headed over to Central Park for a little Geocaching. We found a couple of fun geocaches, took a couple of travel bugs and headed back to Times Square for one final cache before we got a cab to the airport.

All in all we had a fantastic vacation (to see a couple of pics check out Robb's BLOG here), and are glad to be home. We spent all day yesterday resting (I slept most of the day) and are refreshed and ready to start the weekend. It's back to work Monday, which is a good thing. New boss (again), and new challenges ahead of me.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Washington D.C. - The first part of our vacation...

As my vacation comes to a close I thought it best to break up the two parts of my trip. There is so much to tell, and each part was so different this was the only logical choice.

The day before we left was spent running around ensuring we had everything we needed. This was also spent with me dealing with the departure of yet another manager. This was a personal choice, not a layoff. This also means that when I return from vacation on Monday I will have a new manager. This will be number 5 over the course of one and a half years. Oh well, you never know what change will bring. Now, on to our trip.

We arrived in D.C. to much fanfare. OK, it was Robb and David greeting us with the camera, taking short video and many pictures. What an amazing way to arrive in D.C. Jeffrey met Robb and David 10 years ago in Taipei. We have spent a lot of time with them over the years, and couldn't wait to arrive. We went back to their beautiful townhouse just outside of the capital. After unloading our luggage we sat around for about an hour and talked. We then attempted to go to sleep to adjust to the time change. We woke up the next morning, having slept in a little. We wanted to give them an opportunity to watch Survivor. We didn't want Robb's BLOG readers to have to wait for his Survivor BLOG. OK, that's not really the reason, but it sounds nice... :)

We spent the day walking around the mall. We went to a couple museums and mostly just caught up and talked. We stopped and got some lemonade and sat on the lawn and talked some more. We had a nice dinner at a local restaurant in their area and just hung out. The next day David was our host, as Robb was taking a class at the hospital. Something to with death or dieing (Robb is a Nurse). We went back to the mall, as I was really trying to get into the Capitol. We went to the Library of Congress and stood in awe of the glorious building. We took pictures (where allowed), and were able to review Thomas Jefferson's first draft of the constitution. What an amazing piece of history. I discovered at this point that I had acquired two rather large blisters on the balls of both my feet. UGH! We did start the day in Dupont Circle looking for a couple of Geocache's. We had planned on spending Sunday geocaching, but we didn't think the weather would cooperate (we were correct). After the trip to the mall we headed back to the house for a quick nap and then out to some really fantastic pizza.

On Sunday we split up. David and I went to the Holocaust Museum, and Robb and Jeffrey played in the rain. My Mom is a member to the museum and provided me with two tickets. This was great, as we didn't have to wait in line, nor did we have to wait for a specific time. I know a great deal about the holocaust, but this exhibit really brings it all into perspective. The horrors brought about are things that we have all seen on TV or in the movies, but seeing these things in real life just drives it all home. Hearing the propaganda, and hatred reminds me the power of one man. At one point this woman behind me asked why would he put pink triangles on homosexuals, it just didn't make sense. I almost said something to her, but decided that this was my time to explore and experience. I only hope that as she progressed through the exhibit that she learned the answer to her question. It's a very emotional experience and I recommend visiting the museum should you be in D.C. The final stop in the exhibit is the Hall of Remembrance. This is where I teared up. All the lives lost to such horrors. All the lives impacted by this, those that survived the camps, and those that lost their entire family. It's something we must never forget.

We left the mall after that and headed home. The rain was coming down and we were all wanting to be dry. We spent the evening in eating fondue (AMAZING!!), and after many visits I finally made my "Friend Frame." I am still impressed at my creativity. I always say that Jeff is the creative one, but this frame was awesome (if I do say so myself...). Monday was our last day in D.C. and David had to work. Jeffrey decided that he wanted to explore by himself. I think he just didn't want to move as slow as Robb and I move. Robb and I made one last attempt to get into the Capitol, but to no avail. We thought, "Monday, rain, no one will be there," boy were we wrong. Oh well, it just means we have to go back. At that point I was just wanting to rest and enjoy the time with Robb. We went to lunch by the house and took a nap. Naps are a good thing, especially when you are on vacation. I woke up to Jeffrey, Robb and David laughing. I heard Robb say something about Laura Linney, and then it got quiet. This last comment will tie into my New York BLOG coming tomorrow. We took Robb and David to the Ugly Mug pub for dinner, went back to their house and talked until it was time to pack and go to bed. Robb took us to the train the next morning ready to embark on our short but packed trip to NYC.

We had an incredible time in D.C. If you haven't been, go. It's our nations capitol and there are many wonderful sites. You may not have the pleasure to hang our with two of the most amazing people ever, but it's still worth the trip. The highlight was spending the time with the boys and just hanging out and talking. I am glad that Jeffrey went to Taipei so many years ago. Not because he brought some amazing gifts home, but because he brought Robb and David into our lives.

Stayed tune for NYC - The end of our vacation...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Nothing In Particuliar

A couple people have asked me why I haven't been writing lately. I suppose I just haven't been inspired. I was going to break down Obama's speech on race, but decided that it wasn't that significant to me. I am not sure why I haven't been inspired, but can only think that I have been so busy at work that when I get home the last thing I want to do is sit down in front of the computer. I may still breakdown the speech, so you'll just have to wait and see...

The rumors are flying all over my office lately, and that just makes me crazy. Some of them I hope come true, others I just hope are rumors. The point being that nothing is set until I hear it from the horses mouth. I am getting ready to go on vacation in a week and a half and can't wait!

For the first time in I don't know how many years Jeffrey and I are taking a vacation just for us. We are heading to Washington DC to see our most wonderful friends Robb and David. We haven't seen them since the last time they were in LA, which must have been a couple of years ago. When we were deciding where what to do about a vacation we weren't sure what we were going to do, Hawaii or somewhere else. When we contacted Robb and David they told us that they hated Hawaii (a complete lie), and that the ideal vacation spot was Washington DC. They then followed that up with a wonderful book on Washington DC for Christmas. That was how and why we decided that this was the prime vacation spot. We will spend a wonderful few days checking out things in and around DC, but most importantly we will spend them with the boys. We have been there a couple of times and always find new things. I only hope that this time I get to tour the Capital building. We will leave DC and head to NYC for a quick two days where we will spend our time in the Theater District. I think we are seeing three shows in two days. I will write all about our adventures when we return. If you want to hear about the DC part I can almost guarantee that Robb will post something first. He's better at this BLOG thing then I am...

I will try to be more diligent in my posts going forward. I hope that everyone is well and enjoying life!!

Remember: Be kind to God's Children...

Friday, February 15, 2008

A commentary from Keith Olberman

I really liked what he had to say...

Friday, January 11, 2008

News about Countrywide

As some of you have heard (unless you live under a rock or only watch reality TV) Countrywide was acquired by Bank of America today. In a press release today Bank of America purchased Countrywide Financial Corporation for 4 billion dollars in stock. Yes, I am going to lose money in this merger. No, I do not believe that I am going to lose my job.

One thing that you may or may not know about me is that I am loyal. I am very loyal to the company I work with especially when I believe in what they do, and their business model. As a result I invested in the company and will take a hit with this merger. I do not believe that I will lose my job.

If you know me, as most of you do, I have a very strong belief that God will provide. If he deems it's necessary for me to leave this company it will happen and another door will open. I wanted to address this here in case people were wondering.

We are moving forward and I believe that we will accomplish great things this year. It's in Gods hands, so let's see what happens...

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Goodbye 2007, Hello 2008...

Well, another year has come and gone... This has been one amazing year. I think that every year I learn something about myself is a good year. I was inspired to write this by my friend Robb (thanks for the inspiration).

I started out 2007 with a severe case of Poison Oak. Little did I know that I was highly allergic to it, and had to discard the clothes I was wearing that faithful day. I guess that is the price you pay for geocaching. Again, thanks Robb and David. :)

I accomplished a great deal professionally this year, and am grateful for the opportunities that were presented to me. Although I work in the mortgage industry and watched many people that I have worked with over the past five years get laid off, I was one of the lucky ones. I had the unfortunate task of letting a couple people go, but also was able to bring someone back who quit in the wake of the "right sizing" that was happening within my division. For those that don't know "right sizing" is the new politically correct term for layoffs. I guess it sounds better then down sizing. I had four managers last year, but am happy to report that in spite of all the changes I am working hard and continue to learn and grow. My team is where I want it to be, and I know that we will accomplish great things in 2008.

Personally things were also good. The first part of the year took me on my first business trip to Arizona, which allowed me to spend some time with friends that have relocated and bond with some new friends. 2007 also provided me with some tremendous insight into Rick. I wont go into it here, but let's just say that I have grown spiritually, and learned some very difficult lessons.

This past year brought some sadness and a great deal of joy. In the middle of the year I lost my grandfather. He was 93 years old and living with Alzheimer's. I wasn't able to be there to say goodbye, but am happy that I had the time with him I did over my life. Around the same time as his departure from this plain we had a blessed event in the birth of Elliot Michael McDonald. Our very dear friends allowed us to be a part of this amazing event. He was born on June 19, and is the most amazing little guy. We get to see him grow and change, and love every minute we get to be with him. He is one lucky guy, as he probably has two of the most talented and loving parents. He's also lucky to have Uncle Rick and Jeffrey too! :)

When I was younger I had this vision of what I wanted a relationship to be. After everything my parents went through they have the most amazing bond. After more then 30 years together you can see the love and passion that still exists within their relationship. This is what I wanted for myself. Fifteen plus years ago I found what I was looking for. Jeffrey came into my life and I knew in my heart (although not in my head...) that this was the person who would give me that feeling. We still look at each other, and I can't believe that I found that one person who would make my heart beat a little faster, my head a little lighter and still sweep me off my feet everyday. I never truly new what love was until that day in November when we stayed up all night and talked. I don't think that there has ever been another person who I could sit with and talk to for twelve hours. He is the light of my life and I can't wait to see what the next sixty years holds.

The last part of this year was all about family. Jeffrey and I went to Northern California after Christmas to spend some quality time with my family. I have two of the most amazing nephews ever who I love so much. I only wish that they lived closer. They are so smart and beautiful. I can't wait to see what's next for them in their lives. I always love seeing my parents. They are two of the most amazing people and I love them both so much.

Finally, as 2008 is here I get to see the birth of another baby, when my dear friend Sheila brings her little daughter into the world. We are planning a trip to see our wonderfully amazing friends in DC, and who knows what else this year has in store for us. I continue to grow in my job, and look forward to more learning, and more growth. I also look forward to those cozy nights on the couch with Jeffrey, whether we are talking or watching the Simpson's it's one of the best things in my life.

I wish everyone a happy, healthy 2008. I hope it brings you everything you desire.