Life Sucks.

After five to six years of trying to get pregnant, a couple lost one of their twins conceived by in-vitro fertilization today. The twins are due in March. The chance of survival of the other twin is severely compromised.

A woman's husband died in his early fifties three months ago due to a freak blood clot that went unnoticed after a trip to the E.R. The woman's youngest son is in High School, and he is really struggling with his father's death. A bright spot in his life is that he got his driver's license. But today he totaled the car and got severe burns from the deployed air bag. This terrified his already grieving mother.

A woman's husband repeatedly viewed pornography, refused to get help, and eventually filed for a divorce from his sweet wife. She has two beautiful daughters and is pregnant with their third child.

These are real life situations that people around me have encountered recently. When I think about these very, very sad and tragic situations, I just want to curl up under the covers of my bed and cry.

I am reminded of a recent temple trip I went on with Danny. When you go to the Temple, it's a place where you can pray to receive guidance for big decisions in your life. At the time, I was trying very hard to decide what to do about my job: should I quit in December? Should Danny and I get a babysitter for those few hours that I would be teaching, just until the end of the year? Should I quit now? What would be the best for our family?

That particular night, the Temple was very, very crowded. When you "do a session" at the Temple, it means that you do ordinance work for yourself and proxy ordinance work for those people who have already died without the chance to do it while alive. A "session" is short for an Endowment session. The Endowment is a ceremony that can be compared to Baptism. They are both steps that you have to take in order to receive Eternal Life and Exaltation. It's a very comforting ceremony. At the end, you get to go to a room called the Celestial Room which symbolizes Heavenly Father's home. It looks like a very clean, very beautiful living room. There are lots of couches, flowers, tables, and mirrors.

The Provo Temple is the busiest Temple in the entire world. That night a few weeks ago, the Celestial Room was absolutely packed. It was somewhat frustrating to me because I wanted to sit down next to Danny so we could pray for guidance about what we should do regarding my job. All the seats were taken, except a few single chairs against the wall. One of us had to stand. Frustrating.

I remember feeling even more frustrated the more I looked around. There were many, many couples in there. One husband was bawling quite audibly on his wife's shoulder. I felt a strong impression that my worries were really REALLY insignificant. I wondered what the guy was crying about - possibly he was asking his wife for forgiveness for something horrible that he had done, possibly he was grieving the loss of a child, or a parent, or a sibling - or maybe etc. etc. I felt annoyed at myself for feeling anxious about our comparatively easy career choice for me. I mean, after all, it's JUST a job. It's totally not something as serious as what I imagined that couple might have been dealing with.

Then, the already crowded room got even more crowded. A young girl walked in, surrounded by family members. She had just gone though the Endowment ceremony for herself for the first time, and her previously endowed family members and friends were all there to support and congratulate her. She was crying tears of joy, and her parents, siblings, grandparents, possibly a fiance - just TONS of people - were all equally as happy. I couldn't help but be reminded of the insignificance of my choice. Again, this annoyed me, and frustrated me. At the time, my career choice seemed like such a huge deal - but put against the backdrop of the Eternal perspective, it really disappeared and became unimportant. Of course this annoyed me because I really wanted my career choice to be IMPORTANT, and admitting that it really wasn't was SO hard.

The truth is, when I decided to quit working really wasn't as important as I thought it was.

I feel sad that I wasn't able to say goodbye to my students. I felt extremely angry when I heard what the administrators at my school wrote to the parents of my students. As I processed it over a few days, I finally realized that it was stupid of me to feel angry, because I had been expecting them to lie. So when they actually did, it shouldn't have been such a shock.

The real truth is, compared to many hundreds and thousands of people, my choice to quit my job early was not at all a "big deal". And so far, it really hasn't been bad. In fact, it's been very relaxing. I really like being at home, and like my husband has said over and over, "I'm not worried about you finding something to do to keep busy." I'm just not like that. I always have some kind of project going on.

So before, when I thought about quitting my job as being some huge gigantic tragedy, that was really quite immature and nearsighted. Lots of people around me are going through much worse things than I am, and in the first place, my decision has let me do something even BETTER than my old job. The experience I had in the Temple really helped me understand that in a deeper way. Also, just thinking about the real lives of some people around me. The truth is that life is good, and God has a plan for me, and just because I have no freaking clue what that plan is does NOT give me the right to complain about it, even if the complaining is just in my head. I have a great life, and my recent career change really is for the best of everyone in my family, especially me. My sister Becky is right when she says that staying home with a little baby is not just for her benefit; it may even be more for MY benefit. The more I've thought about that, the more I understand the truth of that statement.


I quit my job and started a new one.

So I love Family History. Like, a LOT. It's a really fun obsession. It's interesting because I'm not so much interested in other peoples' Family History, but I LOVE researching my and my husbands' ancestors.

My husband and I are LDS which means that a lot of the research I do into our genealogies goes towards Temple work. I get to prepare names to be taken to the temple so that somebody can do proxy ordinance work for them. Basically, this means that people who died before the LDS church was around and the Priesthood was restored get to be baptized so that they have the option of choosing to accept the gospel. Nobody is forced to do something they don't choose to do; it's just that doing the Temple work gives them more options (and what I believe is a very, very good option - understatement).

My husband's family goes back in the Mormon church about 5 generations on the majority of his family lines. This means that the vast majority of his ancestors have already had their Temple work prepared and done. When I say "vast majority" this of course is referring not to the ancestors throughout time, but ancestors for which we have reliable, concrete sources available. Usually we only have good records until the early 1800's, sadly.

My mom's side of the family is like Danny's...early Mormon converts who joined the church and were pioneers of the west. But my dad is a first generation convert, and so there are tons of ancestors on his side that need their Temple work done. 

My dad's dad was 100% Czech. I love doing family history research on my Grandpa's line, because the research is both easy and fascinating. Easy because the Czech immigrants who came to Texas were Catholic and kept excellent records, plus the LDS church has digitized all the Texas Death records from 1893ish-1979, these people hardly ever left Texas, and there are LOTS of organizations and groups that are interested in preserving Texas Czech Heritage. Fascinating because I am the first generation of my family to live most of my life outside of Texas, and actually my daughter Jane is the first one to be born in another state, so I feel very connected to these people. Plus, my maiden name was a Czech name.

ANYWAY back to the original title of this post...

I quit my job.

Instead of going into all the crap about why, it's just better to leave it at, "I felt undervalued and overstressed, and the opportunity cost was too great." If you want to know more, you could talk to the administration of Renaissance Academy. My guess is that doing so will not satisfy any desire you may have at getting to the truth of the matter, and since at this point nothing can be done to get me to continue working there, I would suggest not going to the trouble of doing that.

Instead of being sad and grumpy about it, I decided to just look on the bright side: I get to start a new phase of life. Tomorrow I turn 23. From the day I turn 23 until a currently unknown time, my full time career is :::drumroll::: FULL-TIME MOM! Yay!

So back to the Czechs...when I look on my female ancestors' death certificates, it lists their occupation as, "housewife" - almost without exception. How cool is that?

I think that the term "housewife" is not politically correct for today's day and age, which is kind of ridiculous because the ACTUAL job hasn't changed, it's just people make a big fuss over how it SOUNDS. I guess it does kind of sound like a "housewife" is somebody whose main job is to stay at home and do wifey things for their husbands (ahem). But obviously the job is actually wayyyy more involved than that, and the basic job description hasn't changed in hundreds of thousands of years: nurture, feed, care for children, care for husband, organize/manage the home, teach, and on and on and on.

I don't really like the term "stay at home mom" at all because that's just as dumb sounding as "house wife". Ummmmm I'm not exactly planning on staying at home. Even if we sell one of our cars and I have no transportation, I can still leave the boundaries of the walls of our house. You know??

Danny just suggested "domestic engineer." I've also heard "Executive Mom". I think these are a bit over the top.

I just like the title of "mom." It's short, simple, and what I am now. Had I lived 100 years ago when "housewife" connoted something different, I would have been fine with that. I don't really like "home-maker" because to me it sounds like I am working in construction. Yeah, yeah - you're going to be all on me about the difference between "house" and "home". Whatever.

It's totally a career. Just ask my mom, my mother in law, my grandma, my other grandma, my other grandma, all of my great-grandmas, and all of my great-great grandmas.

All of my sisters and sister in laws are great examples to me when it comes to motherhood (number of children birthed has nothing to do with ones' ability to be a caring, compassionate example to children and spouses - not to mention skills in all the aforementioned categories - and anybody who thinks otherwise doesn't know anything and has obviously never watched "Jon and Kate plus 8"). They are also very good at keeping their priorities straight: gospel first, family second, everything else after that. Really, I haven't been doing the best job at that these past few months. I've been letting my job overpower every other aspect of my life, and taking the weekend off to go visit family in Colorado and Texas last week was a real wake-up call. 

So I'm glad that now I get to aspire to follow in the footsteps of my own mom, and the majority of my female ancestors. Like my favorite BYU professor/practicum mentor Mary Rice said after I gave birth to Jane, "Now the REAL work begins!"