Friday, February 29, 2008

Words of a poet...

My favorite Billy Joel song did not get played last night, unless you count in the car on the way home. :) Ever since high school I have loved And So It Goes (Thanks Mr. Pellaton). I wish I had the words of a poet. Sadly, that is not one of my talents. For example the last part of this song...

So I would choose to be with you
That's if the choice were mine to make
But you can make decisions too
And you can have this heart to break

And so it goes, and so it goes
And you're the only one who knows

Holy cow! Seriously beautiful words that speak right to the vulnerability of being in love. That sentiment takes my breath away...

More Piano Man...

video
The Piano Man...

The Piano Man...


Last night was so much stinkin' fun! We got to go see Billy Joel in concert. It was incredible! Ken and I have been wanting to see him live for years. Poor Ken though, he was/is sicker than a dog, (seriously, this never happens -- he is very rarely sick) but he didn't seem to care if he was on his deathbed, he was going to the concert (to the chagrin of my "back-up date.") Even though he is now back in bed for another day, it was totally worth it. Billy Joel is an incredible performer!

It all started back in December when I heard he was coming to town. I was thinking I would be so clever and surprise Ken for Christmas. We had already decided not to do Christmas presents to each other because we had gone to NYC, so he really would not be expecting anything. I was able to keep my mouth shut about it until the day before tickets went on sale -- quite the accomplishment for me because I was so excited at my own cleverness. :) So imagine my disappointment when Ken called up that day and asked if we had any plans for the evening of February 28. "Nooooo," I said cautiously. When he told me he wanted to go to the concert, I threw my little fit and told him all about thwarting my plans! Bummer!

In any case, we got tickets with Holly and Brian. Nosebleed seats, but we didn't care. Then my friend Liz and her husband, Dave decided to go to the concert as well so we had an awesome triple date. So fun!!!


We had dinner downtown at a great restaurant, Dixon's. Delicious food. But even better than the food was the great company! We had such a spectacular time talking with each other. Then we walked to Pepsi Center for the concert. It was an beautiful Colorado night and it was great walking through downtown. Ken and I really have never spent much time in Denver except at the performing arts complex. What a great town!

The concert was packed. Billy played for about two hours. The only problem with having a recording career for over 30 years is that there is no way he could ever fit in all our favorites. He did perform a ton of songs though; River of Dreams, We Didn't Start the Fire, Always a Woman, Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, My Life, Root Beer Rag, Still Rock and Roll to Me, and many others. Yes, I was up dancing and singing. And of course, his final encore was Piano Man. A great show!!!!




Sunday, February 24, 2008

Missing Molly...

Today I am really missing my friend Molly. When we lived next door to each other in Provo we would watch all the award shows together. Tonight is the Oscars. (Why do I love these dumb award shows?!?) I wish my friend Molly were here so we could watch it together, comment on the dresses, and put in our 2 cents whenever possible. As it is, I will be watching the Academy Awards by myself -- Ken thinks it is dumb. Molly, I miss you!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My little cupid...

Just before Valentine's Day, Miss Jen, Trevor's preschool teacher arranged for the boys to go sing and pass out valentines at Cinnamon Park, a nursing home. The boys did such a great job singing You Are My Sunshine and two I Love You songs. The audience was enraptured and requested an encore of You Are My Sunshine. The boys then passed out valentines to all the residents. They were so cute!!! At the end, Jen asked me to sing an impromptu number. I sang one of my favorite songs, Someone To Watch Over Me. I thought it would be a good choice and saw many of the residents mouthing the words along with me.

Thanks so much to Jen -- the bestest preschool teacher ever! The boys love her so much, are learning a ton, and she is fantastic with them. I really appreciate the opportunity for the boys to perform this small service. I know Trevor really enjoyed the field trip with his teacher and friends.

Check out these cute singing cupids...

video

Monday, February 18, 2008

Political ambition part 2...

So I decided not to run for trustee. Too much going on right now in our lives. I can see myself loving something like that in the future, but now is not the right season for that. So I have decided to aspire to a more feasible political goal. This lofty goal is to memorize the Mitt Romney rap. My kids and I are getting ever closer to this extremely worthy endeavor.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Political ambition?

Yesterday I was able to attend our district assembly as a delegate from precinct #239. It was an interesting meeting where we got to hear from several people that were running for county positions and elect delegates to attend the state GOP convention. I was excited to get elected. I am looking forward to going to the state convention in May. I love learning more about the political process here in Colorado. I am meeting some wonderful and dedicated people. It is also great getting to know more people from our community. Maybe when Governor Romney runs again, I will try to be a national delegate. :)

At the meeting I had a very interesting conversation. I was approached by Jason that I had met at caucus a couple of weeks ago. He told me that he was running for mayor of Firestone in the April elections and would like me to run for a position on the board of trustees. I admit I am completely intrigued. I am concerned because I have not really been involved with local politics before, but as we talked more, I realized I have a rather common sense opinions and Jason agreed totally with my conservative leanings. I finally said, but I'm just a mom. He reassured me that a mom with a vested interest in building the community would be very valuable and my experience teaching in both public and charter schools would be helpful. I have thought for some time that I would love to get more involved in local politics and this opportunity is very exciting. I am praying for guidance. There is so much going on in our family, my teaching, rehearsing, and performing schedule, Ken possibly taking a new job where he would be gone a lot more, our church service (especially Ken's bishopric stuff), trying expand our family, and of course taking care of the kids and our home. As much as I would like to do this, it might not be the right season for our family. In any case, I have until tomorrow to make up my mind.

Friday, February 15, 2008

"You gotta have friends..."

This song has been running through my head. When it was time for gymnastics this morning I called out to Trevor, "Hey buddy we gotta go." Peyton ran up to me with sheer joy in her face yelling, "Yia!" (That would be Lydia, her bestest bud.) When I explained to her that we weren't going to Lydia's house but taking Trevor to gymnastics, she stuck out her lips in her best pout and cried, "mo yia!" (More Lydia!) So super cute! I know how important my friends are to me and I am glad my children are forming good friendships even at their young ages. Peyton, at not even two, is the perfect example of why "you gotta have friends."

It must be a man thing...

Because I totally don't understand the thrill of going camping in freezing temperatures and in the snow. Tonight Ken is headed up to Klondike and he is so excited. He has been talking about it almost non-stop for days. Seriously, I don't get it. Tonight while he freezes (of his own free will, mind you) I will be curled up in front of the fire. Then to top it off, I will sleep in my comfy bed (as opposed to the cold, hard ground) with my flannel sheets and electric blanket. Oh, I love being a woman!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A tribute to my valentine...

I have such cool blogging friends that inspire me to copy their fabulous ideas! This one comes from Kris...

On this Valentine's day I wanted to pay tribute to my very most specialist valentine, my husband Ken. He will probably be embarrassed by this. Our "filters" are a bit different when it comes to what we are willing to share. But this is my journal/blog so I can do what I want. :) Maybe this is totally unromantic, but I have never thought there is just one person that you could be happy with. But I am so blessed and grateful that Ken is the one that chose me to spend the rest of time with him. I am so loving the journey that we are on together!


WHAT IS HIS NAME?
Kenneth David Siders

When we first met I wasn't too keen on the name Ken, and I mostly called him Kenneth. I still really like Kenneth, but now I usually call him Ken. The whole "s" at the end of Siders really threw me too. We were engaged before I knew for sure that his last name (and soon to be mine) was Siders not Sider.


HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN MARRIED?
It will be 12 years on June 29th.



HOW DID YOU MEET AND HOW LONG DID YOU DATE?
We met in our first class on the first day of our Sophomore year at BYU -- keyboard harmony. I think we had almost every class together that semester. We started hanging out (as friends) about the 3rd day of school. I had just gotten out of a serious relationship and was not wanting to date at all, so when about a month later Ken asked me out on a date, I totally freaked out. I felt very awkward about it because I didn't want to ruin our friendship. In retrospect, I believe Ken was sent to me. I was actually not in a very healthy mental place at that time and was very depressed. I finally got a clue when I realized I was really happy around Ken. I figured there would be no harm in dating and I needed a rebound guy. :) So we started actually dating in October, got engaged in March, and were married in June. Some rebound, huh?

(On my birthday not too long after we started dating.)


WHO SAID I LOVE YOU FIRST?
I did. I knew I loved him quite awhile before I figured out I was "in love" with him. I was completely shocked when it slipped out, very softly, as we were waiting in line for concert tickets. He didn't respond at all so I thought I was safe and he hadn't heard me. It turns out that he did hear me and later when we were alone, he told me he loved me too.


WHO SLEEPS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BED?
I do. I think we had slept on the same sides since we have been married. I do remember one night we swapped, but it was too weird, so the next night we were back to normal.


WHO MOWS THE LAWN?
Ken.


WHO DRIVES?
Ken usually does. When we are on a road trip we switch off though.


WHO IS MORE STUBBORN?
I don't want to admit it, but that would be me.


WHO KISSED WHO FIRST?
This is still an area of contention for us. Technically, I did, but he was totally looking at me like he wanted to kiss me. Trust me, I knew that look. He did not complain. :)


WHO PROPOSED?
For the real engagement, he did. However, I wanted to marry the guy so badly, I asked him many times before. He always turned me down and said it was his job. I was performing with my jazz group on the DeJong Concert Hall stage on Sadie Hawkins day (Feb. 29th) and was introducing our next song when the thought crossed my mind that I could ask him right then from the stage (he was in the audience). It would be totally legal on that day, right? But I chickened out and I thought he would never forgive me for putting him on the spot like that.


WHO WEARS THE PANTS?
I think we are a great balance. He lets me when those things are important to me and I let him when it is important to him.


WHY DO YOU LOVE HIM?
First off, how could I not?!? The guy is just so dang cute! Seriously though, he is so good to me and our family. Last Valentine's day I gave him a box filled with many of the reasons I love him. I won't subject anyone other than him to that long list. But I will say that I love him because he is kind, spiritual, humble, always thinks of others, fun to be around, a great dad, a wonderful provider, encourages me to have me time, and a really good kisser. :) I am still trying to figure out how I talked him into marrying me, but I am so glad that I did. Ken is one of my biggest heroes. I wish I could be the perfect wife for him, I fall short in so many ways, but I look forward to just keep working on it. I love you babe!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

What do I post on now?

Now that Governor Romney has suspended his campaign, I will probably (hopefully) not be spending quite as much time reading political articles and blogs. So I look forward to keeping caught up with all my friends' blogs. I found a fun quiz on Amy's that I was excited about taking, especially since I have lived all over and I am not really from anywhere. Here are the results...

Your Linguistic Profile:

60% General American English

15% Upper Midwestern

10% Dixie

10% Yankee

0% Midwestern

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Thank you...

First off to Governor Mitt Romney. I am inspired by him and really appreciate him putting it on the line. The suspension of his campaign leaves me totally heartsick. However, my understanding is that he retains control of his delegates. I for one, still plan on voting for him next week at the county assembly unless I hear otherwise from the campaign. His speech at CPAC was inspirational. I hope you will have the opportunity to read it or watch it. Governor Romney is one very classy guy. He set himself up nicely for a run in 2012 and I can't wait to support him again.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/02/romneys_withdrawal_speech.html

Secondly, to my dear friends who have called and emailed, thank you. Now we can all mourn together. :(

I needed a laugh today...

I have somewhat avoided the political scene today, only reading a handful of articles and blogs. This is the best thing I found. It totally put a smile on my face and boy did I need that!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

100 bits of random about me...

Many of my friends have been writing a list of random things about themselves. And since this blog is also my journal, I thought it would be fun to try. I have no idea if I can actually get to 100, but here it goes...
  1. I appear braver on the outside than I am on the inside.
  2. I think Peyton is the cutest pigtail girl -- ever!
  3. I have climbed Mt. Fuji twice.
  4. I love listening to and watching thunderstorms.
  5. I am a sympathy crier (when I see someone start crying, I end up joining them)
  6. I can fit my fist in my mouth.
  7. I have never had a speeding ticket.
  8. I think my eyes are pretty.
  9. I am able to cut Ken and Trevor's hair.
  10. I LOVE to travel...
  11. but I am not very adventurous when it comes to trying new food.
  12. I am continually amazed by my husband, especially when he plays the piano.
  13. I have lived in 19 different homes.
  14. I am good at keeping in touch with people.
  15. I have never had a cavity or braces.
  16. My biggest fear about getting my wisdom teeth pulled was that I would start singing show tunes while I was on the laughing gas.
  17. I wanted to marry Ken so much, I proposed to him. (He turned me down though.)
  18. I am good at folding laundry.
  19. I love ballroom dancing.
  20. I only applied to two colleges -- BYU and UNLV and got accepted to both.
  21. I had a solo in almost every high school choir concert.
  22. I love discussing church doctrine.
  23. I have been "in love" four times.
  24. I am enthusiastic.
  25. I love to sleep.
  26. I am a night owl.
  27. I have chronic fatigue syndrome.
  28. Put a good audio book and I could drive for hours and hours.
  29. My sister and I are the same age for over 2 weeks each year.
  30. I love others intensely.
  31. I love kissing in the rain.
  32. I have sensitive ears.
  33. Other than a few basics, I am not that into jewelry.
  34. I tend to look on the bright side.
  35. Coffee is my favorite smell.
  36. I am fiercely patriotic.
  37. I think Ken just keeps getting hotter!
  38. I am kinder to others than I am to myself.
  39. I am so proud when I listen to Morgan read.
  40. I have no self control when I am reading a good book.
  41. I want to be a better photographer.
  42. I played volleyball and basketball in high school.
  43. I am rather addicted to scrapbook paper.
  44. I still get nervous just about every time I sing a solo.
  45. I have always been blessed with amazing friends.
  46. Music speaks to my soul.
  47. I loved going to school at BYU.
  48. I enjoy helping others feel better about themselves.
  49. I love to laugh!
  50. I have a serious thing for guys with a great speaking voice.
  51. I have dated a guy before where my main attraction to him was his speaking voice.
  52. I wish my hand/eye coordination was better.
  53. I totally need down/me time!
  54. I have discovered that I really like politics.
  55. I can be opinionated.
  56. I am passionate about things and people that are important to me.
  57. I love hearing from old friends.
  58. I really, really like kissing.
  59. I have such admiration for people that always want to do what is right.
  60. I wish I were more patient, but apparently not enough that I actually work at it.
  61. I am a "meat and potatoes" kind of gal.
  62. I have never broken a bone.
  63. I loved being a "military brat."
  64. I have been truly broken-hearted.
  65. I think it would be fun to be a professional organizer.
  66. I am an awesome Guesstures player.
  67. I usually like just about everyone.
  68. I wish I could type faster.
  69. I am the person to call if you ever want an "appropriate reaction."
  70. I don't mind being a homebody.
  71. My favorite singer is Ella Fitzgerald.
  72. I slept with a stuffed sheep named after an old boyfriend throughout most of high school.
  73. My favorite sound is hearing my children sing.
  74. I need to get better at doing the basics of the gospel.
  75. I spend too much time thinking about "what ifs."
  76. The best part of the day is getting into bed with Ken and sharing some pillow talk.
  77. I like to make "good time" on a trip.
  78. I think the funniest thing I have have heard was when Morgan asked me, "did Grandma play that funky music?" (My great-grandmother died just a few days after Peyton was born. We traveled out to Utah for the funeral and the trip had quite a big impact on Morgan. Several months later, we were all singing Play That Funky Music. You know the part, "lay down and boogie and play that funky music 'til you die," well Morgan took that idea pretty literally.)
  79. I love that my kids know and sing show tunes. :)
  80. I prefer pepsi to coke.
  81. I hate it when people use improper grammar, especially when they use the wrong tense of a word.
  82. I really, really, really hate seafood, but I wish I liked it because it sounds so grownup.
  83. I love going out to eat.
  84. I have a theory that the land of milk and honey mentioned in the Bible is actually Costco.
  85. I wish I had better taste in clothes and what looks good on me.
  86. I don't really like sharing my food.
  87. In 7th grade a boy named Ben always teased me about my lips and it made me very self-conscious about them. (I got over it though and now I like my lips.)
  88. My biggest fear is that I won't be good enough.
  89. I love nuzzling Ken's neck and smelling him.
  90. I like movies and TV far too much.
  91. My inner dialog is not very helpful at times.
  92. I love hanging out with my family -- my parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, and cousins.
  93. I think/hope I am easy to talk to.
  94. I don't get offended very easily.
  95. The first real concert that I went to was a Manhattan Transfer concert with my friend Carlos. I think we were the only people there under 40.
  96. I recommend that every singer/choir director marries their accompanist.
  97. I have a hard time keeping all the household papers under control.
  98. My favorite song is Someone to Watch Over Me.
  99. I spend far too much time on the computer.
  100. I have a very strong testimony that Jesus Christ is my Savior.

Not so Super Tuesday...

It is really late and I still need to absorb all that happened tonight, but I thought I would just say a sentence or two about the republican race. First off, I am so pleased with the voter turnout all over the country. There seem to be record turnout everywhere and whatever the outcome of the races, that is great news for all of us. We are so blessed to live in this country and be allowed the privilege of voting.

I am disappointed in the results for Mitt. The polls looked like California was going to go his way. We will have to see what happens. In any case, I still believe he is by far the best man for the job. He represents was I think a republican should; strong military, strong economy, and strong family. I will continue to do all I can to support him and his bid for the White House.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Colorado Caucus...

I am just coming down off of the adrenaline rush. We had our caucus at Legacy Elementary we got there about 6:45 and the gym was totally packed! It seemed pretty obvious that they were not expecting that kind of turnout. In fact, they had to open up other areas so we could spread out. We had 59 people come out for our precinct, compared to 5 in 2000. The party officials were really enthusiastic about so many people coming to caucus and many for the first time.

So we called our precinct to order and the first order of business was to elect a caucus/precinct chairperson. Someone yelled out my name, there was a quick vote, and the next thing I knew I was standing on a chair running the meeting. We also elected Brenda to be our secretary and she did an awesome job. We took our straw poll and the results were (drumroll please) ...... Romney 49, Huckabee 4, Paul 3, and McCain 3.

We then had to elect 5 delegates and 5 alternates -- now this is what I wanted to have people vote for me for. All of our delegates and alternates are Romney's supporters and we continue on to the county assembly on February 16. I am looking forward to that. It is so cool getting involved with the grassroots effort!

We carried out the business of the rest of the meeting and called it a night. Brenda and I stayed and continued to fill out the paperwork. I turned in all the papers and met with our district leader, John. I am really excited that I will have a role, very small of course, in the republican party in our county and state. I have to say that I really like this politics thing and I love being involved in our community. I am grateful this opportunity.

As a side note, there was a photographer at our caucus. Because we were one of the biggest precincts and we got to business quickly, I presume, he took a lot of pictures of our group and several of me up on that chair. He asked my name a little later. After we were done with all the proceedings I asked him what paper he was a reporter for. I assumed it was the Daily times Call, our local paper. I was surprised to learn that he worked for the AP and we had a great discussion. So keep your eye out for stories and pictures out of Colorado, you just may see yours truly. :)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

An email...

I got a great email from my brother-in-law where he asked some thought provoking questions. I responded and asked if I could post his email and my response because I thought it was interesting. Maybe you will too...

Family,
Don't let the subject line scare you, I'm not going to get nasty or personal in this email. And by no means am I trying to "convert" anyone here.
But in watching both the Republican & Democratic debates this week, some fundamental questions bubbled up within me (scary imagery, I know!). Since we've had some relative "success" at debating politics over email, and since discussing the big issues with all of you has helped me narrow in on who I'm going to eventually vote for, I thought I would put my thoughts down to get your feedback.
So here it goes....Dems first:
1) HEALTH CARE: Both remaining Dem candidates were pushing health care for all. The phrase "mandatory" came up a lot. And so did "subsidies". But I think the most important point both Obama and Clinton were trying to drive home is that everyone in this country should have affordable health care. I couldn't agree more. What I don't understand are the following 3 points:
a) if the Dems are so "for" helping everyone when it comes to health care, how can they also stand for pro-choice? Who's standing up for
the health care rights, let alone the right to life of the unborn? Are the Dems just "for" helping those who are born?
b) How do you "force" everyone in a "democratic" society to sign up for health care? What if some people don't want it?
c) Subsidies is just another word for taxes. How can they claim they will help the working class if they increase taxes or decrease tax cuts
to the companies that are now providing health care at a fraction of the actual cost to their employees? Higher taxes is obviously a bad
thing for most people. And if business's tax cuts are reduced, they will inevitably pass on the higher cost to their employees in
the form of higher health insurance premiums. So higher taxes and higher health insurance premiums is helping who?
2) ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: It sounded as though Obama is in favor of granting illegal immigrants drivers licences. Is this true?
a) If it is true, wouldn't that take away some motivation of those that came here legally and just increase the illegal immigration flow?
b) WHOOHOOO! Sneak into America illegally and you'll get a driver's licence, a job, free health care, etc. What's next, a free car too?
This is where I see the Dems being totally hypocritical. On illegal immigration they say, "let's take care of those less fortunate immigrants
by giving them all of these benefits that most Americans work very hard to achieve. And yet in the same debate they "demand" that we
leave the Iraqi people without protection (i.e. withdraw our troops) to solve their "own problems". Which is it? Is America a welfare,
socialist state that protects all those who can't fight for themselves or not?
c) Hillary mentioned that if they were granted licenses, then their backgrounds would be checked for criminal activity. Now if I was a
criminal, would I voluntarily go down to the MVD and get a license knowing full well that they would run a background check and
potentially deport me? I don't think so....
3) UNIFYING THE COUNTRY: Obama is big on this. He is also big on forgetting the past and moving on to the future. Yet both he and Hillary vehemently state that they will change, undue, etc many of the bills the Republicans have passed in the last 8 years. I might also add that these bills passed by majority votes in both houses, which at last check had both Dems and Repubs. They allude to the fact that the Republicans have "screwed up" the country. Hmmm. That doesn't sound very "unifying" to me. Sounds like they want to go back to the way things were before Bush. I also think the Dems are blowing a lot of the issues of this country WAY out of proportion. Does America have problems? Yes. Is the country as screwed up as they say it is? Hmmm. I don't think so. Do we all drive Mercedes and sip champagne every night? No, but we are all free to our opinions, free to move about, and have opportunities that make us the envy of the entire world. Seems to me we Americans are the most fortunate people on the planet.
Repubs:
1) PARTY UNITY: I understand that there are still 4 men bucking for the nomination here. But it seems as though a war is raging within the party itself. McCain/Guiliani and the "Progressives" on one side and Romney and the "Old Guard" on the other. Ron Paul is just out in space somewhere (but I thought he had a few good pts in the debate Wed. however). I know this happens every election, but this time seems more divided. When are they going to come together as a party to take on the Dems?
2) FOREIGN POLICY: This one has me turning over at night. Which is better: a good diplomat who could debate the pants off his rivals and sweet-talk them into anything; but has little respect in the world community for military experience? Or a quirky, much less personable character with tons of military experience who has been known to lose his temper? If I were Al-Queada, who would I fear more as President? Who would I respect more? Not thinking in American terms, but in Islamic terms, for example.
3) THE ECONOMY: How much influence does the US President truly have on the economy? Sure, the President appoints people to the Federal Reserve. And currently, the Fed is short 2 people. And he helps to pass laws. But the House and Senate are the legislatures who draft the bills and laws that the President eventually signs. Would it be more important to make sure we have Reps and Senators that understand the economy better? I have no doubts that among the remaining candidates (both Dems & Repubs) Mitt Romney is the MOST knowledgable when it comes to corporate financial matters. But wouldn't other candidates lean on members of their cabinet to make decisions?
Well, I think that's it from me for now. Please tell me what you think on these matters. I think I've gotten so fired up on this because I've been schooled and trained at work to be a problem solver, and several of these issues are genuine problems. I did want to specifically thank Carli, Steve, Erin, Nick and Dad for challenging me to think about different perspectives and in different lights. I think it's good to see both sides of the issues and then form your own opinion.
Keep the rubber side down (biker speak for Peace),

Brian


Brian,
I'll let the dems handle that side, but those are very good questions.
As far as the republican side, I'll put in my two cents for whatever it is worth.
1) Party unity: I honestly don't know if that can be achieved if McCain gets the nod. He has stuck it to conservatives too many times. I am all for working across the aisle and I totally believe that needs to happen for things to get done. The problem I have with McCain is his stance on the bills he put forth. It is great to reach out to independents and democrats, but at the cost of leaving behind the base and some of the core values of the party? That does not seem like a good way to build unity. Personally, I want to elect someone who represents what I think the republican party should stand for: smaller government, strong and smart military, strong families, and strong economy (and not wanting to "punish" business). In addition, I think that McCain is more of the "old guard." He has been in Washington for almost 30 years and seems to be the definition of an insider and part of the "good 'ole boys" club. Can he truly be an effective agent for change?
I actually like a lot of things that Ron Paul has to say. I agree with most of his domestic policy -- his foreign policy is what I can't understand in a post 9/11 world. If he ends up running third party and McCain is the R nom, I will probably vote Paul.
2) Foreign policy: I so appreciate McCain's service to our country! However, being a POW does not entitle him to the presidency. He was correct in the surge (but I don't think he should get all the credit as he claims). Where I get very concerned with his ability is in two major things. First off, he is famous for his bad temper and lack of even temperament. This is not someone I trust to be our main representative to the world. Secondly, I also question his ability to approach problems with a clear, level head and not with an emotional response. McCain has shown that has can be mean and vindictive with those that do not agree with him. Not exactly someone I would trust with nuke codes. I know he has an understanding of the danger of jihadism, but I have not heard from him any plan on how to deal with the philosophy and culture of that movement. Because of the nature of that dangerous enemy, a strong military alone won't solve the problem. I also question his wanting to shut down gitmo. It is craziness to offer terrorists access to our justice system and the rights that go with that. I also think it dangerous to say to say what he won't do. I think a president, in order to keep our country safe, needs to keep all options on the table.
My father, who also has a lot of military experience, also says he does not trust McCain in this regard. That has a lot of sway with me.
3) The economy: While I agree that the president does not have a direct influence, I do think that the president would have a great influence on the policies set forth to promote growth. With the emerging markets in Asia, there also need to be trade agreements that would level the playing field. I want a president who will understand all of the nuances. Watching McCain in the debates it is apparent he is fairly clueless on the economy (but he does have Greenspan's book). All he does is name drop. I agree that any president would need to lean on his cabinet and his advisors, but I think anyone who understands the practical application of economics (and can communicate those clearly) will be more successful. I think it is inadvisable to make out business to be the "bad guy" as McCain has repeatedly done. We need strong business in America!
Having a strong economy is a major key for accomplishing our goals of having a strong military and strong families! It is all intertwined. "It's the economy, stupid!"
I think that we are at a crossroads in America and that makes this election extremely important. I didn't answer everything in detail -- I can talk MUCH faster than I can type :) -- but I did try to hit some major points. In conclusion, let me give you my final pitch for Romney.
Mitt Romney is the man we need in the White House! He has an optimistic vision for our wonderful country. He has the talents and abilities that can create real change in Washington. I completely agree with him, "Washington is broken." I believe that government is bloated and it needs to be streamlined to work more efficiently to be serve us, the people. We need to lower taxes and cut spending and use our resources wisely and Mitt has a plan to do those things. We need to strengthen the military. A strong military is our best ally for peace. We need affordable health care for everyone in this country. For all the plans out there, he is the only one that has actually passed health care and got it done in Massachusetts. It is not perfect, but I appreciate that it uses free market principals and has people take personal responsibility. He has a strong, good family and would be a wonderful ambassador in the cause of strengthing families. Mitt is very intelligent and has a strong grasp of all the issues. You only have to watch the debates to realize this. I trust his motivation for running for president. He has all the money he could ever need and could totally take it easy. Instead he chose to turn around the Olympics (without pay) and govern as a conservative in a liberal state (again without pay). Now he feels it is duty to try and help our nation but using the skills that he has honed throughout all his years of experience. More than any other republican running, he has an optimistic vision for our wonderful country. He has a plan and I believe that he can change our country for the better! Vote Mitt in '08!!!
Check out my blog (later today) to see pictures and video from the Romney rally here in Denver yesterday.
Best to all,
Carli

The Romney Rally...

Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a Rally for Mitt Romney. I went with Ken and several friends. We had a fantastic time. The place was absolutely packed and we were luck to find a place inside. The crowd had an amazing energy. Both Wayne Allard (CO senior senator) and Bob Beauprez were there and helped introduce Mitt. The speech Mitt gave was inspirational and made me realize more than ever that this is the man we need in the White House. I totally agree with his platform -- strong family, strong military, and strong economy. He did a great job tying in the economy into both the military and family. If we have a vibrant economy, we will be able to strengthen our military and be able to care better for our veterans. A strong economy can strengthen families by creating good jobs and stability. Health care ties in with that as well. There is no reason that we shouldn't have affordable health care and Mitt has actually passed health care! I couldn't agree more, Washington is broken and Mitt Romney has the skills we need to fix it. I was so glad we had the opportunity go go hear him speak and enjoy the energy that was there.

It was also thrill to shake Mitt's hand. I think everyone in our group got to shake his hand and say something to him. I didn't get the best picture with him, but I'm glad that I finally got one. I also got my picture with Senator Allard. We also saw many local news celebrities. Another fun thing was seeing campaign Carl Cameron. He brushed right past me. when I yelled out to him, he turned around and smiled and waved at me. (I would like him a little better if he didn't slant toward McCain so much.)

Here is a link to watch the rally. http://www.9news.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=85617

So I hope you like the pictures and videos...

Brandie and Jason, Kris, Erica and Jamey, and Ken

Me with Senator Allard



video

video

video