Monday, May 28, 2012

Exactly How Holy is the Sabbath???

Even before we were married, Diamond and I made a decision that we would live our life together according to the tenants of the Mormon faith.  We would not drink alcohol, we would pay tithing, we would keep the Sabbath as we understood it, etc.  According to Mormon belief, Sundays are a day to be spent at church, with family and giving service.  Similarly, Sundays are not intended to be spent at the mall, in a movie theater or at the ball park.  I'm good with all of this.
Fast forward to this past weekend.  Big Boy #2's little league baseball team was playing in a Memorial Day tournament.  From the get go I told the coach that we would not be playing any Sunday games.  (A major reason we picked this particular league was for its absence of Sunday games.)  And it's not like the team was likely to make it to the championship game anyway - they were tied for last place.  It was a pretty easy call.

Friday night BB#2 pitched six innings in the first game, gave up only three runs, and lead his team to a victory!  Their second win of the season.  The boys were thrilled.  The next day we played again, and won again!  A virtual miracle!  All of a sudden the team was playing in the championship game - on Sunday.

We talked it over and decided that we didn't want BB#2 to think that we compromise our faith in the name of a baseball game - even a championship one.  BB#2 was pretty good about it.  It was what it was, and he accepted that.  I think I had the hardest time of anyone - which really, really surprised me.  I knew that although the coach was understanding of our stance, he really wanted his first baseman.  (He had used up his arm Friday and although unable to pitch, BB#2 was still an integral part of the team).  I struggled with the commitment to the team, with the strictness of our stance, with the look on my boy's face when he realized he wouldn't be there with his team battling for first place.

Between text updates from another player's mom, we talked to several friends whom we totally respect at church on Sunday and many (but certainly not all) said they would have let their kid play.  There was an award ceremony that evening and we figured that might be a good compromise - letting him receive his trophy with the team.  However, we didn't get enough notice and missed that as well. The whole thing left me feeling both disappointed and frustrated.  The team lost the championship, and came in second overall.

I guess the real question is what is the right thing to do?  I know a lot of people will say just let him go to the game.  But doesn't that teach him to compromise his principals?  Do we really want to send that message to an almost eleven year old?  I don't want him beginning adolescence with the notion that principles are situational.  And yes, sometimes it's hard.  Really, really hard to do what you believe is right. 

Some will say you just obey the commandments - there is a reason they aren't called the Ten Suggestions. Diamond dealt with this many times as a kid, and he missed more than one game in the name of keeping the Sabbath Day holy.  (It's part of the reason why I married him - I admired his dedication).  But that feels so black and white - a way of thinking that I'm not particularly fond of.  When we travel our Sabbath observance certainly looks different.  If we accommodate that, why wouldn't we make an exception for this?
I feel uneasy with either answer.  Problem is, I doubt this will be the last time we face this situation.  What would you do???

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Forty in Ft. Lauderdale!

I am turning forty years old at the end of this month. For Diamond's fortieth birthday I surprised him with a trip to New Orleans and I think he was feeling a bit of pressure to do something really great for my birthday.  I really wasn't intending to guilt him into a vacation, but at the same time, dinner at Olive Garden wasn't going to cut it either.  A couple of weeks ago, he handed me a card that said he had "two tickets to paradise" and we would be leaving in exactly one week.  WAHOO!
Diamond didn't tell me where we were going, only that there was a beach.  So I organized the family schedule for my parents (who watched the kids - seriously, such incredible parents/grandparents!) and got everyone ready.  Diamond had been pretty tight lipped over where we were headed.  I was guessing either Florida or California.  A few hours before we left for the airport, he commented that he hadn't finished getting the speakers organized for church, and would need to "make some calls from Florida."  "Florida huh???" 
After that had slipped out, he told met the rest.  We were going for four days to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  Yeah baby!!!
The hotel Diamond booked for us was right on the ocean.  We took this little boardwalk down to the beach and I spent most of the getaway sitting on a beach chair enjoying the warmth of the sun and the breeze on my skin.  *sigh*

We laid around all day, then explored in the evenings.  One night we found this beach front Mexican restaurant.  It was so fabulous to  be munching away on dinner while overlooking the ocean and people watching.  Gorgeous!
Can I even tell you my happiness when I found Sonic Beach??? Who knew such a place existed?!? (I really should get some kind of advertising discount - dontcha think?)
Here's the view from Sonic Beach.  How amazing to be sipping my diet Coke (extra ice with lemon, of course!) while overlooking the beautiful Ft. Lauderdale beach!
I'm pretty sure this is my personal definition of heaven:  Sonic.  Beach.  This? Is a happy girl!
The third day of our getaway I was taking a nap in our room when Diamond came in and told me we were going on an adventure.  He didn't tell me what, only to wear my suit and bring a towel. (always good omens!)  He had booked us on a catamaran tour for the afternoon on the Spirit of Lauderdale.
The catamaran took us along the coastline and then anchored to let us swim, snorkel and slide.
 Enjoying the slide.
Diamond sliding off the catamaran into the ocean.

And how cute is he that he even brought a birthday cake and candles on the boat.  Everyone sang me happy birthday and we divided up the cake with the handful of other people on board.  Diamond looks so cute in this picture!  He KNOWS he's done good!
We had to check out of the hotel a few hours before our flight was ready to leave, so we wandered around the area, checking out Hollywood Beach, had dinner at a diner that had been featured on the Food Network (gross!) and walked Dania pier.
On the boat cruise, someone asked me how forty felt.  I replied that I still wasn't quuuitttte forty, so I couldn't really answer.  But turning forty?  Well, that part ROCKED!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Feeling WICKED!

For our anniversary Diamond surprised me with tickets to Wicked! Score!!!
Our friends also got tickets for that same night, so we decided to go together and enjoyed dinner at Maggino's beforehand.  
I can't tell you how much I LOVED the show! It was funny and surprising, emotional and entertaining.  I didn't expect to laugh so, so hard ("Toss! Toss! Giggle!) and I certainly didn't expect any tears (Elphaba's "No Good Deed" heartbreaking song). The show had been hyped up quite a bit, but it surpassed what I had expected. 
Seriously, a fabulous night!!!