Thursday, October 30, 2008

This Is All I Have To Say

Thank the Lord for term limits and scheduled elections.

Can you imagine living in a country without such amenities? What would it be like? Take a look at the revolution and constant murder for power that goes on in most of South America, Asia, Africa, Quebec. What would the US be like if the divisiveness of political radicals and the fear attached to uncertainty went on without end? God bless the founding fathers (who fought amongst themselves like hockey-moms and pitbulls) and the inspiration from Heaven that put in their minds so many wonderful things that they had never even heard of. Let's remember, the point was that they had been ruled by a King for thousands of years, not a Democratic or Republican for four to eight.

I am so grateful for the American political system. Even though we think the other side is taking us all down to hell every four years, I couldn't say more sincere prayers of gratitude through the other three years that it's not as bad. Competition seems to bring out the best and the worst in people. Like most things on this Earth, it's a double-edged sword. I'm so grateful for bicameralism and checks and balances. I believe they work.

AM New York ran a funny hypothetical a few months ago called "What If 9/11 Never Happened". According to their predictions; George Bush would have been ousted for his shenanigans, Kerry would have become President, Gore would have been Secretary of Environment, the war, the economy, and the environment would all go to pot, Obama have a simple law practice in Chicago, McCain would be a retiring Arizona Senator, and Mitt Romney (because of his business and political experience) President of the United States. I wonder how many of us who share moral beliefs with Mitt Romney would have watched his every move for what we felt was hypocrisy, ready to disown him. I wonder how many would turn a blind eye to those same mistakes and compromises. Thank the Lord for the separation of Church and State.

I hope we all vote. To show our support for the system if nothing else. If we don't vote, others still will. Hopefully forever.

Let's vote with wisdom. The internet makes it so easy to learn about the candidates and issues. It's wonderful. It also makes it easier to be swayed by spin doctors, hate mongers, dooms dayers, and all other sorts of black magic mumbo jumbo. Political issues have to be put into the context of pork barrelling, a global marketplace, tack-on legislation, diplomatic relations, resource wars, corruption, virtue, and the sacred rights and varying opinions of over 300 million individuals. Still, I hope we all stand firm in what we believe.

Even with the installment of the Blurk Detector to the right of the screen, I still am not aware of who everyone is that views our blog. We've seen hits from the west, the east, the midwest, the south, Asia, Europe, and South America. I don't know all of your politics, I do know some. Often politics have to do with the issues of where we live, sometimes they have to do with how we live. Finding out what is best for all of us is a tricky matter to say the least. Thank goodness for the protection of free speech and the right to vote.

As for myself, I'd like to exercise my sacred right to speak on one issue very briefly; California Proposition 8. I've read the high court's decision. I believe it needs to be checked. It speaks of "form and substance", but it is mistaken. It switches the resolution of one issue with another. Only a union between a man and woman can create a child. No other can. It seems to me that the ability to procreate is the most powerful, and therefore, sacred double-edged sword in the hands of mankind. It deserves unique rights, obligations, and protections. I hope we all agree that everyone deserves the same basic human rights. More importantly, I hope we live as we speak. But rights exist only with protections. Many of those rights are nullified if the traditional family is dissolved. As a student who is planning to move back to California after graduation, I am a resident and an official out-of-state voter. I voted Yes on California Proposition 8. If you are in support of these things, I hope that you vote Yes too.

Now, I'll spare you having to listen to how much I am behind Barack Obama and Joe Biden and believe they will create a cabinet of diplomacy and vision.

Stay tuned, there are only four more days left to bedlam. Susanna will post cute pictures of the baby before then.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Van's Recent Firsts

Here are just a few.

His First...

Patagonia Fleece (thanks to Aunt Liza) and M&M hat (thanks to Mimi)

Stroll through Greenwood Cemetery (where Leonard Bernstein and Houdini are buried)

Presidential Debate (which he slept through most of)

Visit to a 1000 pound pumpkin grown by Mimi Risser's cousin Danny

Autographed picture of Miss Vermont (which he graciously had signed for his Uncle Bubba)

Time meeting Mimi's cousins and traveling in a car long hours listening to his mother sing Bingo to try to distract him.

Really cool hat (thanks Mimi)

Just for fun.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


How do I love thee, let me count the ways.

(Even though there are far more than thirty-two of them, in honor of thirty-two action packed years, here are just a few of the reasons I love Gordon Keith Risser III)

Happy Birthday love.

1. Your integrity.

2. The way you can memorize the words to a song after hearing it twice.

3. Your eyes.

4. Your passion for the ocean.

5. Your devotion to me.

6. The right hand corner of your mouth.

7. Your constant search for truth.

8. The way you play with Van.

9. Your hands.

10. Your ability to make me want to be better, even when it's hard.

11. The sausage and tomato pasta you make.

12. Your strong arms.

13. Your bottomless pit.

14. The jokes you tell, even when they shouldn't be told.

15. Your sexy crooked teeth.

16. Books

17. Your dedication to living...

18. understanding...

19. embodying the gospel.

20. The way you walk.

21. Laughing with you.

22. Your love for the natural world.

23. The fact that we have totally different aesthetics (and mine is better)

24. Your hand strengthening cruncher things.

25. Your recent addiction to chocolate milk.

26. Your tummy.

27. Your family.

28. Your thirst for knowledge of any kind.

29. Your willingness to wake up at 5 AM to go surfing in a blizzard.

30. Your voice.

31. Your opinions.

32. Come home and I'll tell you.

Let's see, did I miss anything?

How do you love GK?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Change We Can Believe In

Over the course of my love affair with my good man, I have kissed and cuddled various hairy incarnations.

When I first saw him on LDS Link-up (Something we are only now finding more endearing than horrifying) he looked like this:

Then when he came out to Denver to meet me (I mean fall in love with me) he looked like this:
When we got married he looked like this:Some could have argued I was a sucker for false advertising because after embracing his inner mountain-man (and some said unibomber) he looked like this:
He joined the ranks of the New York fashion-forward like this:

And now after being called to work in the temple and observe missionary grooming standards he thought about it for a minute:
And then he looked like this:Then this:Until he finally looked like this: I have loved him through all his transitions, but have to admit that I had forgotten how much I love his face.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My Mother

My mother is the most amazing woman I know.

I don't usually succumb to the more serious subjects in my posts. But I've been thinking a lot about my mama these past few days.

For those of you who don't know her, I wish you did. For those of you who do know her, you know that she is extremely loving. She is a good listener. She is kind and always looking out for the underdog. She has the most tender heart I've ever known.

38 years ago today my brother David was alive. He was my mom's first baby. He was born on October 7, 1970 and passed away October 9, 1970.

Many years of my childhood in early October I remember driving down with my mom and dad and whatever siblings were home to visit David's grave in the Provo cemetary. It was in the shadows of the large granite headstones of my great-grand-parents and other long gone relatives. A small flat little stone that just said his name and the dates of his life. David Giles Florence Oct. 7-9 1970.

During my years in Provo, I often visited David's grave. I would run there and sit by him and wonder about my oldest brother. I didn't feel sadness, in fact I wondered if maybe he was watching out for me. I don't really know much about guardian angels, but I like to think that David checks in on me from time to time.

Born nearly two months early, David didn't have much of a chance in those days. In fact the doctors didn't even really attempt to prolong his little life.

It wasn't until I had my sweet little Van, who shares David's middle name, that I began to understand what a tragic loss that must have been for my sweet mother. Her 20 year old heart must have been broken knowing she would never know her little boy in this life.

Recently my friend Abby lost her little girl Beatrice. Born with a little understood illness, she lived for two months. Watching her move on with her life has been an inspiration to me. Although more children will hopefully come to her just as they did to our family, these little ones are never replaced.

And so on this day of David's life 38 years ago, I pay tribute to my mama and all the other sweet women out there who have felt the dear price of mortality.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Mornings around here go about like this:
Put on something sporty and exercise by kicking my legs until they're blurry.
Visit my girlfriend Lucca and show off how strong my neck is in her purple chair.
Take a nap on my mom's bed because she thinks I'm all grown up after holding my ground and insisting I don't want to sleep in my bed this time. She tried for the first hour and a half to keep Reggie away, but I kind of like it when he sleeps on my legs.
Then when Daddy comes home he gives me drum lessons. I get a little frustrated when I don't get it just right.
I'm pretty much the coolest kid ever.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Naptime Update or Early Christmas Card

Van's asleep. Someone out there has more clout with him than I do. You must have convinced him of the dire necessity of a new blog post because he is out for the count. Good work people. So now that I've got a few quiet moments after scrubbing the bathroom, vacuuming the living room, sorting the laundry and eating a late lunch, I'll give you a quick update on each of us starting from most to least interesting.


Is Eleven weeks on Sunday. He is still accused by nosey women on the street of being skinny, but he makes up for it in strength. He holds his head up for long periods of time, he stands on his little legs with the help of a responsible adult, he gauges holes in his cheeks and forehead when his nails aren't quite short enough. His grunts have given way to gummy smiles and the beginnings of a priceless laugh. He thinks his mama is the funniest lady in the world, and he flinches as his daddy's whiskers come in for a kiss. He has bright blue eyes that take in everything around him, he prefers Biden to Palen, and he can count to seven. Okay that last thing's not true, but everything else is.


Has taken to helping with housework. He used to only clean the floor in the kitchen, but now he's on the look out for any article of clothing or fabric that has spit up or other baby substance on it. He even attempts at times to clean off Van's face when I'm not looking, or catch the spit up before it even comes out of his mouth. He refuses to enter into political discussion.


Is loving school this semester. He's finally taking a few of the classes he's been looking forward to since day one. He's creating action plans for his capstone project next semester, his job search for next semester, and his job search for the post graduation move to San Francisco. He's excited about his new calling and enjoying being 40+ years younger than the other temple workers. He loves the autumn chill that's coming on and is so excited that his parents and Bubba and Jason and Sarah are coming to see us in New York in a couple of weeks. He gets regular comments and thumbs up from total strangers when he wears his Obama t-shirt that he got on the street for $5.


Well, I've taken to hanging out with other mothers of young babies. We talk about breastfeeding woes and gas and pediatricians and baby gear. I went on ebay for the first time last night and won a jogging stroller for $76. I may have just uncovered an unhealthy addiction. I'm a little nervous about the coming of winter because I'm loving being outside every minute possible. I'm getting a little nervous as election day comes around.

Now you see why I don't do update posts more often. I stink at them. Our life isn't as boring as I make it out to be. We live in the most exciting city in the world according to itself, and we are engaged in the most meaningful pursuits of our lives according to us.

And now Van's awake, so you'll have to wait til his next nap to see some pictures. Believe me, they're worth the wait.

I'll do what I want

At least that's what I tell myself.

But actually I'll do what Van wants. So if Van wants me to, I'll do a blog post soon about him. He doesn't really like that kind of attention. He does like to be held (making typing difficult), rocked, walked, nursed.

So for those of you wondering when it will happen... Take it up with the man in charge. Tell him, napping is very helpful to his growing body and his mother's sanity. And if he listens, I'll update my blog.