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Hi I'm Andrea

I'm a writer, a Mom, and a Democrat. I love studying Eastern philosophies and hearing gospel music. And I'm a Mormon.

About Me

We're a family of four, expecting our third child. We live simply. I spend an inordinate of time trying to figure out what to make for dinner. Criteria: yummy, inexpensive, basic ingredients. I like broccoli and Cheetos, but not together. I don't eat a lot of Cheetos, though, because I just lost 90 pounds. Of course, I'm slowly packing it back on, but hopefully only in the abdominal region, and hopefully it will drop off again in February, when the baby is due. I keep a silly blog of my high school diaries, which were so tragic at the time but now I find them hilarious: 80sangst.blogspot.com - A lot of the entries reference growing up Mormon. I'm writing a book. More often, though, I just write down funny things my kids say. I love to read literature and poetry and watch A&E productions of classic books. My husband loves dumb guy movies and action flicks. We've learned to compromise on date night. My favorite soundtrack is Sons of Provo. I love satire. I really want to start hiking with my family, but I don't like bugs that suck human blood or bees. It's a problem. I was raised by a sociology major and a history buff, so I would say my liberal leanings are genetic, but I'm adopted, so that kinda blows my theory. It's not always easy but generally kind of amusing to own the only car in the church parking lot with an Obama/Biden sticker. I'm pretty nerdy and odd, but I wouldn't really have it any other way.

Why I am a Mormon

When I graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1996, I thought I'd become part of the people's movement in the Philippines, learn Tagalog, and return to the states for graduate school. I wanted to live in a commune and raise children and crops with my closest friends. However, that fall my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and I returned to my hometown to care for her. Although she was sick and didn't remember very much, going to church was very important to her. At first, I dropped her off on the church steps, but eventually she needed me to walk her through the doors. That was very hard for me. With my shaved head, my nose ring, and my tattoo, I didn't want to deal with those nutty, judgmental Mormons. Just one meeting shook my preconceived notions about the church. The bishop, a man I'd known since childhood, sat beside me and hugged me close. He didn't seem to notice the smell of cigarette smoke and coffee that emanated from me. The next week, we studied peace. I realized I hadn't felt peaceful in a really long time. I started reading the Book of Mormon every day, and I could feel its truth. I also felt protected and calm. I studied the theology extensively. Only a few years later, I met my husband and we married in a temple for eternity. I know my earlier self would be a little shocked at who I've become. I know a lot of my college friends feel a little estranged by my choices. My family wonders at the way I've chosen to return home instead of following a promising career. But I feel very much at ease with my place in the world. I may not always feel like I fit the Mormon stereotype, but that helps me to identify with people of all faiths and value systems. I know the doctrine is true. I know Christ is exactly who he claims to be and I'm grateful for his infinite Atonement. I know Joseph Smith told the truth, translated an ancient record, and was the prophet of the restoration of Christ's gospel. In that gospel, I've found divine assurance and peace.

How I live my faith

Mostly, I just try to treat other people well. I think the true test of our devotion to Christ is how we treat other people. Also, the majority of my friends aren't LDS, so living my faith often means answering curious/incredulous/sincerely skeptical questions. We find we have a lot in common, even though our verbiage may be different. For example, my Buddhist friends and I often compare the Mormon belief in divine nature (the doctrine that we have divinity within us) to Buddha nature. These conversations vary only slightly from the times I visit other women in my congregation (we schedule these visits at least once per month) and we talk about the gospel and our lives. On Sundays, I lead music for the women's organization, which is pretty funny because I was a pretty clueless shower-singer before accepting this job in the church, and I sort of close my eyes up there and wave my arms and hope none of the women are actually watching me as I blunder through 6/8 time. Our family also tries to meet once per week for family night, where we talk about values, read scriptures, address problems, sing songs, and play games. We also try to eat dinner together as a family every night. Our children take turns offering prayers at night for our family before we all go to bed. They are learning the stories of Jesus by listening to them at night and reading them together. I love how my husband takes time to ask them questions and make sure they understand the scriptural language. Beyond our family, we ask them to contribute to the community. For example, recently our girls distributed flyers to local neighborhoods asking for food to benefit our area's food banks. Together with other volunteers, we were able to collect over 2,000 pounds of food. We hope our girls learn to be God's hands, because we want them to know He loves all of His children.