Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/31/11

Playing on the beach is sooo much fun and it's even better that the sifter is so cool AND it's purple (which is totally Jude's fave color).

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/30/11

With a cabin right on the water, Jude has had lots if opportunities to practice his newest word... "boat." But it was dreary and drizzly today so we spent much of the day inside. Once we got out, we had a chance to check out the marina and see all those boats up close. Now if he could just get that darn raincoat off...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/29/11

I'm always grumpy before my morning coffee.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/28/11

Maybe Uncle Andrew will teach me how to play that some day!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/27/11

Playing on grandma's iPad while sitting on mommy's and grandpa's laps and wearing pjs because it was pj day at school. Isn't the start of vacation fabulous?
Who am I kidding? He has no idea how good he has it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/26/11

Mommy time

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/25/11


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/24/11

Loooooove the panda!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/23/11

Ugh, Mama! Stop shining that bright light in my face and just let me go to sleep!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/22/11

This is Jude's newest and most awesomest face. It's usually accompanied by an, "ohhhhhhh" or "dohhhh" sound.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Representative Anderson, Your Vote is a Vote Against My Family.

So the bill passed, 70-62.  Next year, Minnesotans will decide whether or not I will double for sure for sure not be able to marry Liz.  I'm not going down without a fight.

Sarah Anderson, the representative from my district, is my first fight.  Sarah Anderson sent us a note right after Jude was born letting us know that she was so excited to hear about the birth of our son and to "let her know if there was anything we needed."  So, Liz took Sarah Anderson up on her offer and asked that she vote no on the amendment.  So there we were, watching the lights by the representatives' names light up green or red.  Looked like green was winning.  Sarah still hadn't voted.  And then she did.  Her light turned green and I took it personally.

Here's the letter I sent to Sarah Anderson.  If you are also disappointed in her vote, send her an email here.

As a constituent of your district and a member of the GLBT community, I take your vote on the same-sex marriage amendment very personally.  

Your vote for the amendment is a vote against my 14 year relationship with my partner.  How dare you say that my relationship, a committed monogamous relationship with my high school sweetheart, is not as valid as yours?  

Your vote for the amendment is a vote against my 15 month old son, Jude.  How dare you force him to live in a state where his parents are looked upon as second class citizens?

Your vote for the amendment is a vote against my parents.  How dare you imply that their daughter doesn't qualify for the same rights that your parents' daughter qualifies for?

But most importantly, this is a vote against a community.  It is a vote against a community full of parents who intentionally created families because they had so much love to give.  How dare you insult them by allowing others the option to take away our rights?

But your vote is your vote, Representative Anderson.  I did notice that you were one of the last to vote.  I hope that is because you thought of my partner and my family before you cast a ballot.  I hope that is because you remembered that when my son was born, you wrote a letter to my partner letting her know that you were available if we needed help with anything.  Well, Sarah.  My partner sent you a note earlier this week letting you know that we needed help.  And you failed my family.

And just to make sure you're getting the full story, here's my exchange (Liz) with Representative Anderson:

GmailLiz Heyer

Please Vote NO on the Constitutional Ammendment
4 messages

Liz Heyer Thu, May 19, 2011 at 12:48 PM

To: rep.sarah.anderson@house.mn

Dear Representative Anderson,
I know we are down to the wire here, but I wanted to send you an urgent plea to PLEASE vote NO against the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.
My partner, 15-month-old son, and I live at xxxxx xxth Ave. N in Plymouth. My partner and I have been together for 14 years and feel so incredibly blessed to have our son in our lives. We moved to Minnesota 6 years ago from California and love this state and the Plymouth community. You and I probably shop at the same Target and eat at the same restaurants. My son attends a Plymouth daycare center every day while I work for a non-profit agency in Golden Valley and my partner works for a financial services company in Minneapolis. We strive everyday to provide a supportive, nurturing home for our son. We attend a Early Childhood Family Education class in Minneapolis that is specifically for gay and lesbian families. We are supported by countless friends and family members. Shouldn't we be allowed to have the same rights as heterosexual couples?
Shortly after my son was born, I recieved a card from you congratulating me on my son's birth and asking if there was anything you could do to support me and my family. Guess what? This is your opportunity to do just that. Please vote no on this discriminatory measure this afternoon.
Thank you so much,

Liz Heyer

Sarah Anderson Thu, May 19, 2011 at 8:33 PM

To: Liz Heyer

Dear Liz,
Thank you for your letter on the proposal to allow Minnesotans to vote on defining marriage.  I appreciate hearing from you on this matter.  Please know my focus has been on solving the state's budget deficit.

Sarah Anderson
State Representative
Plymouth & Medicine Lake
549 State Office Building
100 MLK Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155

If you would like to receive my weekly E-mail newsletter, please visit http://www.house.mn/43A and click on "Join my e-mail updates list for announcements."

Liz Heyer Thu, May 19, 2011 at 9:01 PM

To: Sarah Anderson
Dear Sarah, 

Thank you for responding to me on this issue. I understand that you will not be voting on this measure tonight, which hopefully gives me an opportunity to convince you to vote no on this amendment. I am glad that you are focusing your efforts on the state's budget deficit and the other very serious issues we are all facing right now. I hope that means that you realize that a "yes" vote on this issue would turn everyone's attention away from these important matters (and fill our airwaves with lots of hateful rhetoric that our kids don't need to hear). I know you have lots of other things to think about and I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to me on this. 


Liz Heyer Sat, May 21, 2011 at 11:41 PM

To: Sarah Anderson
Dear Representative Anderson

I am so disappointed in your decision to vote yes on the marriage amendment bill. As one of your constituents, I now know that you do not support my family and quite frankly, that breaks my heart. We will all now be subjected to months of hateful messages that will be heard by our children, their friends, and the thousands of gay or questioning youth in the state of Minnesota. While I have faith that Minnesotans will do the right thing and defeat this measure, it really makes me ill to know that you, the person who represents me and my family in the state of Minnesota, did not do the right thing when the opportunity was presented to you. 

I really believed you and thought that you would be focused on the jobs and the budget - just like you said. This will now take everyone's attention away from those very important matters and for that, I am exceedingly dismayed. 

Liz Heyer

The Daily Jude 5/21/11

Despite moments of severe weather, there were peeks of sunshine - just in time for an afternoon snack. (Mama's snack? An Anchor Steam)

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/20/11

Who doesn't love naked puzzles?

Actually, poor guy threw up a couple of times this afternoon and I really didn't want to go through another change of clothes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/19/11

Wow. Today was an action-packed day that turned out very differently than what I'd expected this morning. It all started out fairly normally, but as it turned out, Lindsay and I spent our afternoon at the state Capitol hoping to convince our state representatives that they should vote no on an amendment to our state's constitution that would pretty much prevent us from ever getting married.
We didn't bring Jude and I know that you all are here to see him but well, this is related.(and we ran 2.8 miles this evening to go get our farmshare so I didn't get a pic of Jude).
The Capitol was totally packed with supporters of marriage equality (and a few "protectors" of marriage - that's them with the "marriage amendment yes" sign). It was amazing to see soooo many different kinds of people who "get" that this is about ensuring civil rights for everyone. Literally- there were Quakers, Catholics, Jews, even a Mennonite woman - all there for equality.
In the end, the vote didn't happen today, but it has to happen before midnight on Monday. We'll keep you posted and I PROMISE to return to the regularly scheduled Jude programing tomorrow!

Oh, and here's a link to a video taken today. There are some familiar faces around 1:45

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/18/11

Just waiting for Mommy to come home...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/17/11

Nepalese for dinner..... Yum!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/16/11

Big hugs and kisses for Mommy

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/15/11

He's training for the Baby World Championship in Shape Sorting

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/14/11

Adventures in feeding yogurt to himself

Friday, May 13, 2011

I'm usually quiet about these things...until it affects my family.

Our state's budget is mired in a five billion dollar deficit, thousands of Minnesotans who want work cannot find jobs and families across the state struggle to make ends meet in this economy, so what are some Republican legislators going to do about it? Amend the constitution to ban marriage for same-sex couples!   

Please contact your legistlator and encourage them to defeat this.  If you don't live in Minnesota, consider sending an email to the entire House Committee.  Their email addresses can be found here

I wanted to share letters that friends and family have shared with me as they have sent it to their senators. Let's defeat this. For Jude and all the other LGBT families in Minnesota.

Letter from my mom:

My husband and I are not residents of Minnesota, but we have three very good reasons why we are urging you to vote no on your state's proposed marriage amendment: my daughter, her partner, and their 14 month-old son. As you know, we are fighting this same battle here in California and we are hoping fervently that Prop 8 will be overturned.

When we learned that our daughter is gay when she was 17, we were shocked, sad, and most of all scared - scared that she would be discriminated against. Fourteen years later, after a great deal of learning and emotional adjustment, we see our daughter's family just as we will see our son's family should he have one some day. I dare any of you to spend a day with them and then say they don't have the same right to legalize their relationship that your heterosexual children have. They are both college graduates, have good jobs, own their own home, and are doing a fantastic job of raising their son. If only all children had the benefit of being raised in such a loving family, the world would be a much better place.

Please, take some time to learn about this issue rather than voting blindly along political lines. Don't prohibit my daughter from having the same civil right as yours.

Letter from Dean:

This situation is so frustrating I can barely tolerate it. You can rest assured that I will be taking this case directly to the voters. It's only a gut feeling, but it's a strong one: I think this ballot initiative will lose. I see my family in Two Harbors, many of them conservative, all of them typical small town Minnesotans, yet every single one of them, including my 74 year old aunt, fully support marriage equality. In fact, my aunt is the most outspoken one about it. I see Republicans and 99% of the solid conservatives in my law school class, and they all think this is a ridiculous amendment - purely a bad and despicable idea.

What we need to overcome is ignorance, more than anything else. At the end of the day, it's bigots influencing the votes of uninformed people that is the threat. I believe that sharing your story, and the story of the tens thousands of people like you, Liz, and Jude, is the right approach and the winning approach. Once people who don't know you are no different than they are, and you're not, they won't vote against you. Massive voter education and turnout will be the keys, and it's where I'll focus my efforts to help this backfire in ways that the bigots behind it could have never imagined.

I'm sorry we have to do this. I can't think of someone I'd rather fight for than you and yours, however.

Letter from Katie, ECFE Friend:

Legislator, I urge you to reject putting the rights of LGBT Minnesotans on the ballot in 2012. It is wrong to do this. It takes our state in a direction we should not be going. Minnesota's strong
reputation as a welcoming place for all people is dishonored by idea that we would consider permanently denying a minority group equal protection of the law in our state's founding document. Advancing an amendment banning marriage for same-sex couples — which will benefit no Minnesotan, but will hurt the families of thousands of LGBT couples — is going to create a multi-million dollar political battle in our state that will divide our communities and sideline the real issues that deeply affect all Minnesotans like the budget, education, jobs
and the economy, transportation, and our quality of life. Please do not do this to Minnesota.
Regardless of your personal stance on gay marriage, the fact remains that gay couples and, more importantly, gay families already exist in the state of Minnesota.

I dread the thought of one day explaining to my 3-year old daughter, who is unbelievably loved, nurtured, and cared for on a daily basis, why the only family she has ever known is deemed
unworthy and second class in the eyes of Minnesota and our government officials. I urge you to think seriously what kind of message this sends to children of GLBT parents--and whether or not  you would want to convey a similar message to your own child. As you can see from the
attached photo, we really are a typical family that loves Lake Harriet, summers in Minnesota and--above all--our daughter.

Letter from Jerilyn, ECFE Friend:

I urge you to please think long and hard about putting the marriage amendment on the ballot.  If it goes forward, Minnesota is going to end up being a horrible battleground.  Those of us who are LGBT know how mean-spirited and cruel people can be - and this is going to amplify that meanness.  For those of us who are adult LGBT people, frankly, we're used to it.  It's going to be demoralizing and depressing for sure, but we can deal with it.  What I'm deeply concerned about are the children - the LGBT children and the children in LGBT families.   This public battle, with people saying hateful, spiteful things aloud on tv, on radio, in the newspapers, and online, is going to be crushing to these children.

On a personal level, my partner and I have 2 wonderful, happy kids.  My heart breaks at what they're going to have to deal with once this battle heats up.  It's going to be ugly and it will no doubt scar them and so many other children very deeply.  Must you do this to the children?   Please, if you're having trouble seeing past this amendment as a positive political opportunity for yourself, at least think of all those LGBT children out there and all those children of LGBT parents  and show some mercy.  Please.

Letter from Sharon, ECFE Friend:

Dear Legislator:

I want what every parent wants: to protect and nurture my child.  I
nurture my son, Jonah by giving him two devoted parents in a
committed, loving relationship.  I protect him by choosing to live in
Minnesota where our family is free from overt discrimination. Knowing
that our family could become the focus of a political battle in our
state breaks my heart on his behalf.

My parents are conservative Christians with a traditional view of
marriage. Every week, we share a meal and enjoy each other's cooking
and company. It wasn’t always this way. But since the arrival of their
grandson, we have found a way to connect despite our divergent
political and religious views.  We focus on what we share: our love
for family and a desire to see my baby boy – regardless of his
parent’s relationship – flourish and thrive. This fragile peace will
be threatened if we are forced to take sides in a political battle.

I am one of thousands of LGBT Minnesotans. I am a graduate of the
University of Minnesota. My partner and I have been together for seven
years.  I am a Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist.  She
is a Registered Nurse.  In our respective careers, we care for the
emotional and physical needs of our fellow Minnesotans.  How
demoralizing it will be to get up and go to work each day knowing our
colleagues and clients heard the latest uncharitable, repellent
description of families like ours in the evening news.

I beseech your help in continuing to keep Minnesota a place where
families and employees can co-exist and thrive despite their
differences. I urge you to please reconsider advancing an amendment
banning marriage for same-sex couples. It will divide families. It
will strain work relationships. It will tarnish Minnesota’s reputation
as a welcoming place. It will hurt kids – those kids sitting in the
backseat of cars hearing vitriol directed at their families, no matter
how quickly their parents move to turn the dial.

Letter from Me:

Dear Representative,

I'm contacting you today to urge you to defeat the recently introduced bill to amend our state constitution to permanently ban marriage equality for same-sex couples. There is not one family, anywhere in the state, that will benefit from passing this divisive amendment. This only discriminates against thousands of LGBT Minnesotans, denying them equal protection of the laws that make our families more stable and our society a better place for all of us to live.

I'd like to tell you my story so that you can hopefully see how the proposed amendment would hurt my family.

My partner, Liz, and I met on the first day of high school at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills, California. We were both in the same English class and though we’d attended different intermediate schools, we had a few mutual friends. We both sang alto in the school choir and it didn’t take long for us both to become part of a small circle of close friends. By senior year, we’d discovered how deeply we truly loved one another. We chose our separate ways for college, me in Indiana and Liz in northern California. Through those four years, however, we managed to maintain our relationship and moved in together in the Bay Area of California upon graduation in 2001. We loved building our relationship and lives as adults in the Bay Area, but we knew we wanted kids, a dog, a home to call our own, and we knew how difficult that would be to attain in California. After attending a wedding here in 2004, we decided that Minnesota was the place we’d like to build our lives.

We have now lived here for almost 6 years. Despite knowing just one couple when we arrived, we have made many wonderful friends and very much love our new state, cold weather, and all (don’t get us wrong… we still look forward to our annual winter trips back to California!). While we knew that we wouldn’t have the same Domestic Partnership rights we had in California, we were heartened to learn of the existence of Rainbow Families and that it is the largest organization for GLBT families in the country. Through Rainbow Families, we met an amazing nurse practitioner who helped us realize our dream of becoming parents.

Now that our son, Jude, has arrived, we are having a wonderful time getting to know him and settling into life as parents - much the same way all parents do. Though we don't have any family here in Minnesota, we are incredibly lucky to have a strong network of support. We get to see our family in California on a regular basis thanks to the wonders of air travel and Skype. By all measures, Liz, Jude, and I are incredibly lucky to have such overwhelming love and support as a family.

In addition to the support we have from friends, family, and our community, we work hard to support each other as partners and as parents. We both work full time - Liz works for a non-profit educational organization and I work for a Fortune 500 company in downtown Minneapolis. I recently completed my MBA at the Carlson School. While we're certianly far from perfect, we support each other financially and emotionally and I can't think of anyone I'd rather parent with.

Legally, however, there are serious restrictions. While Liz and I could travel to another state and legally marry, we’ve chosen not to do so, since it would not be recognized here in Minnesota. Since we have a child, however, for whom we have agreed to be mutually responsible, we have taken steps to make ourselves as much like a legal family as possible. We are registered as Domestic Partners in California. We have created estate plans, wills, powers of attorney, and health care directives. We changed our last names so that when Jude was born, we could all have the same name. We went through the second parent adoption process so that on paper, I am legally Jude's parent, too.

I hope that you will see that Liz, Jude, and I are members of the Minnesota community too, and we wish to be recognized as the loving, supportive and supported family that we are. The proposed amendment would make that dream difficult to achieve, indeed.

We have faith that we will one day be allowed to marry and that our marriage will be recognized throughout the country. We are willing to be patient and wait for that day and we hope that the proposed amendment does not push that dream further back. I wish that we did not have to go through the second parent adoption process and defend our love for each other and our child. I wish that Jude could have both of his mothers listed on his birth certificate right from the beginning. I wish that Jude was not a statistic… another child born to another single mother with another father who isn’t in the picture. I hope you can see that our family is so much more than that. I hope that, when given the opportunity, you will advocate for families like mine in Minnesota and oppose the proposed amendment.

Letter from Katy:

Compassion, understanding, commitment and fidelity – four essential qualities of a good life partner but also four essential qualities for a good lawmaker.

As I write to you, the events unfolding in Minnesota bring a chill to my heart. The state’s residents continue to fight through a time of economic uncertainty, job loss and difficulties and now it seems like one of the priorities of the legislature is to discuss and vote on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality for same sex partners. Not only do I find the timing incredibly foolish, but to call the root of the issue foolish would be an understatement.

Here’s some background about myself. I’m in my early thirties and blissfully engaged to marry my partner of seven years in July. Through the process of planning a wedding, I have learned more than ever the importance of commitment, love and support and we’re only just beginning our lives together. Not only is there no reason whatsoever why ALL people should not be able to share love and lifetime commitment through marriage as I am about to do, but I find that attempting to legislate love impossible and insulting.

I’ve been blessed to have many friends who are in same sex relationships and I can tell you first-hand that there is no shortage of love, support and commitment in these relationships. Let me take as an example my dear friends Lindsay and Liz Heyer who are residents of Plymouth (and happen to LOVE Minnesota after living there for years!). Having met both Lindsay and Liz as a teenager in high school, we’ve been the closest of friends for nearly two decades. While I’ve known for years that their love and commitment one another is strong, the birth of their adorable son Jude last February has only gone on to further prove what amazing parents these women are and how much they have to offer the world. Not only is their son bright, gifted and happy, but he is lucky enough to have two loving parents who will support him and enrich him for the rest of his life. I look to them as role models for the type of parent that I hope to be someday soon.

In such a frantic and frankly frightening time, there is no reason whatsoever to marginalize loving and committed relationships between people – such relationships are the light that can bring hope back to desperate times. I cannot wait to have children of my own, hoping that they will grow and play with children like Jude who is lucky enough to have two mommies and knowing that I will teach my children the most important parts of what it means to be an American – that ALL people are equal.

Please find the compassion and understanding as well as your commitment and fidelity to ALL of your constituents and do everything within your power to defeat such a discriminatory amendment before it goes one step further. Please ensure that our children can grow up in a world without such prejudice!

The Daily Jude 5/13/11

Guess who discovered the snack drawer?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/12/11

I had a happy boy on the way home today!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/11/11

Jude and Mama - say, "hi!" to the camera!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/10/11

The weather was soooo warm today (87!) that Jude got extra bonus water table time!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/9/11

I have my cars and I'm CRAZY!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Fina-frickin-ly Spring Around Here

For those of you not here in Minnesota, our spring has taken a very long time to get its motor going. We had snow on May 2 (remember?) and for most of last week our highs were still in the 40s. So we were really excited to see a few real signs of spring around here this weekend:

1. Jude got his first haircut. Ok. I know that's not a sign of spring. But it does fall into the category of "fina-frickin-ly." His hair might be similar to mine in color, but that's where the similarities end. It's coarse, curly, and reeeeeeeally sloooooooow to grow. He doesn't even have enough hair for a full haircut. We just needed to snip a little off the bottom. It was kind of turning into a party in the back and we might be lesbians, but we aren't into mullets.



That was it!

2. It was warm enough that Jude could finally play with the water table we got him a few weeks ago


 (that is a miracle of nature)

4. I got to slip away during Jude's nap today to buy some flowers for my planters. Can't wait to get them into the dirt!

5. (This is actually the surest sign that spring is here) We saw two geese and their six goslings! I don't actually have a picture, so you're just going to have to trust me on this one. Lindsay did actually turn the car around so she could make another pass, just to be sure that there were actual babies.

Though it took its sweet time to get here, spring is actually the most amazing time in Minnesota. Bring it!

The Daily Jude 5/8/11

Jude took us out to our favorite Minnesota Mexican restaurant for Mothers' Day, but really it was just a cheap ploy for him to eat chorizo. He totally takes after Lindsay.

And as if Jude's love for El Azteca wasn't already great, we have one more reason to love it. As we we paid our bill, our server asked, "one mama, or two mamas?" He then presented us each with a single red rose (like we made it through the rose ceremony!). So sweet! We loved that we were both acknowledged as Jude's proud moms. Lindsay left a generous tip for his lack of assumption.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/7/11

We finally have some warm(ish), sunny weather, so the kids got to go outside during our Early Childhood Family Education class. And I think Jude only ate one handful of sand.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/6/11

A clean start to the weekend!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/5/11

We were at it again! This time we walked/jogged 2.8 miles to pick up our first veggie share of the season. Yay for a healthy family!

After two days and almost 5 miles, however, we're ready for a break. Our timing is just right since it's supposed to rain for the next few days.

We're SO EXCITED that our CSA drop-off location has moved to a new house that is 1.4 walking miles from our house. Here's what we got in our first box:
We didn't get any decorative willow, much to Lindsay's dismay. But we DID get the parsnips, which is my FAVORITE root vegetable!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Daily Jude 5/4/11

Out in the jogging stroller with mommies on day one of 5k training - feeling the wind in his hair!