Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mitt Romney's Concession Speech

Even though Mitt Romney lost Florida to McCain, his concession speech is awesome and powerful and I just wanted to share it with everyone.

St. Petersburg, FL - Tonight, Governor Mitt Romney made a strong showing in the Florida Primary. In St. Petersburg, Governor Romney spoke about the need for change in Washington so that we can build a stronger America for future generations. With the announcement of today's results, Governor Romney made the following remarks to supporters, volunteers and the American people:

"Almost, but not quite. You guys are my heroes. You took this campaign from nowhere to the very top tier. You worked your hearts our and you made me a contender and for that, Ann and I and our family will be forever grateful. Thank you so very much.

"Now, I just got off the phone with Senator McCain, and I offered him my congratulations. I'm sure that you are excited here this evening, but a little disappointed as well, and my guess is when you left your home this evening, you put a son or a daughter to bed, and probably that's happening across the country. Moms and dads are putting kids to bed, or they already have, and they're sleeping peacefully. They're probably a bit like my grandkids, full of big dreams and plans, excited by every tomorrow.

"I remember when I was growing up, I always knew that America was the greatest nation on Earth: first nation on the Moon, our cars and movies and technology were the envy of the entire world, and freedom and opportunity was just like the air, it was everywhere I went. I believed there was nothing I couldn't do, and I knew there was nothing that America couldn't do because we led the world.

"Now, America's leadership didn't come without cost. It was won by the Greatest Generation in the history of the world. They defeated fascism, and they built the world's strongest economy. My Mom and Dad are gone as maybe yours are as well. What they and their generation left us is the greatest nation in the history of the entire planet.

"And now it's our turn. What kind of nation will we leave our children and our grandchildren? We can leave future generations a nation that's even greater than that which we inherited, but to do that, we're going to have to overcome a new generation of challenges. "Our world is under attack from violent radical Jihadists. "Our jobs are being sought by new competitors, countries like Asia and India.

"And here at home, our government is spending too much. We're using too much oil. Our health care system leaves a lot of people behind. And our schools are failing way too many. Even our values are under attack.

"We looked to Washington for leadership, but Washington has failed us.

"We've asked them to fix illegal immigration. They haven't.

"We've asked them to get the tax burden off our families and businesses. They haven't.

"We asked them to end our dependence on foreign oil. They haven't.

"We asked them to maintain high ethical standards. They haven't.

"We asked them to fix Social Security. They haven't.

"We asked them to stop spending money on pork barrel projects. We asked them to balance our budget. They haven't.

"We asked them time and time and time again, and they just haven't gotten the job done.

"You see, Washington is fundamentally broken, and we're not going to change Washington by sending the same people back just to sit in different chairs. I think it's time for the politicians to leave Washington and for the citizens to take over.

"It is time for a change in Washington, and here's some of the things we're going to do. First, we're going to strengthen our families. We'll make sure that every citizen in our country has affordable health insurance that they can't lose - private, free-market insurance, not socialized medicine, not Hillary-care. We'll make sure our kids have great schools. We'll treat teachers like the professionals they are, and we'll put our kids first and the unions behind. And to build strong families, we'll teach our kids that before they have babies, they should get married. So we'll strengthen our families.

"And we'll strengthen our military. We need more troops. We need better funding. We need better equipment. And we need better care for our veterans. Let's point out to all those who criticized President Bush that it's thanks to him that we've been safe these last six years. So strengthen our families and strengthen our military.

"And finally, we need to strengthen our economy. I spent my entire life in the real economy. I know why jobs come. I know why they go. I've been doing business in 20 countries around the world. I've run small business and large business. The economy is in my DNA.

"Many of the people across our country are worried about their retirement accounts. They wonder if they can pay for the college education of their child. They see their largest asset, their home value, dropping. Some wonder if their job is going to be secure in a new global economy. Americans wonder how they can afford the rising cost of health care, and gasoline, and taxes. These are real challenges.

"At a time like this, America needs a President in the White House who has actually had a job in the real economy. You see at a time like this, knowing how America works is more important than knowing how Washington works. The Democrats think that America's greatness flows from our government. They're wrong. The source of America's greatness is the American people - hard-working, innovative, risk-taking, family oriented, God-fearing, freedom-loving American people have always been the source of America's greatness, and they always will be. And so the right course for America isn't to strengthen our government, but to strengthen our people. And to do that, we're going to have to change Washington, and change will begin with us.

"This presidential election in November of '08 is not about yesterday, it's about tomorrow. It's not about re-fighting the battles of the past. It's about winning the future for our children and their children and for America. When you go home tonight, and you go and kiss your son or your daughter before you go to sleep, you can promise them that this generation will meet the challenges of our time. That we'll leave them a stronger America, and you can tell them to dream big because for the children of America, every dream will be possible."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Little Hands

Here is a poem that I wrote a few months ago while I was remembering the tender moments that Steven and Margaret were born. Leave comments and let me know what you think!

Little Hands

I can still remember, as if it were yesterday,
The morning you were born – such a perfect day.
Daddy placed you in my arms with gentle care
You didn’t cry or coo – you would only stare.
And your little hands fit perfectly into mine.

I held you and kissed you over a thousand times
Your skin was so soft and your hair divine.
Your fingers and toes were tiny and dear
Your chunky round cheeks were spotless and clear.
And your little hands fit perfectly into mine.

I gazed deeply into your beautiful eyes;
I saw a glimpse of heaven and the Spirit testified
You had been sent from God’s heavenly home above
Innocent and perfect and filled with love.
And your little hands fit perfectly into mine.

Oh, how I love you, my dear little one!
Our time on earth together has only just begun.
But the greatest blessing for our little family
Is that we can be together for all eternity.
And our hands will fit perfectly as one.

- Audrey Sabin

My Life Story (Part 1)

I've been sitting here for about 15 minutes trying to think of what I could possibly write that would be of interest to anyone, coming up with absolutely nothing. The only idea that I've had pop into my head is to tell my story. So I think I'll go with that until I can come up with something different and get the hang of this whole blog thing.

I was born in Garland, Tx on August 17, 1979 to Michael and Cathy Baugh. Shortly after my birth, my parents divorced and both remarried a few years later. When my mom remarried, our family of four suddenly went to a family of eight; nine when my little brother Patrick was born. I'm sure that there were some good times growing up in a large step-family, but I mostly remember it being very loud, difficult, and depressing. Let's just say that our two families never really learned to assimilate, and from that sprung much heartache. However, I do love my mother, my two sisters and my brother very much. Oftentimes, I have thought to myself that I wish my mom and step-dad had never married and it could have just been us girls toughing it together. Aside from these thoughts being completely selfish, I realize that I would not have my little brother in my life had this been the case.

There was a time, long ago, when Patrick and I hung out all of the time and did everything together. Do you remember, Patrick? We would swim together, play together, rough-house together, etc. As we got older, we grew apart a little, but we still hung out. When I was home from school for the summers, you would come to my room and lay across my bed while we just chatted and joked around. We would see movies together, I would take you to your friend's houses, and I was even your chaparone for your first few "dates". I know that we've grown apart since our lives have taken different directions, but I just wanted you to know that I cherish you and those times very much. I'm glad that you are part of our family and I wouldn't trade you for anything!

Sorry for the sidetrack. On with the story!

When I was in middle school, I started playing the string bass in orchestra. I still remember the first time I picked up my instrument thinking "This is so big! Cool!" Yes, I picked string bass because it was the biggest instrument, but also because I fell in love with the low, mellow tones that fell from its strings when our music teachers showed off each one. I immediately went home and begged my parents to let me play the bass. I remember having to work them for several days (we didn't have alot of money and I'm sure they were concerned that it would be too expensive). Finally, they gave in! Thank you mom and dad! I continued to play the bass through college until 2002, when I transferred to UNT (but that story comes later!) I love playing bass and I miss it very much. I've already told John that someday (after he gets a piano, of course) that I would like to buy a bass so that I can start playing again.

That was in 6th grade. In seventh grade, the band teachers started going around and touting the band program and all of its different instruments, trying to recruit kids into the band. Again, I was dying to be a part of it. What instrument did I go home and beg my parents to let me play? The drums!!! (Notice a pattern here? Do you think I was trying to get some attention, or what!?!) While I was a great drummer and had a knack for rhythm, I never did progress into a true percussionist. Because of my one year of reading bass cleff in orchestra, I simply could never adjust to treble cleff for the keyboard instruments. Timpani was alway my favorite, and I do have to brag that I played a really awesome timpani concerto for my scholarship audition to NSU. I continued to play drums through my sophmore year of college, when I decided that I really didn't want to major in music ed anymore.

So I was a major orch dork and band nerd, but I really did love sports as well. I always wanted to play soccer, and even tried out for the JV team in high school. But when I went home and told my parents, they told me that they couldn't afford to pay for sports and that I needed to stay in music so that I could get scholarships for college. That was the end of my soccer career, until I played a few seasons of indoor soccer with my soon-to-be brother-in-law and his then-wife just before John and I were married. Not my brightest moment, let me tell you.

I did end up getting music scholarships to Northwestern State University of Louisiana for percussion and bass. Alot of people have asked me over the years, "Why Louisiana?" Well, NSU had an awesome drumline and drumline instructor, and our highschool drumline instructor also happened to graduate from there. So he would always invite them to come and give us clinicals during summer drumline camp. That's how I was introduced to NSU. During my senior year of highschool, I wasn't really very serious about applying to many colleges (much to my mother's chagrin, I'm sure). Then, one evening while I was doing my calculus homework, the drumline instructor from NSU, Ken Green, called to tell me that George Adams, the orchestra director was in dire need of basses and would love to have an audition with me. During the phone call, he also said that he would like me to come to NSU and join the drumline and that he could guarantee some sort of scholarship. So I suddenly decided to pursue NSU very aggresively, received scholarships for bass and percussion, and that's how I ended up in Louisiana!

When I showed up to NSU two weeks before classes for drumline camp and band camp, I felt like a lost little puppy. I didn't know anyone, the school was huge, and everything was so different. After going to drumline camp for a few days, I remember thinking "What am I doing here? There's no way that I can hang with these guys!" I was the only girl trying out for tenors (if you've ever seen a marching band, they're the ones that have the 5 or 6 drums in front of them and they're always crossing their sticks and doing really flamboyant stuff... you know, attention getters), which was what I had played in high school drumline. Sure enough, I got shoved in the pit and hated every minute of marching season. Concert season was great, though b/c we were required to take a percussion ensemble class, which I had alot of fun in, and we gave lots of concerts. I still remember the big keyboard concert that we gave. 5 of the pieces that we played were solely on the different keyboard instruments. The soloist/melody would be on the bells, then someone would be on the xylophone, vibes, and two people were on marimbas. I just about died when I was assigned to play bells for one of the pieces. I still remember the title "Rainbow Ripples". As I've mentioned before, I never really got the hang of the keyboard instruments because of the treble cleff, so I had to practice that piece like crazy. I spent many late hours upon hours playing the same riffs over and over until I could play them somewhat comfortably. In the end, the concert was a great success and I pulled it off.

Orchestra was also a challenge my freshman year. Even though I was a much better bassist than I was percussionist, I still felt like I was way out of my league and wondered what I was doing there. It didn't take me quite as long to find my groove, however, and soon I was enjoying playing real music for once (as opposed to the silly stuff we tended to play in high school. Not that Vivaldi is silly, but that's about as 'classical' as we got, and let's face it, Vivaldi's not really all that challenging.)

Drumline camp for my sophmore year was fast approaching and I was way bummed. I really didn't want to end up in the pit again, but I really didn't think that I could hang with the two vets that had been playing tenors there for years. However, I stuck it out and went all the way through drumline camp. Although I knew that my audtions were much better than the year before, I could tell that I was on the brink of my abilities and that if I made it to the tenor line, I would only be a hindrance because those guys were wicked fast and I was barely hanging on just to keep up with them. After the camp, I decided that I just wanted to focus on bass, since that's what I was better at, and withdrew from the percussion/band program. I wish I had done it differently, but I didn't even consult Mr. Green about it. I just had my schedule changed and didn't say anything to anybody. Come to find out, I HAD made it onto the tenor line and Mr. Green was way bummed that I had quit. But I really felt that I had made the right decision.

All of a sudden, I had so much free time on my hands that wasn't taken up with percussion private lessons, percussion ensemble, band practice, marching practice, Saturday football games and just practicing on my own. I wasn't used to so much free time, so I decided that I had to fill it with something! That's when I decided to join the rowing team.

Stay tuned for a continuation of my life story and how I became the girls varsity captain and my decision to start taking karate!