Friday, July 11, 2014

coming out: "wired wrong"

i really thought about not sharing this blog with you guys. it is deeply personal and the issue hits home. it is important to me, and this is also very emotionally charged about current social issues. so, with that said, reader, beware!

have you guys ever heard of my drunk kitchen? you haven't?! well you should stop reading this and go watch an episode. or 10. go on. GO. i'll wait.


so. how was it? i mean, other than amazing, of course.

the creator of my drunk kitchen, hannah hart, has grown into this huge internet community. she does weekly videos that include advice, music, book clubs, traveling, among other things. she also has another youtube channel, yourharto, which is much more personal. on this channel she has an entire series about her coming out story. it was so moving i watched all 6 videos in one sitting.

each person's coming out story is deeply personal. it is a struggle between your current reality and what you actually want your life to be. there were a couple of things she said that almost moved me to tears. what i want to focus on today is when she decided to come out to her family.

so, hannah had finally decided to come out to her family. but what you must know is that her parents are very religious. so when she came out to her dad, this was his response: within his religious belief, her dad believes that sexuality is a part of your make up. however, it is your choice whether or not you choose to act on it. so basically he told her that she could choose to never let herself fall in love because she is wired wrong.

"no one is wired wrong."

i just rewatched that video and i am just as stunned as i was the first time. i am truly at a loss for words. [it is the CH. 5 video of the coming out series. at the 3-min mark is where she talks about her dad.]

..... we go.

typically when two people [or sometimes just one] have a child, it is out of desire. a child is wanted and is something, as parents, you created. you nurture this baby and care for it. deciding to become a parent is a BIG deal. even if the baby was a "whoopsie", and you are unsure about having a child, there is time to make decisions about keeping the baby or allowing another family to love and raise the child.

so. you have decided to have a child. you love your child. you raise it. provide for it. teach them. and all the while, you learn that having a kid is hard. they do amazing things, but they also do things that anger you. frustrate you. disappoint you. hurt you.

you realize that your baby, your child, has developed their own ideals. morals. their own way of life. and some of those things are the same as yours, but some are very different.

no matter what you have gone through with your child, they are still your child. and you still love them. the love for a child is the purest, most unconditional love there is.

this is why i simply cannot understand why parents are so willing to abandon, disown and write-off their own children because they are gay. your child has always been gay. they simply did not realize it until a certain point in their life because the way our society is. just like heterosexuals have always been straight. it is just an easier process for them to figure out because it is "mainstream".

we are who we are. and we love who we love.

it hurts every bit of my heart to hear about parents walking out on their children. because they are gay. because they have figured out a huge piece of their identity. simply because it is different from the "norm" and doesn't fit "religious beliefs". if you can't accept every piece of your child - good, bad, straight, gay - then don't have a kid.

kids are messy. kids are difficult. you never know what they are going to throw at you. as a parent, you must think of every possible thing that could happen: diseases, developmental disorders, drug abuse, being an asshole, running away, being an exceptional athlete, academically gifted, being in a band, involvement with gangs, anything!

never say,"that won't happen to my kid." you never know. you must be ready for all life will hand you. if you can't handle it and be supportive of the LIFE YOU CREATED, then don't create one.

it is ok if your child's identity is different from yours. it is alright if your lifestyle doesn't mesh with theirs. you don't have to agree with every decision your kid will make. just be there and be supportive. as a parent should be. walking away is the absolute worst thing you could do. you signed up to love them forever, no matter what. love doesn't always equal agreement, but it does equal support, caring, and commitment.


Monday, June 16, 2014


it's finally time.

i have some exciting news. nerve-racking news. delightful news. 

as you all may know, i am a school teacher, so i have summers off (yay!), but that leaves me with a lot of free time. most of which i enjoy. however, i enjoy being busy more. so, i got to thinking, i need something to do over the summer. there were lots of ideas thrown around: part-time job, babysit, volunteer....blah, blah, blah.
most ideas sounded great, yet, since i had time off away from my job i really wanted to invest my time in something i wanted to be doing...not another job. and the things i want to do are: write (and get paid), volunteer (for real, i mean it), and create art to share with the world (i.e., sell it). 

i find myself creating art projects, from scratch. and i enjoy it. most are fairly simple, yet, have a clean look to them. this idea of selling my artwork all started when i created a simple canvas piece for our bedroom. so, many years later (two, to be exact), i am finally doing it.

so without further ado, i'd like to share with you: buttered ham! i have taken a big, yet small leap and opened my very own esty shop. a shop filling with homemade art projects. some are made from wood, some from canvas, and some are photographs. the shop is small now, but i hope to grow my shop as my art creations grow.

i am very happy to share it with you. however, it is very new and very fresh. if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. i will update and tweak it as necessary. please look around and enjoy; and most importantly, feel free to order something ;)

thank you all for your support!!


oh, and in addition to the buttered ham link in this blog listing, there is a permanent link on WTR. just look in the left column, toward the bottom [it is labeled "my esty shop: buttered ham" and has a bunch of pretty pictures on it!]

Saturday, May 17, 2014

K2 wedding memory: the broken glass

i have a favorite wedding memory that i would love to share with you all. as i was looking through our wedding pictures i was reminded of this very funny moment.
these pictures and this moment are forever hilarious to those who participated and witnessed the event. and what's more, our photographers caught it all on film. whether they meant to our not, it is still awesome.

they show one of our funniest and most favorite wedding memory. however, to fully understand what is happening in the pictures, it definitely requires a back story. the house that we had our reception at had an outdoor cabana [bar + patio + seating area]. and on top of the cabana is a sunbathing deck. now obviously for a wedding reception a sunbathing deck was not used for such. we used it for our dance floor!
the way that we "started" off our reception was that after all the dances [first dance, mother/son, father/daughter], the last dance [father/daughter] was "interrupted" by the black eyed peas song "i gotta feeling". once this song started playing all members of the wedding party started dancing with us. this created quite a bit of excitement. so much excitement that dan dropped the glass he was holding. and it proceeded to roll off the top of the cabana and drop the 10-12 feet to the ground and nearly hitting the groom's grandmother.
i'll explain more as we look through the pictures. but for now, let's get started.

we're gonna have a good night! yay!!
 dan just realized he dropped the glass. oops.

 dan telling keith what just happened. "dude, i just dropped a glass on your grandma."
meanwhile, laura already knows what happened and is beside herself about it.

 look at laura's face. it is this way throughout all these pictures.

 discussion ensues. and it is hilarious.

 very hilarious.

there is a lot of laughter and some confusion.

 all of this excitement causes ryan to jump in the middle of everything.

 keith is finally explaining to me exactly what happened.


now, all of this may not seem so silly or funny to an outsider, but if you were there and experienced this moment with us, it was beyond hysterical. and what makes it a thousand times more memorable is that it is all captured on film [thank you jamie!].

there are many silly moments like this that happened throughout our wedding that we are so lucky to have them all captured by way of photographs. 

thank you, again, to everyone who made this day so wonderful, so special, and so memorable for us. we love you all!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

3 years later

to my sweet love,

three years have gone by. time flies when memories are being made and life is being lived. three years ago today we vowed to commit our lives to each other. to share our lives together. our marriage has been nothing short of that. words will never be able to express my love, passion, and commitment for you. you are my everything. you are my best friend and my favorite person.

i love our love.

i love the ridiculousness. i love the struggles. i love our deep conversations. i love our stupid jokes that no one else understands. i love our constant support of each others dreams and ambitions [even if they seem too lofty]. i love the zoo that lives with us. i love our constant need for travel. i love our hand holding and snuggles. i love all the "i love yous". i growing with you. i love every single bit of us.

i love our love.

[because, lets face it, me and you together is pretty damn awesome. ;) ]

our life, our journey and our adventure has been extraordinary. you make it all worth the while. i am so lucky to have you standing by my side each day as we conquer and cherish this life....together.

i love you so very much.

always and forever.


sealing the deal ;)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

DC WEEKEND: the rest of the story

we've made it - to the other half of our DC trip! the fun is only going to continue. so, let's go!
it is sunday funday morning. and we are just over the halfway point in our trip. it is easter and there is a bustle around the city of people in colorful dresses and well tailored suits. DC is known for brunching. and well, easter is the holiday for brunch. so eating breakfast at a brunch spot without a reservation was not an option. thus, we decided to start our morning together at le pain quotidien for breakfast. my aunt and uncle had eaten there the day before and enjoyed it, so we all went along for the adventure today. it was quite delicious. we ordered a breadbasket for the table to share, which came with countless jams and spreads. my favorites were apricot and the hazelnut spread. yummm. as we enjoyed our breakfast we planned out our morning together. we decided that we would head over to the tidal basin toward the thomas jefferson memorial. it was a beautiful walk right on the river. we took a few pictures of the remaining cherry blossoms. the memorial is also located along the river. it is quite a sight to see! 

after exploring the thomas jefferson memorial, my aunt, uncle, and cousin, decided that it was time for them to head home [very sad]. we hated to see them go, but were so glad we didn’t have to! after saying our sweet goodbyes, we headed over to the FDR memorial. this might have been one of my favorite spots. it is the absolute best tribute to FDR. It is a stone and water structure complete with iconic FDR quotes and statues. the entire memorial creates this appearance of unyielding strength, toughness, and unshakable firmness. 

*side note/rant: i was slightly disgruntled while we were at the FDR memorial. there were obviously a lot of tourists there, many of whom were of varying nationalities. but i was taken back by how many people were so disrespectful to the memorial. they jumped on statues as if they were meant for riding; they yelled and were loud instead of respectfully and quietly observing the memorial; and they interrupted/pushed in front of others who may have been looking at a particular statue or structure. it was as if they had no care for anyone at the memorial other than themselves. all the memorials in DC are just that, a place to honor and memorialize important figures or events in american history. so it saddened me to notice people who would walk through these memorials and not honor those who have done so much for this country. whether you are native to america [or not] or disagree with where this country is heading, our foundation has very profound roots that is worth celebrating, remembering, and honoring. and to do any of those things properly, we must offer respect. and if respect cannot be offered to these memorials, then perhaps they are not a place one should be.
*end side note/rant.

after our visit to the FDR memorial, we walked and walked and walked to the arlington national cemetery. i was really tired when we got there. i remember thinking “how the hell i am going to walk around this massive cemetery?” as soon as we entered the gates this lady walks up to us and informs us that she has two extra tram tickets that she did not use; and we were welcome to them. the tram is like a trolley that drives you around the cemetery, and stops at various locations within the cemetery. we kindly took her tickets and thanked her for saving our visit! being able to sit and enjoy the sights versus even attempting to walk the grounds, made the visit so much more enjoyable. the tram stopped at the JFK gravesite, the tomb of the unknown [where we got to see the changing of the guards], and the arlington house. the changing of the guards ceremony was very powerful and so intense. we are so glad we were able to watch it. i would recommend this to anyone to see at least once.

after the cemetery we needed some food [as always]. and after much debate, we headed back to capitol city brewing [CCB]. we just couldn’t resist the delicious food and beer. again, we sat and rested for a long while. relaxing, resting, and nourishment felt amazing. 
a spot i really wanted to check out was old ebbitt grill. it is the oldest saloon in DC. it dates back to 1856. we went there for a later dinner. it was very rustic and manly. there are green velvet coverings on the chairs, rich wood paneling throughout, and low lights. it reminded me of a cigar bar; a place where men would go to smoke cigars and sip on bourbon. the food was delicious! i had the easter dinner special [and why not?!], which was basically pasta and cheese with a few vegetables. it was so rich. keith had pork chops that were cooked just right. and, of course, we had dessert [creme brulee], which is my favorite!
after stuffing our faces full, we headed back to the hotel and called it a night. we were tired and very happy after yet another busy day in DC.

we awoke on monday, our final day in DC. we really only had one thing left that we wanted to do: the national zoo. why not check it out? it's free! so, we checked out of the hotel and grabbed a quick breakfast at pret again. then we were on our way. well, apparently up north "easter monday" is a thing. i am not really sure how easter can span the course of two days. but anyway, it's another excuse to have a holiday and day off work/school. so there were a lot of people at the zoo that day. we saw almost everything that we wanted to in the 2 hours that we had. my favorites: the bears, elephants, wolves, river otter, and BIG cats [lions and tigers]. it appeared that most animals lived with a "buddy", so they weren't alone, which to me, seems important. i couldn't imagine living in a cage alone with thousands of people looking and yelling at me all day. the BIG cats were the only ones whose living space didn't seem big enough for them. in my opinion, there was no real room for them to run around. i mean, i have two domesticated cats and they have times where they are definitely running around. even my caged beasts need room to run. those cats didn't seem like they had the space to do that. because i think about a lion in the sahara, i mean, he's going to have miles to run. these cats had [maybe?] 1/4 mile triangular shaped space. so, it kind of broke my heart a little bit. i want them to be safe, but free to be the BIG cats they are. to run, to be free. le sigh. 
so that got us discussing: how helpful/beneficial are zoos really? [just some food for thought.]

after our visit with every child and parent in the greater DC area, we headed back to the hotel to grab our bags, got a quick bite to eat, and then we were outta there.
just like that, our trip was over. 
it was such an awesomely busy trip it took us two days to fully rest and recover. it was worth every minute of exhaustion. we'd do it all over again.
in a heartbeat.

DC, you surprised us in many ways. we expected a great trip out of you, but we received an amazing and awe-inspiring one. we cannot wait to go back to visit more of the "tourist spots", but also to learn more about what the locals do, see, and eat.
DC, thank you again for a wonderful weekend with our wonderful family. we will see you soon!


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

DC WEEKEND: let's get started!

hey there and happy wednesday! i hope everyone is doing great. the weather where i am is not so much. it really hasn't been that great for much of the southeastern US for most of this week. so, i hope you all are safe and continue to stay safe through the rest of these nasty storms.
soooo... i wanted to get this post out to you guys much sooner. however, i have been having major issues with my picture formatting app [picasa]. and since i am a perfectionist, not just any picture collage or setup would do. but in this battle of picasa vs. kendra, picasa won. i have only one awesome picture setup for you guys [insert huge sad face]. so that brings me to a very important question: does anyone use a really awesome/user friendly app on their computer to edit and compile pictures? oh, it also has to be free. any help would be much appreciated!

ok...onto the blog!

the vacation. we were so very excited to be on vacation. and in DC. so let's get started!!

after our very minor drama [see previous blog], we arrived to our hotel with relative ease. the washington metro is an absolute breeze to use. we checked-in and met up with the fam and quickly head out for some nourishment. we all were starving. unfortunately, i think everyone else in DC had the same idea. "it's good friday...we have the day off...let's go out day drinking and eat a late lunch/early dinner." we walked into founding farmers and had to wait 45min. during our wait we looked into other places, but the story was the same. so, we stuck it out. and ohmigosh, it was worth it. the food was so, so delicious. it is a farm-to-table restaurant. so everything is locally grown, organic, and natural. my kind of place! i would definitely go back.
after linner [see what i did there], we headed down to the national's ballpark for some baseball. and on our way there we stopped at a local brewery, blue jacket. it was mobbed! but it was really delicious and they had so many beers to choose from. any beer drinker would be able to find something they like there. i wish i had taken more pictures there because it was a neat space - very open and industrial.
now with good food and good beer in our bellies, we were off to the ball game! i do not have much for comparison, but the nationals park was beautiful. it is also the only green ballpark in MLB. the concourses were very open with lots of extra places to sit, eat, and relax. there were plenty of places to view the game. behind center field was pretty much all open. of course, there were plenty of food and beverage choices. and even a few cherry blossom trees! and this is where our night ended. after a long day of travel, we all were very tired. so after the ball game we headed back to the hotel, made plans for the next day, and called it a night.

best picture on the blog.

nationals game.

saturday started off with a quick breakfast at pret a manger, an organic coffee/lunch shop that we fell in love with. and then we were off to the races! we walked, walked, WALKED all the way to the national mall where all the smithsonians are located. on our walk we passed by the white house, the washington monument and other huge buildings that we enjoyed taking pictures of. we decided to split up and go to the museums we each wanted to and then meet up for our lunch reservation at 1:30pm. keith and i chose the national natural science museum. we thought we were going to be able to make it to another museum with the time we had. HAHAHAHA. nice joke.
we could have spent all day there. instead we only spent two hours. it probably felt like all day only because it was packed with every damn tourist that was in DC that day. we were shuttled around the museum like cattle. not being able to move around a museum how you'd like really takes the fun out of it.

by the time we meet up with the crew we were definitely ready to rest for a bit and, of course eat. on our way to oyamel we walked through the structure garden. it was beautiful.

oyamel is a mexican cantina. it is served as small plates so they encourage you to get several plates to share. we order some to share and some to not. it was delicious! and the margaritas were too! all very fresh. a few of us [i won't name names] ate grasshoppers and corn smut as part of our lunch. and there were no complaints.
after enjoying our bugs and fungus, we were off to check out some monuments and memorials. we walked back toward the national mall and over near the tidal basin. we visited the washington monument, the WWII memorial, the lincoln monument and reflecting pool, and the vietnam memorial.
whew. that is a lot of history to soak in.

my "sun in my eyes" face also looks like my "i am really pissed off at you" face.

WWII memorial.

reflecting pool and washington monument.

lincoln memorial.

at this point it was time for either rest or nourishment. keith and i chose nourishment. we walked a very long way over to capital city brewing for some more local brew and some food. the food was excellent. although, at this point in our day, mcdonalds would have been a delicacy. the beer was pretty good, some better than others. the dry stout was one of the better stouts i've ever had. it is full of flavor, yet light. so it doesn't make you full after only one. it's like a session stout [who knew!]. we sat at this place for a very long time. it was nice to sit and relax. i think our legs would have let us spend the night here.
once we finished up at CCB, it was almost 8pm. it was time to rejoin our crew. they wanted to head out for a nightcap and a snack. by the time we met up with them and they found a place it was 9pm or so. we met at a restaurant in dupont circle called circa. it was very cute. and i drank the first pilsner i have ever liked [write that down]. keith and i, of course, ordered more food. 

it was somewhere between CCB and circa that we decided to add another day to our trip. we just didn't think we could see all that we wanted to see if we left on sunday. so after much debate [yes, we went back and forth, back and forth, back and forth], we decided - what the hell, we only live once. LET'S DO IT! so we added an extra night.

excitement ensued [yay! yay! yay!]

goodnight DC, we will see you in the morning!!

stay tuned to hear about the rest of our trip [we still have 2 days left!!!!].