Friday, September 18, 2015

tough questions: you should always ask

i am creeping up on my 35th year of life. 35. for some reason that is a big deal. it's halfway to 40 [yep, math whiz right here]. it could be overwhelming.

yet, most days i don't feel like an almost 35 years old. perhaps that is because i spend most of my time with preschoolers. my conversation centers around potty talk. and silliness. and making shit up. half of what these kids tell me are lies. and it's completely unbelievable. for example, a student told me she that is leaving to go to the mountains today for a whole week, but will be back at school on monday. so how does that work, exactly? another kid apparently has two dads, one of which has really black hair and lives in japan. the kid telling me this story is not asian nor has a drop of asian decent. it's like they make up stuff just to see if i'll believe them.

but anyway, back to being 35. almost. i am also at an age where i am often asked about our family planning. what is the plan, exactly? the plan is there is no plan. there, i said it. you don't have to ask anymore. but also, it is a fair question, i am of late childbearing age and i have no children. people are naturally curious as to why.

i stumbled across the scary mommy blog about crissy teigen's response to this question. a few things struck me in a negative way about this article. so much that i just couldn't let it go.

according to the article, asking this seemingly harmless question could be hurtful. i could see that, if a woman is struggling with fertility issues. however, most of us are not. i don't have a child because i have chosen not to. just like many women. and since it is a choice, it doesn't hurt me that you are asking. nor do i think you are implying that you think i should be having children. most people are just genuinely curious.

the article also suggests that asking this inquisitive question is being nosy. my guess is that most of the time, this question does not fall out of the sky. it typically follows a natural progression in talking through family life, marriage, child bearing, etc. therefore, if you were having a conversation with another person in which you are comfortable with that could potentially lead up to discussing your family plan, my guess is that you typically would not find this question to be nosy.
and let's, for the sake of argument, say this question does catch you off guard from an acquaintance or stranger. you are not obligated to answer or discuss the issue if it is so deeply personal to you. you can always kindly decline to discuss your family plan and change the subject matter. plus, people can be "nosy" and blunt all the time. settle down just a bit. it is ok. it happens. just move on.

lastly, the article is titled chrissy tiegen nails why you should never ask a woman why she doesn't have kids. any time i see an article labeled like this, it rubs me the wrong way. yet, i almost always click on the damn article. thanks for drawing me in with the hook to some shit that i know is going to piss me off. this type of wording is bossy and rude. who is this writer to tell me what to do? most of the time these articles never discuss actually using social graces when approaching an issue that might be sensitive. instead the article attempts to bully you into just avoiding the topic completely. and almost always i never agree with the article. like this one. i completely fit into the title of this article and disagreed with ever reason they gave as to why you shouldn't ask this question. ask away. i don't care. but then again, i am really laid back and a fairly open book. so, perhaps i am not the audience they were writing to....

what bothers me the most about these type of articles never say this to blah blah blah... is that the topic of conversation is typically sensitive in nature.
top ten things you should never say to someone with anxiety
the one thing you should never say to a pregnant woman
12 things you should never say to say to nurses
7 things you should not say in front of your kids
8 things to avoid saying to someone who just got out of the hospital
[i could go on all day with this. would you want to follow the "advice" in any of these lists? doubtful.]
instead of avoiding a topic that may be difficult to discuss, i think it is important to have the conversations. i think it is important to share what you are going through and what your life looks like. you never know who may have a similar journey or a similar struggle. sometimes all we need to do is share our story and it could help others who are struggling for answers.
chrissy implies that she hates it when people ask about why she doesn't have children. i get that. however, does she realize the impact she probably had on so many other women by sharing just the tiniest bit of her fertility struggles? other women realize,"hey, i am not alone."

at the end of the day, i do not think less talking and less discussion is the answer. i think we should keep talking to each other and sharing our stories and our lives. but while we do that we need to be mindful and having social graces. we need to show grace and courtesy and treat each other with respect and compassion.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

women, we are not for sale.

so, planned parenthood.

by now i am sure you have seen, or at least heard about the undercover video where a top-level planned parenthood exec talks about "selling aborted fetus organs." i have read several articles about this because at first, i thought it was too disgusting to be true. but as the more i read, i realized, the people doing the undercover work are almost just as bad. so, the center for medical progress sent in two individuals posing as employees from a biotech firm. the story is a twisted in every way. it makes planned parenthood look really fucking bad. however, the story comes from the center of medical progress' point of view. after all, they edited three hours of footage down to nine minutes. there is a lot you can do with three hours of footage to change things around. i am not saying planned parenthood is in the clear. i just don't really know what the truth is. but most of this isn't the entire point...

no matter if planned parenthood has done anything truly horrific and illegal, what I can't seem to get out of my head, is how detrimental this is going to be for women's rights.

people will forget that the antiabortion group that released the video, holds all editing rights. they allowed us to initially see what they wanted.
they will forget about the organizations that do the right thing and take care of women in their darkest and hardest hours.
they will forget about women who need assistance with difficult decisions because of truly difficult circumstances.

women have rights and deserve those rights. our bodies and babies are not for sale. we should not be treated like whores that go to the highest bidder.

our livelihood should not be determined by a rich, old white man who holds office.
he has no fucking clue what a woman goes through. he has no idea what decisions we face when it comes to child bearing [or not]. when it comes to making that painful decision to abort a child. does he get that? killing the life inside you. does he understand how fucking life changing that is?
does he know why we might have to make those choices? illness. RAPE. drug abuse. age.
absolutely not. he could never understand. EVER.

conversely, our rights should not be determined based on someones' religious preferences [sounds familiar, doesn't it?]. because guess what? not everyone subscribes to the same faith. and that is one great thing about this nation, we all don't have to believe in the same god. oh, i am getting off on a tangent. but it's important. because religion seems to negatively impact all civil rights in this country.

our bodies, choices, and pregnancies are deeply personal. each woman deserves the right to proper medical care during each stage of her life and anything that might entail. our access to birth control and abortions should not be denied. each women requires different care for different reasons. the only reasons medical practices should change is safety and medical advances.

it has been challenging for me to get this written down as i feel like i am seeing red because i am so angry. i am truly afraid of the backlash this video is going to cause.

women, we are not for sale. our bodies must be protected.


Friday, June 26, 2015

the queen city

hello bloggy world! HAPPY FRIDAY! it is wonderful to be here writing to you!!

i am going to be real with you all for a moment [i mean, i typically am...but you know what i mean...] i have been in a HUGE writing funk lately. all of my writing outlets are suffering and i am at a loss of how to get past it. i want to write and share. i even spoke to this on my other blog [blackOUT]. it's tough to get going when you don't know where to go. it's tough to get the words out when you feel there are none. BUT! i am going to try. i must. i love to write and share. i think for some reason i feel stifled. there is no true place that feeling comes from. no person, except for myself, has made me feel like i cannot share with the world. so. here we go. new adventures and stories for you.


two weeks ago keith and i headed to charlotte, the queen city. he had a continuing education course, so we figured we'd make a long trip out of it. we ended up staying for six days. charlotte is a massive city with so much to offer. however, the oppressive heat severely limited our activity. it was almost like it rained for six days straight because we had to spend most of our time indoors. if you know us at all, that is not how we like to spend a vacation [or our time in general]. however, we made the best of it. because charlotte is a large city with numerous suburbs, we did some exploring in and around the downtown area. here are some of the highlights [in no particular order].

breweries: of course this was top on our list of things to do. whenever we travel we scope out beer + food. i mean, what else is there?
charlotte doesn't have as many breweries as other NC cities [raleigh + asheville], but we tried all of them. here are our favorites.
  • ass clown [it's actually in cornelius]: they do all kinds of funky stuff with their beer, but they are good at it. salted chocolate stout? please and thank you. 
  • triple c: we went there twice. and i had their 3C IPA three times over the course of our trip. this is definitely a brewery i wish distributed locally. 

  • sugar creek: they make mostly belgian style beers, which typically isn't our style, but they do a phenomenal job. we brought home their first bottled beer, biere de garde. again, this style is definitely not one i drink, but i'd have this again. and again. and again. 

  • noda: this was better than i was expecting. i am not sure what i was expecting, but they had a variety of styles. i'd go back. 
  • sycamore: this is a very new brewery, but so excellent! we also went here twice. we tried two different IPAs + saisons. all were outstanding. they are not distributing yet, but hopefully soon. 

  • honorable mention: olde mecklenburg: so this brewery is german style beer + food. the beer was ok [at best], but we really do not care for german style beers. however, we could tell it was made well [if that makes sense]. despite the mediocre beer, the food was amazing! we had german brats, sauerkraut, and potato salad. plus, the atmosphere was completely kick ass. they had a large open dining room with long cafeteria style tables. so you could just sit anywhere and make new friends. and they had a wonderful outdoor patio/lawn area with tons and tons of tables, plus an outdoor bar + food truck. the space was really amazing. i do recommend going here in the fall when they will have more seasonal beer on tap. 
sorry for the fuzziness.
he's really excited.....

the other stuff:

  • reed gold mine: we checked out the first gold mine in the US. who knew it was here in NC? i didn't. it was also nice to go underground when it was 100 degrees outside. we toured the museum, mine and the grounds. we also panned for gold! it was fun to do and brought back childhood memories of gem mining. and keith even found the tiniest gold flake. we're rich, bitch!


  •  UNCC's botanical garden: this was also a beautiful treat. despite the heat, what a gorgeous garden! there were sprinklers going while we walked, so that was a pleasant and welcome surprise. it helped keep us cool. even with the shade and mist of water, once we were done, so was i. the humidity is brutal.
log cabin in the gardens. interesting, huh?

  • al mike's: this is a locals restaurant located in downtown charlotte's historic 4th ward. we went there for lunch one day. we didn't order anything extraordinary, but it was just that. it was everything a "hidden gem" and "local spot" should be. quaint. homey. comfortable. welcoming. and delicious. 

  • valhalla: restaurant and pub located in the heart of downtown near the baseball park. it was a great local spot to eat, drink, and relax. they specialize in local brew and good food.
  • IKEA: OHMIGOSH. that is all. i wanted to buy all the things. 
we had a great little getaway visit a city that we rarely visit. next time, we'll just come in the dead of winter.

until next time, charlotte....


Friday, June 19, 2015


it truly is embarrassing to have to write about something like this again.

another city. another act of racism. another massacre. another act of domestic terrorism.

terrorism, simply defined is an act of violence intended to created fear for an economic, religious, political, or ideological goal. these acts deliberately disregard safety of non-combatants/civilians.

i cannot even wrap my head around what is happening in this country. i am struggling to get my thoughts down.

i have written far too many posts about love, acceptance, and difference. it makes me sick to do this again. but i feel that i must. the silence cannot win. racism cannot continue to win. we are terrorizing our own country by teaching hate and intolerance. and then when this shit happens, continuing to brush it aside and make no meaningful change.

if this were happening [which it does] in other countries, or were a real threat in other countries [which it is], we'd be all in [which we are]. why don't we value our own country more than others? why don't we take care of our own turf?
why don't we stop the hate? stop it on our own soil?

our country is one of the most unique countries in the world. everyone comes here to live. there are countless races, nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. if any country should be accepting of differences, we should? AM I RIGHT?

our county is based on the foundation of immigration. if you wanted to be a part of it, you had to move here [except for the native americans, of course]. almost every nationality in this country comes from a different place. i just cannot understand how we can be a nation that continues to teach intolerance of others and division amongst races.

the old excuses of family roots or southern heritage or it dates back 200 years have got to go.

the past is done. it's over. it order for us to move on we must let it go. the past happened. it has shaped us, but it continues to hold us back. instead of learning from it, we simply just keep repeating it.

our churches. work. schools. homes. grocery stores. parks. should be safe. they must be safe. we are not at war. i have said this before. we are not at war. our home is not a battleground. so let's stop treating it like one and work together as a nation.

it is the only way this will get better.

and we must do better.

because we are better. we, as a country, are better than this.

my thoughts, prayers, everything are with charleston tonight.


Friday, May 15, 2015


this journey started, not four years ago today, but rather almost ten years ago. it started as simply having a shared office space with summer colleagues. these colleagues blossomed into friends. one friend in particular was always a bit special. he always made my heart flutter and my stomach dance. even when i wasn't always in tune to it. i tend to wear my emotions on my face, and whether i liked it or not, it was very apparent to him how i felt.

the summer came and went with nothing more than butterflies and weak knees. several months went by that lead to many random interactions with this sweet soul. it wasn't until december that we actually were able to spend time together.

our journey together began at a hockey game. this memory can only be described as one of the sweetest memories i'll ever have. i was so consumed by this person, that i was seemingly unaware of the things around me. i took in everything about him. his beautiful hair. his gorgeous smile. how tall and muscular he was. his warmth. he made me laugh and i felt comfortable around him instantly.

for it was this night i knew.

i knew i had met the man that i was going to marry.

four years ago today, i married that man. our special day was so thoughtful, intimate, relaxed, simple, and so much freaking fun! there is not much [if anything] i would change about our wedding day. i loved doing the "first look" before the ceremony to spend a quiet few moments with my life-long sweetie. i loved the ceremony on the beach [including the dog!]. i loved the "secret" moments with our bridal party. i loved the all night dancing and photobooth. and i especially loved ending the night by jumping in the pool!!!

i really could go on all day about why this day was so awesome. keith and i committed our lives to each other in front of the people we love most in the world and then celebrated that with a kick-ass party. what's not to love about that? our wedding day [and week] will always be so special and memorable to us. simply reminiscing about it makes me smile.

it makes my heart flutter. it makes my stomach dance.

all those feelings that started ten years ago, they are still a part of the magic today. those feelings of love, happiness, joy and excitement are why our special day is so magical. they are why our journey together is so damn awesome.

and now, some wedding pictures. there are a bunch of kissing pictures. [sorry. not sorry.]

doesn't this dog look a bit like our newest family member? so wild.

happy anniversary, keith. i love you more than you'll ever know. thank you for sharing this life with me. i love who we are individually, but i love who are together even more. i love every bit of wild and crazy adventure. i wouldn't have any other way.

all my love,

and today is just a little bit more magical than a regular old, smelly anniversary. it is 5.15.15. and if you remember, we got married at 5:15pm. so, today, our day is just little extra special because it is all 5's and 15's. so, let's toast to 5.15.15 at 5:15pm. because this will never happen again in our lifetime. pretty amazing stuff, huh?


Wednesday, April 29, 2015



i almost don't want to write about baltimore. i almost want to wait until emotions, fires, and violence simmer down before i share mine. why stir the pot?

but after reading articles about the pure madness that has encapuslated that city, i want to make my voice heard too.
my goal is not create more anger. if i do, then i have not served my purpose. i have not met my end goal.

the riots in baltimore begin on the day of the funeral for freddie gray. prior to freddie's funeral there were protests surrounding the cause of his arrest and death. 
there have been numerous men shot and killed by police. there have been numerous criminals killed because they were running from police officers. there have also been numerous police officers who have used excessive force on criminals.

the public issue comes down to discrimination and racial injustice. i get that and understand it. what i do not understand how rioting in YOUR OWN COMMUNITY is a productive means to an end.
many of the rioters are upset. mad. angry. they want change. they want their voices to be heard. they want to be treated fairly.


we all deserve, no matter how different we are from each other, basic civil rights. by definition a civil right is an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with by another gives rise to an action for injury. examples of civil rights are freedom of speech, press, and assembly; the right to vote; freedom from involuntary servitude; and the right to equality in public places [cite: cornell law school].

however, we all face discrimination or injustice, whether it be racial, social, gender, and/or sexual. it is a way of life. many say it shouldn't be, but it always has been and probably always will be. we are not all created equal. we just aren't. we are not meant to be. it wouldn't make sense if all people were exactly the same and came from the same places. the same hair, build, height, brilliance, had the same health status, eye color, and the same family.

[survival of the fittest]

how can we navigate this social world with all of our vast social, race, sexual....differences? we must teach our children [and each other] compassion, kindness, acceptance and tolerance. we are meant to look different, talk different, and come from different cultures.

if we continue to breed hate and fight against our natural differences, we will never be able to come together to give everyone equal and basic civil rights. 

burning down your own community out of anger, frustration, or perceived injustice is no way to solve the problem. stealing from your neighbor isn't going to resolve the issue. injuring those whose job it is to protect and serve your community isn't going to keep you safe. i know that i will never fully understand the "mob mentality" and what makes individuals decide riots are the answer. i just can't wrap my head around what the end goal is to a riot, street violence, and structure fires.


what do you hope to achieve? someone has to come out on top.

in every case of riots, it is not the rioters.

so again....WHY?

if it is nothing else other than to be heard, WHY?

the violence in ferguson and baltimore disgust me. i am hurt, saddened, and angered by it. i have so many things that i wish my voice was heard about. do i burn my house [or worse, someone else's house] down because of it? NO. do i throw bricks at the people who are there to protect me? HELL NO. [in most cases, you go to jail if you do those things.]

in order to have your voice heard and to have meaningful change, it has to be just that. your voice and actions must be meaningful. if you throw a fit, act a fool, or throw a tantrum, no one takes your requests seriously. and a riot is basically all of those things, rolled into one and multiplied by insanity.

it's ridiculous.

i know i come from a different view point than the rioters and the subculture they live in. but i cannot sympathize with any group of people who condone violence as a way to get their message out to the world.

this song has been in my head all day. it is about the LA riots in 1992. today is the 23rd anniversary. not much has changed. from any side of the story.

(I don't know if you can, but can you get an order for Ons, that's O-N-S,
Junior Market, the address is 1934 East Anaheim, all the windows are
busted out, and it's like a free for all here,
and uh, the owner should maybe come down here and see if he can secure his business,
if he wants to)

April 26th, 1992
There was a riot on streets
Tell me where were you?
You were sittin' home watchin' your TV
While I was participating in some anarchy
First spot we hit it was my liquor store
I finally got all that alcohol I can't afford
With red lights flashin', time to retire
And then we turned that liquor store into a structure fire
Next stop we hit, it was the music shop,
It only took one brick to make the window drop
Finally we got our own P.A.
Where do you think I got this guitar that you're hearing today?

("Call fire and tell them respond local station out to meet us at Anaheim. It's uh, flaming up good." "10-4 Alamidos at Anaheim")

When we returned to the pad to unload everything
It dawned on me that I need new home furnishings
So once again we filled the van until it was full
Since that day my livin' room's been much more comfortable
'Cause everybody in the hood has had it up to here
It's getting harder, and harder, and harder each and every year
Some kids went in a store with their mother
I saw her when she came out she was gettin' some Pampers
They said it was for the black man
They said it was for the Mexican
And not for the white man
But if you look at the streets, it wasn't about Rodney King
In this fucked-up situation and these fucked-up police
It's about comin' up and stayin' on top
And screamin' 1-8-7 on a mother fuckin' cop
It's not in the paper, it's on the wall
National guard
Smoke from all around

(Units, units be advised of an attempted 211 to arrest now at 938 Temple, 9-3-8 Temple,
thirty subjects with bats trying to get inside the CP's house...he thinks out there trying to kill him)

'Cause as long as I'm alive, I'ma live illegal

Let it burn
Wanna let it burn, wanna let it burn
Wanna wanna let it burn
(I feel insanity)
Riots on the streets of Miami
Whoa, riots on the streets of Chicago
On the streets of Long Beach
In San Francisco
Riots on the streets of Kansas City
Tuskaloosa, Alabama
Cleveland, Ohio
Fountain Valley, Paramount, Victorville
Eugene, Oregon
Eureka, California
Santa Barbara
Winnemucca, Nevada
Phoenix, Arizona
San Diego
Lakeland, Florida
fuckin' 29 Palms

(Any unit to assist Frank-74, Willow at Caspian... structure fire and numerous subjects looting)
(10-15 to get rid of this looter)

-sublime, april 29, 1992

in my heart i know there is more we can do as a country, as states, as cities and towns, and as communities. if we want to move on from our past, we have to be willing to work together to move forward - together. we can't do this alone or individually. we must do it together. it is the only way we will be successful.

we must start with love.

it always starts with love.



Sunday, March 15, 2015

what's meant to be, is meant to be.

i read something awhile ago that resonated with me. the article spoke about how human nature is to look for patterns in things. we tend to relate things to other things that really don't have anything to do with each other. or we try to find meaning in things that have no meaning at all. i think this struck a cord with me because i read this after shortly after layla passed away. and, as most of you know, also shortly after layla died, we adopted denali. as hard as we tried not to, we related a lot of things denali does to her.

her sweetness. her desire to be loved. her lean. her sass. her need for snuggles. her dominating personality. her gimpy leg.

the signs all pointed to "she was meant to be." and i don't doubt it for a minute, but we attributed it to her similarities to layla, not her own "denaliness". but we try our hardest not to. because she is denali. not layla. we also know we chose her for other reasons.

to save her. to complete our home. companionship. love.

as much as she is different from layla, because she is an independent and stubborn lady, she will forever remind us of her. her adoption date will always be near layla's passing date. her leg issues will always be a reminder of layla's end of life struggles. her sweetness, love, and zest will always remind us of our peppy and happy girl.

and as much as we try not to make up patterns and try not to relate her to layla. i find that it is ok that we do. denali helped this grieving house. she did not replace layla, no other dog ever could, but she did help complete our family again. she brought life back into our home. she brings energy, craziness, and excitement.

as much as i try to separate denali from layla, it's tough. just today i was setting up her microchip information that that i finally received. the rescue organization had input some information to her online profile. so, when i logged on it had her name, birth date, etc. it was exciting to see her birth date on there because we have always been kind of unsure of the exactly date.

do you know who she shares a birthday with?


if this isn't a fucking sign, i don't know what is. she was definitely meant for us.