Culture, Current Events, Daily Life, Rants, Society

Mad About It Mondays: Bullies

Mad About It Mondays

Welcome to “Mad About It Mondays”! Instead of a long post on how much I hate bullies (don’t we all?!) I thought I would share a Ted Talk that I watched today. It’s incredible and worth sharing…Next week I promise you an “actual” MAM post. In the meantime…enjoy:

Ted Talk Stop A Bully

I guess you have to actually click on the link…I promise, it’s worth it!

 

Culture, Current Events, Mad About It Mondays

Mad About It Monday: Marco Rubio & Water

Mad About It Mondays

Since we’ve been out of town I’ve had a lot of opportunity to listen to my satelite radio and so I’ve heard most of the coverage detailing Marco Rubio’s response to President Obama’s State of the Union address. I have to say that I, too, am appalled by the sip.

CNN provided hours of coverage for what they’ve called “the sip seen around the World” and I couldn’t be more proud of them for the hours that they’ve spent covering the late breaking news. Situations like this need to be discussed. Let’s not waste time focusing on what he said because it really doesn’t matter…

CNN brought up an interesting point in that this sip could cost Rubio the 2016 election and I couldn’t agree more. If he can’t handle a dry mouth during a speech, can he really handle North Korea?!

The sip of water is a clear sign of arrogance. Why should the American people have to wait two seconds for him to rehydrate?! He obviously doesn’t value your time.

No Water

Perhaps this was yet another failed attempt by the Republican party to connect with American voters by pretending that they’re just like us

For Republicans who consider voting for candidates based on their politics and the changes that they can bring to this country, I urge you to reconsider.

Kudos to Wolf Blizter, Anderson Cooper, and their friends over at CNN for covering stories that nobody else gives a crap about. I probably would have voted for Rubio in 2016 but, once I heard about the sip of water, I said H2…uh oh.

I feel that CNN missed out on some important potential headlines and so I’d like to share some of them with you:

Could A Sip of Water Drown His Chances in 2016?!

Why Water? We’ll Have the Anwers America is Thirsting for Coming Up…

Did the Blunder Dampen His Political Career?

The Republican Response Dripping with Disrespect.

Outrage Pouring Out Over a Sip of Water.

A Sip of Water Overflowing With Arrogance.

*Please note the sarcasm in this post. Do I really think that CNN should have spent hours covering this story?! Absolutely not. My Mad About It Monday is this: These attempts to distract are ridiculous. Instead of focusing so much of your time on a sip of water (which other politicians have done) why not spend that time discussing what was actually said?! I mean, really…come on.

Culture, Current Events, Daily Life, Mad About It Mondays, Rants, Society

Mad About It Mondays: On Homosexuality

Mad About It Mondays

Welcome to Mad About It Mondays. In last week’s post (which you can find here), I said that I wanted to start linking up with other bloggers for this series. You can find the link up information at the bottom of this post. All I ask is that you include a link to my blog on your page so that others can join in as well. In the meantime, this week’s post might be one of the most important topics I’ve covered on my blog and so if you’re reading this I ask that you please read this post in its entirety. I know this is controversial but I also know how incredibly important it is, so if you don’t have the time to read it all right now, save the link and come back later. That said, this week’s MAM is on homosexuality.

Late last week I ran across two posts, from two different people, on Facebook that discussed the topic of homosexuality. I’m sure you can well imagine what was said because it’s the same thing we’ve all heard time and time again. What bothers me about these two posts is that they both took the same stance of “because I am a Christian I think homosexuality is {fill in the blank: wrong/gross/sinful/etc}. One even went so far as to have a picture with the caption: “Because tolerance is for those with no conviction.” Whoa, whoa, whoa….hold the phone.

Being a Christian = / = being against homosexuality.

Being a Christian = / = intolerance.

I am tired of it and so I want to give anyone who thinks they can use their religion to bash or put people who are different from them down a little piece of my mind. Knock it off. It isn’t funny; It isn’t loving; and it certainly isn’t okay.

When you look at the Bible from its historical context, rather than viewing it as a living word, it stands to reason that the writers were heavily influenced by the societies in which they lived. These societies, like Ancient Egypt and early Rome, were constantly dealing with threats of a declining population.

The book of Leviticus, which has several verses discussing homosexuality, was written during (or directly after, depending on who you ask) the Babylonian captivity when the Jewish people were forced into exile. Paul, the only author in the New Testament to briefly touch same-sex relationships, wrote many of his words for the Christians in Rome. During his time, the Roman Empire was persecuting early Christian churches. Both of these times were instances where strong population growth was in the best interest of the target audiences of these scriptures. For that reason, it makes sense why certain practices (that could hamper population growth) were condemned.

All monotheistic religions, at one point or another, banned the consumption of pork. Unsanitary living conditions for livestock and the spread of food-bourne illnesses were a huge threat to societies. It wasn’t until after the laws of the New Testament that Christianity condoned the practice of eating meat from a pig. With the New Testament (read: death and resurrection of Christ) came a new set of laws. Those of the Old Testament, less the 10 Commandments, no longer applied.

Religions are great at answering life’s biggest questions: Who are we? Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? But all too often people use religion to push their own agendas (like the IRA in Ireland, Wahhabi Islam, and even the KKK). The words that really matter, the words of Jesus Christ, in the Bible never mention homosexuality at all. The rest are just allegories (because we know that Jonah wasn’t actually swallowed by a whale) and lessons to help sustain a population.

So what did Jesus say?

To love one another.

To respect one another.

Look inside yourself…Why are you intolerant? You don’t get to use religion as an excuse anymore. You don’t get to hide behind your faith to justify why you don’t believe same-sex couples deserve the same rights as heterosexual ones. So what is it?!

Fear? Hatred? A lack of understanding? Apathy?

When people have the same rights that you do, it doesn’t make your rights any less valuable. It doesn’t mean that your relationships don’t matter. Doesn’t everyone deserve to be treated equally?

Love is love and that’s all that matters.

I have always held the belief (and have been saying so since I was much younger) that I firmly believe the world can be a better, more peaceful, more loving place if we all take the time to sit down and listen to one another. The world can be a more beautiful place if we try to understand one another. Put the intolerance away and open your heart to others…you never know what you might discover about the world, about yourself, and about your faith.



Want to add the link up collection to your blog?! Find the code here.

Culture, Current Events, Mad About It Mondays, Rants, Society

Mad About It Mondays: Celeb Edition

Mad About It Mondays

In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard yet: Kanye and Kim are going to have a baby. Baby Kimye is expected to make his or her arrival sometime in early June.

I will be the first to tell you that I’m pretty boring. I don’t have a television in my living room, I don’t subscribe to cable, I don’t get any of the “on trend” gossip/fashion/celebrity magazines, and I don’t really know who most of the up and coming, new musicians are. I’m not on the up and up and, quite frankly, I don’t really care. I think that’s why I find all this “breaking news” about the pregnancy of Kim Kardashian to be so incredibly annoying.

As a society, we’re so overloaded with the people the media tells us are supposed to be ‘role models’ for our children that we lose sight of the people who actually matter (no offense, Kim). Why on Earth is this considered breaking news? There’s a reason why I don’t have cable or magazines…it’s because I try to avoid it. That is seemingly impossible anymore because it’s everywhere. It’s on my Yahoo! page before I check my email, it’s all over Facebook, it’s on my “news” app on my phone. It’s constantly in your face.

Who would I like C to look up to when she gets older? Strong females who do what they can to positively impact the world around them. I want her to look up to men and women who use their brains, skills, and abilities to make a difference. I want her to look up to the real role models, like teachers, firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, farmers, and anyone else who does what they can with what they have to make this world a better place. I’d like C to focus on issues that matter like what’s going on in our community, in our state, in our country, and in the world.

I’m not saying that I won’t ever support her when she looks up to someone famous, I just don’t think their personal lives should be such ‘breaking news’. I can’t imagine how frustrating that must be for them…being constantly bombarded by photographers looking to get a shot of the latest non-existent ‘bump’ (she’s not very far along).

I’ll end this short rant with this…because I think that Kayne West is one of the more obnoxious celebs out there. I imagine that when Jessica Simpson delivers her baby in the hospital, Kayne West is going to show up just as baby is crowing and say, “Yo, Jess, I’m gonna let you finish but Kim had one of the best bumps of all time….she had one of the best bumps of all time.” Mark my words (okay, don’t mark my words) it’s going to happen.

PS: I saw this tonight at the grocery store:

It's Called Having A Baby

On the left you see a picture of a very pregnant Kourtney Kardashian (I swear, I’m not trying to pick on these sisters tonight!) and on the right you see her post-baby with the caption “44 LBS in 6 MONTHS! Kourtney shares her diet secrets”. Really?! REALLY?! SERIOUSLY?! If you’re going to compare a before and after weight loss shot, please for the love of all that is holy do not have the “before” picture of someone who is pregnant.

Step One: Get pregnant.

Step Two: Deliver baby.

BOOM. That’s all, folks.

Culture, Current Events, Daily Life, Mad About It Mondays, Society

Why I Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

New Years 2013

If you’re a regular reader, you’re probably wondering where the Mad About It Monday series has been the last two weeks…in honor of the holidays, I wanted to take a pause from the sarcastic complaining and focus on other things. Have no fear, the series returns on Monday January 4th.

Today is the final day of 2012. In looking at my Facebook feed, there seems to be a lot of mixed feelings about the end of this year. Some are grateful for the things that have happened in their lives this year while others are ready for 2012 to be in the rearview mirror, never to be seen again. Personally, this has been a pretty good year for our family. We celebrated C’s first birthday in February and got to experience the many marvelous aspects of her journey from infanthood to toddlerhood. Parenting this year was, by and far, my greatest joy. As we embark on 2013, I look forward to making many more memories with her.

I wanted to take a brief moment today to talk about resolutions. Every year, I witness friends and family waiting until the New Year to make changes that impact their day-to-day lives. The resolve to make those changes is always stronger around the first day of the new calendar and, more often than not, that resolve weakens as the weeks and months pass. Gyms become less full by March and all of those wonderful goals vanish until the end of the next year, when that resolve comes back again.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we wait until a new year, the beginning of a new era (so to speak) to start what really should be started today? Why do we say that we resolve to spend more time with our loved ones, or visit the gym more often, or quit drinking, smoking, or anything else in our lives that needs improvement?

I stopped making resolutions at New Year’s because I think it’s important to evaluate where you are in life and what you should be doing throughout the year…not just when it ends. The fact of the matter is that we’re all on a clock and not one of us knows when our clock runs out so what are we doing wasting our time putting off the things that could be said or done until the New Year?

I think it’s great to make goals, I really do…and I have some goals that I would like to complete in 2013 but I wouldn’t go so far as to call them “resolutions”.

All that said, I wish you all the very, very best in the coming year. I can’t wait to share my life, my story with you.

2013

Happy New Year,

It’s An Ordinary Blog

Culture, Current Events, Society

It’s The End of The World As We Know It

2012

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’re likely very aware of what today is: December 21st, 2012. It’s the day that 2012 believers and survivalists will be disappointed in because the world will keep turning and life will continue tomorrow (and even if it doesn’t they won’t know I wrote this because we won’t be- win for me, right?!).

There have been Blockbuster hits, books, movies, websites, and groups all dedicated to this day because so very many people believed (or mocked the belief of) that something significant would happen. And even though nothing did (or likely will) there is a valuable lesson to be learned here: never take life for granted. Never wait until tomorrow to do or say what could be done or said today. These tragic events lately that we’ve seen, heard about, or read about all teach us the value of our life here on Earth. Our vulnerability teaches us the fragile nature of human existence.

What would you have done differently this morning if you knew the predictions were right? What would you have said? Would you be more patient with your children? Would you tell someone you’re sorry? Would you say “I love you”? Give a tighter, longer hug? We can’t predict the future and not one of us knows, with 100% certainty, what’s ahead, so take a little time today to show someone you care, to really enjoy the moment, and to really breathe. You might even find that your day is a little more enjoyable if you do.

Culture, Current Events, Daily Life, Reviews

Birthday Goodies (You Don’t Want to Miss This Post)!

I’m celebrating my birthday this week (yay!) and so I wanted to share a little gift with you. Businesses want your money but they also appreciate their loyal customers and want to help make our special days a little more exciting. I wanted to spend some time today talking about some of the birthday rewards you can sign up for from your (okay, my) favorite companies. If you find something that interests you, just click on their company name and the link and should take you directly to their sign up page (you’re welcome). These are in no particular order, I don’t play favorites when it comes to freebies. *Please excuse the quality of my photos, many of them were taken with my camera phone.

Bristol Seafood Grill

I absolutely love eating at Bristol and it’s become somewhat of an annual tradition for my grandmother and I to enjoy a birthday lunch together there every December. They are so generous with their birthday gifts to customers. Each year, they send a complimentary meal (valued up to $25) in the mail to use at any point during your birth month. In addition, they bring you a birthday dessert while you’re there. There are absolutely no strings attached, and their food is delicious. Here’s what I enjoyed:

Bristol Seafood GrillAlaskan salmon with a side of asparagus and a side of their lobster mac n’ cheese (which is a must have when you go to Bristol).

Bristol Seafood DessertChocolate lava cake with hazelnut ice cream and raspberries.

Vera Bradley

I will always remember the first time I was introduced to Vera Bradley. It was love at first sight and so every once in a while I like to order something cute for myself. I had no idea when I signed up for an account (I was placing an order at the time) that I would receive a $20 card in the mail every year on my birthday. We’re lucky in that we have a store within driving distance from where I live and so I always look forward to going and looking around. Here’s what I got this year:

Vera Bradley Lunch Bag

Dunkin Donuts

Until recently, the closest D&D to us was about 45 minutes away (which also happened to be right by my office, of course). A few months ago, that changed and they opened up about a mile and a half away. I’d like to think it was all those morning coffees I was getting on my way into work but I guess we’ll never really know, will we?! 😉 One of the benefits to being a “perks” member (which really just means you’re signed up to receive emails from them) is that you get a free medium-sized beverage just for signing up and then another one on your birthday. I would post a picture, but I haven’t used mine yet. They sent me an email the week before my birthday saying they sent out a coupon for my complimentary beverage. You better believe I’ll use that just as soon as I get my hands on it.

Helzberg Diamonds

This one is a little bit different. I’m not sure if you have to BUY something to be enrolled in their program or if creating an account is enough (their site indicates that you get a free gift just for ‘joining’) but I love Helzberg. Every year for Valentines Day, our anniversary, and my birthday they send me a card for a free pair of pearl earings. They’re never the same two pair, either, which is nice. Here are the ones I got for my birthday this year:

Helzberg Diamonds

Baskin Robbins

Who doesn’t love ice cream?! Baskin Robbins has a “birthday club” which is free to sign up for. Members receive a complimentary scoop of ice cream during their birthday month. I’m planning to use mine this weekend.

Starbucks

Starbucks has a rewards program that’s pretty nice if you are a regular. For every 12 drinks you purchase, you get one free. You also get a complimentary beverage of your choice (no restrictions on size) during your birthday month. The only stipulation is that you have to maintain your Gold membership level in order to receive it.

IHop

I love breakfast. Free breakfast is even better. Thanks to IHop’s “Pancake Revolution” club, I got a complimentary meal this year as a birthday gift from them. It expires on the 24th so I’m planning to use it over the weekend.

Cold Stone Creamery

I will admit that I don’t usually use my Cold Stone birthday reward because I can never drag the husband out to get ice cream there. They send out (which I think is nice) a buy one get one free coupon for birthdays.

Red Robin

I’m not afraid to admit that I really love Red Robin. It’s a family friendly place that the husband and I can feel comfortable bringing C to and on Monday evenings in our area kids eat free. I joined their paperless rewards program (they look it up by my phone number) and am really surprised at how generous they are. Not only do you get a free meal every year during your birth month but they also give you free stuff (the last two times I’ve gone in I’ve gotten a free shake). It’s worth registering for, even if you don’t eat there very often.

Red Robin Birthday Dinner

I always get the Whiskey River BBQ burger…every time, without fail.

There are so many other places that offer free rewards and birthday incentives that I did not include.

Feel free to leave a comment with any other programs you might be signed up for.

Culture, Current Events, Mad About It Mondays, Rants, Society

Mad About It Mondays: Hate Groups (Like WBC)

This post, like many of similar nature I’m sure, is very difficult for me to write. I heard yesterday on my way to the airport that the Westboro Baptist Church is planning to gather together to praise the loss of the children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary school. Rumors are circulating (and I haven’t found anything on their website to confirm this) that they’re also planning to picket the funerals that are slated to begin later today for the 20 children lost in this massacre.

When I heard about this, I broke down. It’s bad enough that tragic events like this even happen but to celebrate the loss of innocent children is repulsive. These monsters, these poor excuses for human beings, disgust me. The families are, undoubtably, having a hard enough time coming to terms with the loss of their six and seven year old children but to have a group of people make a mockery of this nation’s right to freedom of speech is mind-blowing.

What bothers me most about what these people do is that they do it under the umbrella of Christianity, claiming to speak for god, claiming that these horrible, evil acts are somehow punishment for a “sinful” society. What in the hell is wrong with these people? I mean, really. Absolutely sickening.

I was able to find one article if you want to take a look: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2248892/Connecticut-shooting-Westboro-Baptist-Church-plans-praise-gathering-outside-Sandy-Hook-Elementary-school.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

 

Culture, Current Events, Society, Uncategorized

When Tragedy Overwhelms Us

There are very few national events that I can honestly say I will remember for the rest of my life. The senseless tragedy on December 14th, 2012 is one of those events. Sitting at the airport on Friday morning, I heard the news of a school shooting in a quaint New England town. I didn’t think much about it on my first flight because they hadn’t released many details. During my layover in Chicago, however, I was able to spend some time listening to the story, getting the details as they continued to come in, and hopelessly trying to make sense of it all. There were twenty, maybe twenty-five of us, total strangers, sitting together all glued to CNN, all shocked and heartbroken for the loss of nearly 30 innocent lives, 20 of whom were beautiful little children. New souls.

As parents, situations like these instill a sense of overwhelming fear, discomfort, and uncertainty. Our children are supposed to be safe at school. Our children are supposed to grow and learn about the world. Our children are supposed to have imagination, creativity, drive, and enthusiasm for a world where the possibilities are seemingly endless. Our children are supposed to be alive.

I don’t know that it will ever be possible to truly understand or make sense of what happened at Sandy Point Elementary School. I cannot even begin to imagine how those parents must feel and my heart absolutely breaks for everyone who was affected by this living nightmare. I wish we lived in a world where domestic terrorists like these didn’t exist. I wish we could send our kids to school with the certainty that they’ll return happy, healthy, and safe. I wish, more than anything, for the families of the victims to be able to find some sort of peace someday.

My heart and my continued thoughts are with the citizens of Newtown, Connecticut and with our nation.

 

Culture, Current Events, Daily Life, Society

A Season Of Giving: Give Thanks, Give Back

Even though I’m not participating in the “30 Days of Giving Thanks” like many of my blogger friends are, I do have a lot to be thankful for so I wanted to take a moment to talk about the season of giving. While we’re focused on giving thanks for our own lives, we should also take a moment to give back to our communities.

Harvesters: The Community Food Network is an organization very dear to my heart. I first heard about Harvesters while working for a company that partnered with them for some volunteer work but it wasn’t until I joined a philanthropic organization here in Kansas City that I really got to spend time figuring out what Harvesters is all about. As Americans, we often think about developing countries and their needs while overlooking the need within our own backyard. Food desserts and hunger are a very real issue that many families face right here in the United States. I stand with Harvesters in the belief that no child should ever go hungry and so this year I’ve asked my friends and family who will be coming over for the holidays to help support this organization through the donation of non perishable food items.

I contacted Harvesters who agreed to let me have a large box, which holds 150 pounds of food and a poster to hang on the wall next to C’s art. I’m encouraging friends and family to help me fill that box. Together, we can help to make a difference in the community around us. I would also like to encourage you, my readers, who join the fight against hunger in America. Your contribution will help families in desperate need this holiday season. If you’d like to give to Harvesters, simply follow this link to their site to make an online donation. I also encourage you to find organizations in your own area whose mission is to better the community and give to them. Give your time, your talents, your resources. Give what you can for those who have less.

This year, I have so much to be thankful for and I wanted to take a moment to touch on that. I am beyond grateful for my incredible family. I am so blessed to live within driving distance of several of my family members and I know I can always count on them if I need them. I have an amazing husband who works so hard to provide for us. He is loving. He is smart. He is kind. I have a wonderful daughter who I love more than anything in this world. She has brought me so much joy. She has taught me about life. She has taught me about love. I am thankful for our laughs together, our Eskimo kisses, our snuggles before bedtime. I am thankful for my chosen family, who are my friends. I firmly believe that I have the best friends on Earth and I love them all. I am thankful for everything I have in this life and so, so much more. I am thankful for my health and for the health of those that I care about. I am thankful for this planet and all its inhabitants. I am thankful for this life.