Culture, Current Events, Society

A Letter To Our Veterans

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”

Dear Veterans,

All too often, as Americans, we forget how incredibly lucky we are to have been born in this great nation. We spend our time idolizing musicians, actors, and athletes who are paid far more than they deserve to entertain us while you work tirelessly to defend us.  I can only imagine how difficult it must be to be on the front lines of war not knowing if you’ll be able to come back to your loved ones. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to come home to a country of people who don’t, who can’t, understand what you’ve been through. You, the men and women of our armed forces, are amazing. You give back to your homeland the gift of freedom, of independence, and a feeling of security.

As the daughter of a retired Air Force Intelligence Veteran, I have some idea of what families go through when their loved ones are away. To the wives, the husbands, the children, and the parents of our armed forces: thank you. We know it isn’t easy to be away from the men and women you love while they fight for our nation but you do it without complaint. To my dad: thank you. You gave a large part of your career to serving our country and it took you to places across the United States, Europe, and Asia. There were times when you were deployed that it was hard to be away from you but I always knew that you were doing what was right for the United States and I’m so proud to be your daughter. To my uncle, who graduated from the Air Force Academy and recently retired as a Lieutenant Colonel: you are incredible. You’ve flown some of our nation’s leaders to various parts of the world knowing it might be dangerous. You’ve spent time overseas in less than ideal conditions to help make our country a better, safer place to live. To my friends who have served this country: you are heroes. To those currently fighting for our freedoms: know that you are loved. Be safe and come home soon. You all are appreciated.

You, our veterans, give us hope. You set an example of love for your country, of strength, and of courage like nobody else can. You are role models, you are heroes, you are amazing, you are soldiers. And you are loved.

Happy Veterans Day,

-H

Culture, Current Events, Society

Marriage Equality & The Election

This post is going to be very, very short.

I make no secret about being a socially liberal, fiscally conservative Libertarian and, without going into too much detail about my political beliefs, I want to talk for a minute about the states of Washington and Maryland and how incredibly proud I am that they seem to be supporting marriage equality. If you want to read more about this particular issue, read here and here. I believe that all people deserve the right to fall in love and dedicate their lives to those that they fall in love with. That’s a big win for America.

Moving on…

I, like many others I’m sure, am relieved that the elections are finally over. I’ve never seen our county more divided than it has been during this election season and during this vote and I’m curious to see how the final numbers turn out when everything is all said and done. That said, I think it’s important to mention that even if you’re not happy with the outcome (speaking to about half the country here) we still need to come together as Americans. We can’t let this election divide us as a nation. Not now, not ever.

Current Events, Daily Life

Happy One Month Bloggiversary!

I couldn’t let tomorrow (November 4th) go by without mentioning something about it and since I suddenly find myself with some extra time on my hands on a Saturday night, I figured I might as well go ahead and get this post written and published…so here we go:

I’ve attempted blogs in the past and I’ve always been a pretty horrible blogger. I would constantly start a blog, write a few posts, and then forget about it. When I knew I wanted to start It’s An Ordinary Blog, I would need motivation to keep it going so I went ahead and purchased the domain name. I figured if I had something invested in it, I’d be more inclined to post often. What I’ve come to discover over the last month is how very much I actually enjoy blogging and I want to continue to grow as a blogger so I can do fun things with this site (giveaways, contests, etc).

Over the course of the last month, I’ve had more than 900 views from 15 different countries and, while I know that may not seem like much to a lot of bloggers, it means a lot to me. I appreciate each and every person who takes time to read what I have to write. I appreciate the friends, family, and complete strangers who “like” It’s An Ordinary Blog on Facebook. I hope that you all enjoy my posts as much as I enjoy writing them for you.

I’m looking forward to what the future brings to me and to my family. I’m excited to share that with you and I am beyond thankful for your support. Happy One Month Bloggiversary, It’s An Ordinary Blog!

Oh, by the way, be sure to sign up for my giveaway! You can find more about it here.

Culture, Current Events, Daily Life, Parenting, Pictures

Trunk Or Treat / Happy Halloween 2012

When I first started this post earlier this afternoon, I intended to make this into a quick tutorial about making tissue paper balls. I think I’ll save that for a later date (probably around Charlotte’s birthday) because I’m far too lazy to do it right now. Forgive me?! 🙂 Moving on…

We went to a “Trunk Or Treat” event tonight about twenty minutes from our home. I’m really glad that we participated. Interacting with the kids and allowing Charlotte to go to a place that not only had the traditional ‘trick or treating’ but also had activities was a good call for her age. She got to decorate a pumpkin, play some games, and walk around in a safe atmosphere. I spent a little time preparing for this event. I made tissue paper balls, blew up some balloons, and decorated my trunk. Overall Halloween 2012 was a success!

Take a peek:

Culture, Current Events, Daily Life

Well How-Dee-Doo…Fireworks in October.

According to my husband, I’m not unlike Clint Eastwood’s character in “Gran Torino”. There are some differences: I’m not a racist, I don’t own a shotgun, and I’m not an 80 something year old man…but I do hate when people get on my lawn. You know what I also hate? Fireworks on inappropriate occasions. That’s one of the annoying things about where I live, some of the people in this area don’t seem to care how late it is or whether or not it would be generally considered unacceptable, they’ll light fireworks off whenever they have the chance. Fail.

Here’s a little tid bit for you, aggravating neighbors…

THIS:

DOES NOT EQUAL THIS:

When I first heard the fireworks a few days ago, I wondered if I’d missed something. Maybe there’s some holiday or event that I don’t know about. So I decided to look up the list of obscure national holidays for October:

  • Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
  • American Pharmacist Month
  • Apple Jack Month
  • Awareness Month
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • Clergy Appreciation Month
  • Computer Learning Month
  • Cookie Month
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Eat Country Ham Month
  • International Drum Month
  • Lupus Awareness Month
  • National Diabetes Month
  • National Pizza Month
  • National Vegetarian Month
  • National Popcorn Popping Month
  • Sarcastic Month
  • Seafood Month

Hey, I’m all for celebrating ham (even though we don’t eat it), cookies, and clergy, but can’t we think of a less noisy way to do it?  Also, on a completely unrelated topic, I’d really like for some sort of celebration for Sarcastic Month to be a thing that exists.  It would just be a people saying things like, “Wow…this is REALLY great.  I’m SOOOOO glad I’m here.”

Anyway,  Independence Day and New Years are just about the only acceptable days for fireworks.  So, for the love of all that is holy, please stop setting off fireworks in October.

Culture, Current Events, Food, Society

The Case Against Corn: Someone Needs To Stand Up For What’s Right

There comes a time in one’s life where they have to take a stand for what they believe in, no matter what others think. For that reason, I think it’s time that I come out of the closet and say that I hate corn.

Corn is gross. It’s not good for the body and it’s against God’s will. Every time I see someone eating corn, even though it does not affect me, it sickens me to the core. Disgusting. Eeew! Nasty. I think corn should be outlawed. Sure, many Americans enjoy eating it, but watching others eat corn (even knowing that they eat corn behind closed doors, in the comfort of their homes) is a threat against nutritional values and my delicate moral fiber. Sure, corn has a little benefit and it makes people happy but what do I care about the happiness of others? Newsflash: I don’t. Just because something makes a group of people happy doesn’t mean that they should be allowed to have it.

There are many reasons why corn is bad for you, apart from it being one of the most vile, repulsive foods on the planet. The human body cannot digest the bran in corn therefore it comes right back out when you eliminate on the toilet. SICK. Who wants to see corn in their poop? That is so gross. I sure don’t. Corn is also high in starch, carbohydrates, and sugar which all lead to a whole slew of health related issues in the body. Why would you want to subject yourself to that?

Not only is the consumption of corn unhealthy and unnatural for human beings, but subjecting others to your corn eating is offensive and immoral. Eating corn is an abomination of God. Here’s proof:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

If our bodies are to be the temple of the Holy Spirit, why would we want to fill them with such a vile, disgusting, unhealthy food such as corn? You don’t own your body, God does, therefore you be careful what you put in it. Our bodies cannot digest corn, what would God think of that?

Philippians 3:19

Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.

Corn comes from the Earth. When you eat it, whenever you think about eating it, your mind is set on earthly things. It’s a slippery slope. If we let people eat corn, next they’ll be eating rocks and cardboard. What’s next, cannibalism? We cannot, nay we will not, let this happen. This behavior must be stopped.

Candy corn dressed as corn on the cob?! FOUL! Sure it’s a banana and candy but the mere fact that parents find this acceptable is not okay. The proof is in the pudding, folks, corn loving parents raise corn loving children and that is a scientific fact.

You may try to tell me that people are born being corn lovers but I don’t believe you. I think loving corn is a choice and it’s the wrong choice. It needs to end. Today. For the sake of future generations.

I realize that corn eating exists in other species but that doesn’t make it right for human consumption. I mean, come on, really.

Some of my best friends are corn lovers and, while I love them, I will pray for their eternal salvation.

Culture, Current Events, Society

The 2012 Presidential Election, Politics, Media (/Social Media), & My Endorsement

Several weeks ago I had the opportunity (which is rare for me) to listen to an interview with the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Prior to that, I had heard several references in the media (concerning support for proposed policies against the nation) about a particular quote that the President allegedly said regarding Israel and the map. What bothers me the most about situations like this is that the media (and social media) hears half of what someone says and runs with it before bothering to listen to the context surrounding it or the entire statement. Rather than providing fair, unbiased media it seems that there is an issue with manipulating words to fit certain agendas be it support for a war, support for policies, or support for a particular political candidate. Quite frankly, it pisses me off. The problem also lies within the viewers and citizens who don’t bother to get the whole information themselves but, rather, rely on the biased media and social media for “accurate” information.

Without going into ridiculously lengthy detail what Ahmadinejad actually said, in his interview, was that he believes that Israel should never have been a country and that, with concern to Palestine, the nation of Israel should not exist (because the Palestinians, according to what he believes, should be given their country back). Now I don’t think Ahmadinejad is a stand up leader in the Middle East, by any stretch of the imagination, but if you take the time to listen to what he’s said it actually makes sense.   That’s all I want to say about that topic. Moving on…

What’s bothered me most about this Presidential election, especially when it comes to the debates, is that there are a lot of half-truths circulating about what particular candidates have or have not said. No matter who I elect to support in this campaign, I believe everyone deserves a fair chance and what I’ve seen lately does not allow for a fair, true, and even playing field. Here are a few examples:

– Pictures were circulating all over the Interwebz with Sesame Street characters angry with Mitt Romney for allegedly saying he planned to cut funding for PBS.

What he ACTUALLY said was that if we had to borrow money from China for luxury things, like providing funding for PBS, it isn’t financially responsible to continue going into debt to support things that aren’t necessary. I don’t know about you but that seems pretty logical to me.

– During the second debate Mitt Romney said that President Obama failed to acknowledge that the attack in Libya was a “terrorist attack”. The moderator, at the time, sided with Obama on the issue but after the debate admitted that Romney was actually correct in his statement.

Circulating across Facebook, Twitter, and even on Saturday Night Live, people failed to mention that the moderator retracted her statement after the debate. How curious.

These aren’t the only two examples of unfair politics going on with this election. It’s ridiculous and, quite frankly, for undecided voters who decide to inform themselves, these tactics do a terrible disservice to the Democratic platform. Neither candidate is perfect, they’ve both made (lots) of mistakes but this whole business of dishonesty is just insane.

At the end of the day, people will believe what they want to believe and they’ll see (/hear) what they want to during this campaign and election season. Many people have already made up their minds as to who they’re supporting and I think that’s great. I would like to see a more fair, more honest, conclusion to this election and I am curious to see how the speeches and debates that both Republicans and Democrats have participated in will play out in just a couple of weeks.

No matter who you support (if you even support either of them), I encourage you to read the transcripts and really familiarize yourself with what each candidate believes, and what they’ve said (not what you’ve heard they said). Most importantly, though, I encourage you to vote. Remember that you can’t complain about the outcome if you didn’t…

If you’re curious as to who I’m voting for…..in case it wasn’t obvious:

 

Culture, Current Events, Daily Life, Parenting

October 15th: National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

I didn’t want today to pass without saying something about the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. This month, this day in particular, honors the children mothers will only ever hold in their hearts. Until I had a pregnancy loss of my own in 2009, I had no idea how many women were impacted by miscarriage (and stillbirth) yet it’s something most people don’t talk about. I thought I’d share my story…if you feel inclined to share yours, feel free in the comments.

My husband and I were completely surprised (and elated) to discover we were pregnant in 2009 with an estimated due date of June 6th 2010. We’d just moved into our first home that July and were both settled into jobs we loved. Life was great. We had an ultrasound and announced our pregnancy just after, running under the assumption that everything was going to be just fine. It wasn’t until November 2009 that we found out that we lost the baby. It was a pretty devastating blow to us. It was painful and it was difficult. I remember hearing comments about how it was “God’s Will” or “When you’re ready to be a mommy, God will grant you a baby” and a whole slew of really insensitive remarks by people who didn’t know what else to say other than to try to find some sort of reason for our loss. Here’s the thing about life: sometimes it sucks. Bad things happen…for no reason at all. Less is more. Sometimes a simple, “I’m sorry, let me know if you need anything” or “I’m thinking about you” means the most.

We were given the all clear to start trying again at the end of December and so we started trying immediately thereafter. By April, we still hadn’t gotten pregnant. We took a trip to Disney World with my mom, brother, and my niece who was three years old at the time. On the final day there, we went to Magic Kingdom (just the two of us) and ended up by Cinderella’s “Magic Wishing Well”. We both threw in two pennies and made the same wish…for a happy and healthy pregnancy.

I’m not saying that our wish helped facilitate our pregnancy with C but it does stick with us as a memorable moment in our lives…it was the moment we decided to stop worrying so much about it and let the universe run its course. It did.

We found out that we were pregnant with C on June 22, 2010 and discovered that we’d gotten pregnant with her the same weekend we would have been due with the pregnancy we’d lost. I can’t tell you the number of times I checked for blood in the bathroom and the number of night’s I worried that something might happen with my pregnancy. It didn’t and I have an amazing, incredible, wonderful little girl to show for it.

Today, we’re on the tail end of our vacation back East and we’re spending the night in Orlando, Florida. We spent some time this evening venturing around Downtown Disney. While we were there, I saw some beautiful Disney earings with C’s birth stone (February). I knew I had to have them. How fitting that we were here today, at Disney, which will always hold a very special place in our hearts.

It was where we wished upon a star.

I will never know what our first child would have been like had he or she been born but I am beyond grateful to have C in my life. I learned something through our loss: never take life, no matter how short, for granted and love, always, no matter what.

Clothes, Current Events, Daily Life, Parenting

The Lazy Dresser – Mommy Makeover Challenge Day #4

I apologize if you read this post earlier and it wasn’t all here I’m not sure what happened but when I posted this the first time majority of the content didn’t publish so I had to go back and re-write it.
Fact: I hate wearing jeans.
I hate wearing jeans. They’re the first thing, other than shoes, that I take off when I get home and I usually replace them with something more comfortable…like yoga pants. What’s the first thing you take off when you get home?
Today marked the fourth day of the “Mommy Makeover Challenge” hosted by my friend The Naptown Organizer and even though we got off to a late start, I think it still counts. C and I didn’t get ready for the day until after lunch and I was feeling a little sluggish this morning but I’m glad I still made the effort to do this, because I really do think it’s great.
For parents with toddlers, you know how important it is to establish some sort of routine with your little one. We don’t stick to a rigid schedule but we try to make things somewhat predictable for our little one and I think it helps to reduce tantrums and helps us utilize our time with her more effectively. Now that I’m at home with C full-time again, we’ve just about settled into something that is mutually agreeable for us. As a back story, I was working from home for a company until November 2011 when they decided to bring me in-house part-time. I transitioned to full-time the first week of March 2012 and was laid off (due to lack of work) in August. It was an adjustment to get used to being a stay at home parent again but it’s also been so rewarding and so incredible.
Showering is one of those luxuries that’s hard to come by most days when your child is awake. I had an idea that I ran with today and it worked. I brought C into the shower with me. It gave her the opportunity to play in the water and it allowed me the time I needed to clean up for the day. As I watched her mimic me in the bath, I thought of something: what a great observational learning opportunity I have here with her. I can only hope that by watching me, she’ll be able to shower more independently later on. I think this may be incorporated into our daily schedule.
When I said I was a “jeans and cardigan” type of girl, I really wasn’t kidding…
Day of the Challenge? This is day #4 for me with the “Mommy Makeover Challenge” (The Naptown Organizer finished yesterday, I’m a little behind schedule).
How long did it take you to get ready? Shower included it took me about forty minutes to get ready today.
What did you do differently than normal? C showered with me today, which turned out to be a really great experience for both of us. I think we’ll do this each morning in lieu of giving her a bath at night.
Where did you go/what did you do? I had a committee meeting for my placement in The Junior League of Kansas City Missouri at Lulu’s Noodles in downtown Kansas City (off of Central and Southwest near Crown Center). Since the husband had a work event at Boulevard (lucky him!) I took C with me for our dinner meeting. Other than that, we stayed home all day and hung out together.
Did you feel any differently? I noticed that I was more tired today until I got ready for the day. A poor night’s rest may have contributed to that but I can’t help but think that my delay in getting myself showered and dressed played a role in it too.
So, with that, day #4 is complete. I’ll be doing the “Mommy Makeover Challenge” until October 11th but if you’d like to join in you can find all of the information here.
Note that I posed a question up above, it’s something I’m going to do daily from now on. If you want, leave a comment with your answer. I look forward to hearing what people have to say. Today’s daily question (in case you missed it): Other than shoes, what’s the first thing you take off when you get home?
Culture, Current Events, Society

A Weighty Issue: What Makes A Role Model?

I happened across a video on Facebook the other night of a CBS news anchor’s public reaction to an email she’d received from a viewer about her weight. You can find the video here. This is what the viewer said in his email to Jennifer, the anchor:

Re: “Community Responsibility”

“Hi Jennifer,

It’s unusual that I see your morning show, but I did so for a very short time today. I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn’t improved for many years. Surely you don’t consider yourself a suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular. Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits a person can maintain. I leave you this note hoping you’ll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle.”

What bothers me most about this situation isn’t even that the viewer pointed out her weight, which is really none of his business in the first place, but rather that he insinuated that she cannot be a positive role model to young women in her community solely based on the number she sees on the scale each morning. There is something seriously wrong with a society that looks up to people based on how attractive they are, that believes overweight individuals cannot be role models. The fact that the viewer, and people like him, think that someone is an unsuitable role model simply based on how much space they happen to take up is completely unacceptable.

Good health is not purely measured by the scale. There are so many factors that go into how healthy an individual is: blood pressure, cholesterol levels, smoking habits, diet. I have to wonder if the viewer would have said the same thing if it had been a larger (but otherwise healthy) man? What about a woman who was thin and beautiful but suffered from high cholesterol levels, was a smoker, and had an alcohol problem? Probably not. And that’s just sad.

Here was my initial reaction to the video I saw on Facebook:

What other people think about your weight, the color of your skin, the religion you follow, or anything else for that matter is more a reflection on THEM than it is on you. This amazing, talented news anchor is absolutely right in that negativity, hatred, and discrimination are LEARNED behaviors and they need to stop.

As a mother, I strive to teach my daughter about the qualities that matter. I hope that she will look up to people who are honest, who are fair, who do the right thing no matter what, who are good, who have compassion, who love this planet. I hope that she will see beyond outward appearance and realize that true beauty really does come from within.