Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Year in Review

Today is the last day of 2014 if you don't live in a cave, you already know that.  I'm planning on ringing in the new year with good friends at a casual party (The in-laws are babysitting overnight, woo!).  I feel like every year, the last day of the year brings upon a lot of reflection about the highs and lows of that year.  Here is a little summary of my year.

2014 did not start off well.  I was still having stomach issues which was depressing me and we had the polar vortex which forced my daughter and I to stay inside.  I was still mostly a stay at home mom and it was very lonely since my daughter couldn't talk to me and I couldn't really go anywhere with the bad weather.  I eventually joined a mom's group which helped being around adults and our kids getting to play together.  I hate January and February anyway, so I guess winter is never a fun time for me.

When spring rolled around, I finally had an answer and solution to my digestion issues and was able to start putting on weight that I had been losing like crazy.  We celebrated Raven turning one with family and friends!  Raven also started walking like a boss which was exciting but also brought about new challenges as a mother.  We also took a road trip to Austin, Texas for JD's cousin's wedding and we had a great time (and Raven did very well for such a long road trip).

Summer was fantastic, besides still having fibromyalgia and chronic sinusitis which I still deal with on a daily basis.  I got out with Raven everyday, ran, went to barbecues, saw Murder By Death, started working occasionally for other florists as extra help besides still having my own floral business, I dyed my hair red, I got a new car, I got to attend several fun weddings, I made some paintings, and I enjoyed the sunshine even though we had a cooler summer than I would have liked.  I also got in a pool more than once this summer!  Ok, I went to a pool twice but that's better than once the year before!

Fall was pretty awesome.  I started a new job at a logistics company which made me feel more productive as well as contributing money to the household.  It was hard the first couple weeks not seeing Raven all day, but it made me appreciate the time I had with her more after work.  We still had a little fun trick-or-treating despite how nasty the weather was.  JD and I also got to go see Ryan Adams and Butch Walker.  I can't leave out getting to see The Script and Howie Day, they were fun concerts as well.  JD started in a new band called Prowlers and the Prey and I have really enjoyed seeing their shows these past few months.

Christmas was good, Raven loved all the toys she got and I LOVE my huge 'The Walking Dead' graphic novel (books 5-8) that JD got me for Christmas.  It was nice to see family and play with my niece, nephew, and step nephew.  My mother also made the world's most delicious pot roast which I am still thinking about (I wish I could cook like her but I hate cooking).

I hope 2015 is even better than 2014.  My hopes for 2015 is that my sinus headaches get better, I get a promotion, my daughter gets potty trained, we take at least one fun family trip, I get more wedding floral business, and also do some more photo shoots since I only did 3 this past year and love modeling.  I also have some sketches I need to paint, I just need to get around to doing that!  This year, I am looking at the year ahead with hope instead of frustration.  I wish you all the same as well.

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Five Random People I'd Love to Meet

This weekend, I have been busy playing with my daughter and all her new toys so I have not blogged.  Today I am back with ThinkKit's prompt: what conversation would I want to have with the world and who are the five people I'd want to meet first?  Since I am a random person and don't have just one question to ask all five people, I have made a list of five random people and the one question I'd like to ask them...

1. Barack Obama- "What's up?" I'd love to meet the president and honestly if I met him, I'd have no idea what to ask him because I'd be too nervous to ask any thoughtful question so in all honesty, if I met the president, I'd just ask him what's up?  I think with the amount of what is going on in our country, he'd probably laugh and say, "You couldn't even possibly begin to understand." Then I'd give him a high five and tell my grandkids one day that I high fived the president.

2. Jennifer Aniston- "How pissed are you that Brad Pitt left you for Angelina Jolie?" I was a big Brad Pitt fan until he left Jenn and went on to adopt and procreate with Angelina Jolie (who I CAN'T STAND).  I don't care how much humanitarian work Angelina has done, she had an affair with a married man and that makes her a piece of shit in my book.  I'd love to have coffee with Jenn and just make fun of Angelina and how whipped Brad is by her.  Chelsea Handler is free to come along, as she is good friends with Jenn and I'm sure she has some much better punchlines to throw at that couple than I do!  I know it's been a long time, but I'm still mad about Brangelina!

3. Justin Bieber- "Can you please stop making music?"  Seriously.  He'd probably egg my house after I asked him that.

4. Jessica Lange- "Can we be friends?"  I love her.  So. Much.  I'd have a cocktail with her any day.

5. Casey Anthony- "What's it like being the most hated former mother in the U.S.?"  This case still bugs me to this day, especially now that I'm a mother.  Fine, there might not have been proof without a reasonable doubt that she killed or covered up her daughter's death, but HOW do you NOT report your child missing right away, why would you lie to police, and HOW could you go out and party while your DAUGHTER is missing?!?!?!  If my daughter went missing even an hour, I'd be calling all sorts of authorities and people while having a constant panic attack.  I'd be waiting at home for any answers and fully cooperating with law enforcement in order to find my daughter.  I'd be too upset to even leave my house, let alone party or get tattoos.  Did her daughter drown while she wasn't looking?  Maybe...but reporting that right away is a lot more responsible than making up a nanny and a job while dumping your own daughter into a swamp with duct tape across her mouth.  I hope she is living in her own hell for what she allowed her daughter to go through.

Anyway, happy Monday!:)

Friday, December 26, 2014

100 Acres Park is AWESOME

ThinkKit's prompt today is to talk about a place that stood out to me this year.  The first place that came to my mind is the 100 Acres Park on the IMA Museum's grounds.  I have been there before, but they have added new installations to the park which are REALLY cool.

One summer morning, I loaded Raven up in the car and drove to the IMA museum.  I will admit, walking all those steps down to 100 Acres and holding a heavy toddler was a workout and not so much fun.  We finally got to the first installation in the forest full of different signs and Raven LOVED it.  It was amazing to see her look at every sign and study each one.  We made our way over to the log with swings on it and she didn't want to stop swinging, she was having such a blast.  I thought this installation was just beautiful and appreciated the fact that it had swings so it was also like a playground.

Everyone I'm sure is aware of the skeleton installation (The Fault In Our Stars showed it in theirmovie). Raven loved playing on that, and I loved watching her play on it.  The funny thing about my daughter is she is pretty fearless even though she's not even two years old!  She was hopping up and attempting to jump off the bones while I quickly grabbed her to prevent her breaking a bone (ironic right?).  She also loved the open field to just run while the sun shined down on us.

We made our way over to the two ponds in the park and it was quite relaxing despite having a rambunctious toddler.  We even wandered in the woods a little bit because the weather was perfect and it seemed like all the bugs were leaving us alone.   Raven loved the mixture of art and nature just like me.

I will never forget this day because it was so peaceful and a lovely time with my daughter.  The IMA grounds are also so beautiful but 100 Acres is VERY cool.  If you haven't been and live in Indianapolis, I highly recommend going even though you have to walk down a ton of steps and back up them to get to the park.  Indianapolis is lucky to have such a place so do yourself a favor when it's nice out again and go!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

From my family to yours, I hope 2015 is filled with as much love as I get from my two goofballs!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Hey, Thanks.

ThinkKit's prompt today was to write about what I've been thankful for this year.  I feel like it would be cliche to write about how thankful I am for a healthy toddler, good marriage, new job, better health, etc. so I have decided to compile a list of little things I've been thankful for this year.  Sometimes the little things make a big difference in our lives, either way I am thankful for:

*Papa Murphy's $5 Pizza
*That first sip of coffee when I wake up (I'm a coffee drinker now, I can officially say)
*A new car that doesn't break down every 2-3 months (car payments make me sad though)
*Taylor Swift's 1989 (guilty)
*I have not broken my phone this year!
*Teaching my daughter eskimo kisses
*How about that $1.99 gas everybody?!
*The amazing pictures I got taken of Raven and me by Charles Letbetter
*All the wedding flowers I got to do, I love flowers so much!
*My husband's new band, Prowlers and the Prey (they put on AMAZING shows)
*The time I got to spend with family and friends
*My car being totaled, and I walked away completely unharmed (Thank you Oldsmobile)
*Seeing Ryan Adams perform
*The awesome parks Indianapolis has, Raven and I went to a lot of parks this summer
*Marriage Equality in Indiana!!!!
*Finding a daycare that my kiddo loves
*Pinot Grigio
*All the new bands I've discovered thanks to Alt Nation on Sirius Radio
*All the nostalgia I get from 90's on 9 on Sirius Radio as well!
*So many fun weddings and birthday parties JD and I got to go to
*New glasses so I can see better
*Cosmic brownies
*All the babysitters that have watched my little girl
*The Walking Dead
*Don't forget Game of Thrones!
*Endless Love (plot line is stupid, but Alex Pettyfer hellooooooooo....)
*My Target Red Card

I hope you enjoyed my list of some things I'm thankful for this year off the top of my head.  I know it's random, but so is my brain.  I'm betting 2015 is going to be even better so bring it on!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I'm a Rebel

I'm not doing the ThinKkit blog today, instead I am going to show you this awesome picture.
You're welcome.

Monday, December 22, 2014

My Favorite TV Show EVER.

ThinkKit's prompt today was to talk about whatever us bloggers want!  I am going to talk to you about my favorite tv show ever, The Walking Dead!  If you haven't seen all the seasons and do not want any spoilers, please quit reading my  Now it's time to talk about the AWESOME that is The Walking Dead!

What I love about The Walking Dead or TWD, is that at a glance, you think this show is about people running from zombies, but that is really not the plot at all.  TWD goes in-depth into character development and relationships.  So many lives have been lost in a zombie apocalypse that strangers become your family or mortal enemy, there is not really a gray area.  The characters that are on TWD are from all different backgrounds and yet care so much for each other.  The show really is about relationships and what you would go through to protect the people you call family.

I don't believe any show has made me cry as much as TWD.  Since there are fights and zombies (aka walkers), no character is really safe from one season to the next.  A couple characters I didn't really care about when they died but here is a list (if you've seen the show) of the people who made me cry by their deaths.

*Sophia (comes back as a zombie too)
*Merle (just seeing Daryl cry did it for me)
*Lizzie  (not so much because I liked her but because it was so hard for Carol "Look at the flowers, Lizzie")
*Lori (I was pregnant at the time and her dying during childbirth made me cry for an hour straight, on top of Rick's reaction to her death is now making me get watery eyes just thinking of it)
*Beth (again, the look on Daryl's face carrying her made me die a little inside)

I did, however, love it when The Governor died.  What an ass!!!!!!!!!!!

I love just about everyone on this show who is a main character.  I really have no complaints about any way that the show has progressed besides the people I liked dying.  I feel like I can't explain how amazing this show is without having someone watch it for themselves.  I will say, though, that this is probably my all time favorite tv show and I will probably curl up and cry the day the last episode ever airs.  I love this show and am so happy to be part of its journey as viewer.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


I took a few days off of ThinkKit blogging due to a busy work schedule, a kid with a double ear infection, and having a nasty cold that has made me completely lazy when not at work.  I'm back in the game now!  ThinkKit's prompt today is to talk about something I am on the fence about, what I can't make a decision or opinion on.  I think because I'm the mother of a mischievous toddler, I would have to say it's discipline.

Discipline for a 21 month old is difficult and I constantly question if I'm doing the right thing when Raven does something that could be dangerous or just naughty.  I admit that I get so frustrated when she does the same thing I tell her sternly not to do and I try to give her several warnings but I just don't know how much she understands versus how much she wants to defy me.  This is why I try to explain to her something she is doing is wrong before my bad cop persona comes into play.

When I get very fed up with Raven's bad behavior after verbal warnings, and counting down to have her stop, I put Raven in her room for a five minute timeout.  This works about 75% of the time to where she will come out and behave.  However, she screams and cries during her timeouts and it breaks my heart.  I feel like a bad mother for making her so upset and making her be alone.  I hate hearing my daughter wail as if she's expressing how much she hates me.  I know discipline is important when raising a child, but maybe I'm more sensitive to it because I hate making anyone upset.  I want everyone to be happy always (in a perfect world, yea even the people I don't like).

Am I doing the right thing by using timeouts?  Does my daughter think I am mean because she might not understand what she's doing wrong?  Am I too harsh with using timeouts or should I just keep telling her no to what she should not be doing?  Am I even a good mother (this runs through my head everyday).

One thing I will NOT do is spank, hit, or slap my child or possible future children ever.  I personally feel physically hurting your child as punishment is abusive but our parents came from a generation where this discipline was acceptable so I'm not mad at my grandparents or parents for using harm as discipline though I cannot fathom hurting my child to get my point across.  I'm sure there are still parents out there that do spank, and honestly I would rather not know who does this because maybe they were raised that it was ok to do so and I don't want to judge others' parenting styles.  Though I was spanked sometimes, my parents never left a scar on me and I didn't grow up resenting them for it.  I just choose not to ever use this method.

Toddler discipline, it's hard you guys.  It's like trying to solve a math equation without any multiple choice selections.  I'm sure as my daughter gets older, it will hopefully be easier to know how to properly discipline her especially when she can talk.  I will be able to figure out what works and what doesn't work with her to teach her right from wrong.  In the meantime, I will suffer through the short timeouts that she does not like either.  I just hope my daughter becomes a good person and never has to go to therapy because of her mother!;)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

We need more hugs and less gunshots.

ThinkKit wants me to take a moment and talk about what world or national event happened this year that moved me.  Honestly, I didn't research TOO much about several events that transpired between cops and unarmed black men because it was just really depressing news to me.  All I know is that these men who were killed by cops were not carrying guns and were shot several times.. what the hell?!?!?!

Yes, I know there are two sides to every story but you can't help but question why cops were so trigger happy to these men who were not pointing guns at them.  Cops have to practice shooting, couldn't they shoot them in the leg if they had to shoot and then arrest the men?  What about NOT using guns and tazering or masing someone who is acting out against the police but unarmed?  How can you shoot someone several times who was not an immediate threat to your life, kill them, get away with it, and be able to sleep at night?

HOW did these cops get away with the amount of fatal shots they fired?  What about the death chokehold too caught on camera?  WHY are there cops choosing to kill.. especially in the black community?  What is going on with our country?

I have to be honest, I am a skinny white female but I have felt threatened by cops on numerous occasions instead of feeling protected.  I don't want to feel that way about law enforcement.  I wish no one felt that way about law enforcement (except people doing really illegal stuff obviously).   It seems cops and government care about protecting themselves at times more than the tax paying citizens paying their salaries.

There are GOOD cops out there, so please don't take this blog as a generalization that I think all cops are bad or don't protect citizens.  The purpose of this post was to raise the question of why gun violence is needed and why there are cops that would rather condescend people in their community than help build up the community.

Do I agree with the protests?  Yes.  Do I agree with the rioting?  No.  Rioting and looting stores because you're mad at the police doesn't fix anything and just worsens the situation like what's happened in Ferguson.  My thoughts go out to those who have been victims in the Ferguson riots.

I propose that this country as a whole needs more hugs and less gunshots.  Life is fragile and everyone including the police should respect that as well as citizens.  Hugs heal, and usually don't cause protests and rioting.

Monday, December 15, 2014

2014: A Year of Firsts!

ThinkKit wants me to write about a significant number in my year and I would say one to symbolize firsts that happened this year!  Here is a list so this blog isn't TLDR.

*First time I saw my daughter WALK!  It was amazing, and she has only gotten faster since!
*First time I took a 16 hour road trip with a toddler, it wasn't as hectic as I thought it would be.
*First time I went to a Dinosaur park (outside of Austin, TX), it was AWESOME.
*First time I had fire engine red hair!
*First time I bought a new car!
*First time I have freelanced as a florist for other florists (I still got to work with flowers without all the paperwork and stress)
*First time I went on a carousel with my daughter, she was so amazed by it.
*First time I saw a lot of great shows and movies thanks to my husband who is great at picking out good shows and movies.
*First time I started reading graphic novels, I LOVE them.
*First time I went to Minnesota for a half hour just because I could (We were in LaCrosse, Wisconsin for a wedding)
*First time I REALLY surprised my husband for his birthday (his band got to play at Birdy's and he had no idea!)
*First time all three of us have had stomach flu at the same time (NEVER AGAIN)
*First time I got to hold my nephew.
*First time I went trick or treating with my daughter

I'm sure there are more but I can't think of them.  I think 2014 was a pretty swell year!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Running is good for you but, God, at what cost?!

ThinkKit asked me what I discovered this year and the answer is I officially hate running.  This June, I made a commitment to run at least every other day and did so for about 2 months until I came down with bronchitis.  I hadn't been on a run for 4 years and it seemed so many people run and feel good doing it that I would give it a shot.  I got so focused on making this a hobby I even looked up 5k runs for the fall.  I did work my way up from running then walking to running a mile straight (which I haven't done in over 7 years).

I honestly do NOT know how people can or even want to run more than a mile.  I hate being out of breath, I hate how my knees and back feel like they are going to break, I hate how I look while running (my knees knock and I feel like Ricky Bobby, not knowing what to do with my hands).  I also find running really boring.  It's like I get bored while running but also feel like I'm hyperventilating and going to die no matter how long I've run.

I respect those who do run, I understand wanting to be in shape and the endorphins that come along with it.  But I will say this summer, I definitely discovered I will never be a long distance runner or even a runner in general.  I gave it a go, I gave it what I had.  I am just not a runner.  I prefer to get my exercise going on long fast paced walks, dancing for a half hour in my living room with my daughter, or doing some chores that are physically demanding (that kills 2 birds with 1 stone!).   So sorry folks, but you won't see me in any marathons probably ever.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Can you believe I went to art school?

ThinkKit asked me to make a drawing today so without further ado, here ya go:
A five minute pen sketch of me who looks like a shaggy haired man according to my drawing skills.  I guess it's a step up from a stick figure right?

Friday, December 12, 2014

I'm taking a timeout from ThinkKit today to write a really ridiculous poem about my daughter's favorite stuffed animal that my husband has named Purple Monkey Dishwasher (it's a purple monkey stuffed animal in case you couldn't figure that out).

Purple Monkey by Jenn King

Purple Monkey works hard washing dishes
So he can spend money on all of Raven's wishes
He got fired from Chili's, what a sad place to be
But he found a job at our local Applebee's.

Although he works, he will still snuggle with his girl
Because Raven is more precious than any rare pearl
Purple Monkey washes dishes late, late at night
So he is in Raven's crib by the time it is light.

Raven and Purple Monkey are the best of friends
A bond so tight that it will never end.
He goes with her to daycare and many car rides
He'll go with her anywhere, if time abides.

For Purple Monkey, he goes far above
To show Raven what it is to love
He may have to wash dishes to make ends meet
But his loyalty to his friend is really quite neat.

Raven will get older, this is what we know
And her attachment to 'Purple' may start to slow
But he will always be there for the baby he adores
And will still be her friend even if she's forty four.

Purple Monkey is a great dishwasher and bud
Even when he grows old and full of crud
Raven will never forget her very first friend
What a silly poem, so this is the end!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Meeting Joe

ThinKit's prompt today was to talk about someone I met for the first time this year.  Well, I am happy to say I got to meet my first biological nephew, Mr. Anthony Joseph Cornell Jr. or Joe for short!
Don't mind my appearance in this photo, I was not expecting my sister to have little Joe so quickly (uhhh only a 4 hour labor for a first time mom?!  Any other moms want to scream out their jealousy?)   I guess I could have at least showered.  The neat thing about Joe being born was my sister and brother-in-law didn't want family in the delivery room (understandable) but I did get to wait outside her door and hear his cry as soon as he was born.  I'm not going to lie, I burst out into tears.  I told my mom it was so exciting because I got to experience the joy of a newborn all over again without ME having to go through labor and pushing (over 21 hours for me and 3 of it was pushing).

Joe came into this world as perfect as a newborn can be, but maybe I am biased because he's my nephew;)  He is a very chill baby, the complete opposite of my daughter who had colic and then never quit mumbling or getting dramatic about something ever since.  Raven loves Joe and calls him "JoJo".  I'm glad she has a boy cousin close to her age since she also has a girl cousin only 3 months older than her.  My cousin closest in age to me is 4 years younger so I am glad she has 2 she can grow up playing with.

Joe has brought me so much joy this year as I have gotten to spend time with a newborn again and get lots of infant snuggles.  He is a beautiful boy with great parents so I know he will grow up to be a kind soul.  I just hope he always knows how much Aunt Jenn loves him!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Gone Too Soon

ThinkKit's prompt today is to talk about something strange that happened this year.  I will warn you that the first thing that came to mind was not something funny or a happy.  The strange thing is I have known 4 people around my age pass away this year.  I guess I consider that strange because I know people MY age dying which is weird but also extremely sad.  No parent should ever have to bury their child.

My husband's friend, Daniel, was delivering pizzas in January when he was shot and killed leaving the apartment he delivered to and had his car stolen.  Daniel was very loved by many friends, especially musicians in the Indy area as he was a musician himself.  I didn't know Daniel very well, but he was extremely kind the nights we chatted with him at the Alley Cat or saw him singing with his band.  I have seen my husband cry maybe twice and when he got the news, he sobbed.  I know many people miss Daniel and the way he was killed was so unfair.  I know his loved ones will keep his memory alive with what a kind soul he was.

My husband's former drummer also passed away this year.  I don't know the cause of death, but I know he had just welcomed a baby.  I know he was younger than me which makes me realize even moreso that death doesn't care what age you are, we are all vulnerable to it.  RIP Ben.

A former coworker of mine committed suicide a few months ago.  Of all people, I would have never guessed she would be depressed enough to think suicide was the only way out.  Rachel seemed very bubbly and excited about things going on in her life in the little time that I knew her.  I don't know if she was suffering then and putting on a brave face, or something happened after we didn't work together that made her upset enough to end it.  Suicide brings on so many questions.  Unfortunately, I've known several people in the last 10 years who have committed suicide.  I couldn't tell you why, but I hope their families and friends are finding peace as time goes on.

A great guy I knew named Todd who was a prominent hairstylist in the Indy area who I happened to work with on some photo shoots also passed away this year at the age of 38.  He had a heart attack a year ago and later found out he would need a heart transplant.  While waiting on a transplant, he had a major stroke and passed away.  I miss his sarcastic humor on social media and the fun I had working with him.  I wish he had found a heart and could be here today since so many people in our community loved him.

All gone too soon.  I hope they rest in peace.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Come back Spring!

ThinkKit asked me what I look most forward to in 2015 and since we don't have any specific trips or big events planned, I would have to say the return of Spring.  I like Indianapolis, it's a big city with a small town feel.  My sister lives 20 minutes away and my in-laws live 25 minutes away which is great because my mother in law watches Raven part time so we can save money on daycare.  My mom lives an hour away, so as you can see, I love having family close by.  But I HATE this place November-March.  I hate coats, I hate dry skin, I hate the rush of cold air on my face, I hate shivering, I hate snow and ice (especially scraping it off my car), I hate the darkness that is also bone chilling cold, I hate being stuck indoors with a toddler because I'm too cold to want to bundle her up and attempt to play outside, I hate how bad Indy drivers can be when the roads are slick, I hate wearing shoes (flip flops or sandals are WAY better in my book), I could go on about what I hate about winter, but I think you have the idea!

If I hate winter so much, why do I live here?  Well like I said, I like being near my family (though I wish they all resided in the Southwest or a tropical island).  JD and I have job security here with a low cost of living compared to other cities this size in the South.  I love the fact that my daughter can see her grandparents and aunts and uncles so that just makes moving harder.  We'd also have to get substantial raises to afford moving and living comfortably in a warm dry place like Austin or Las Vegas. 

So since I hate the winter and everything about it (I literally do not like one thing about winter, hell I will take insects and sunburns as long as it's warm), the thing I look most forward to in 2015 is that first day where it's above 60 degrees and the sun is out.  I want to see flowers blooming again.  I want to take my daughter on walks around the neighborhood without coats on.  I want to feel the warm sun on my face.  I want to hang up my coat and put flip flops on.  Basically, my body and mind were meant for someplace south.  I don't care about changing of the seasons, how about one season where it's always at least 70 degrees?  I even love hot weather, which we didn't have much of this past summer. 

I probably have Seasonal Affective Disorder since I feel angry and trapped in the winter.  I've tried Vitamin D and a light that mimics the sun, but that doesn't help.  I'm still angry over the weather November-March.  Hopefully we will move south sooner than later, though I will miss a lot of people including my family.  I am just not meant for colder weather environments.  Womp womp. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

All You Need is Love!

ThinkKit wants to know what stance I was vocal about this year?  I'm sure if you follow me on facebook, you know I am very passionate about marriage equality.  I have several gay friends and truly believe they should have the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples.  Why should two consenting adults in love be denied marriage rights by our country based on a RELIGIOUS belief?  (Remember separation of church and state in our constitution?)  If you want to take one line out of the Bible and believe it to be the true word of God, then don't be hypocrite and stop eating shrimp, getting tattoos, and wearing clothing made of mixed materials (ABOMINATIONS!)  Also, here is a direct quote on what Jesus said about gay people, "                  ."

Ok, I get it.  You may be uncomfortable with the thought of gay people being married couples because you were brought up to believe homosexuality is a sin.  Guess what?  You DON'T have to marry a gay person or go to a gay bar or Pride parade, no one is forcing you to.  But it is wrong to deny them the legal rights of marriage as two consenting adults because you feel uncomfortable with the idea.  I feel uncomfortable with people having permits to carry guns around but I'm not going to attempt to have that right taken away and make an excuse that it's part of my religion to say it's wrong just because I personally feel uncomfortable with the idea.

I just wanted to point out that I am not shaming the people who are religious.  I completely understand the reasons behind someone being religious and I respect that. I do not respect, however, discrimination because of religion.  Actually, I do not respect discrimination at all.  There have been too many suicides and killings in this country due to bullying and discrimination of all kinds and it's time to STOP.  You have NO right to make someone feel like they are second class because of their skin color, gender, sexual preference, age, weight, or disabilities.  This country is so diverse and that's what makes it a fantastic country!

There was a time in this country where black and white people could not marry each other, how ridiculous does that seem now?  That is what gay marriage is going to be like in 40 years, the ban of it being a completely ridiculous thought.  Surprisingly, Indiana allows gay marriage now but we still have a ways to go before the whole nation allows it legally.

One last note, I want to say I am sorry on behalf of the heterosexual society to any gay/lesbian/bi/transgender that has ever felt alone, berated, bullied, or judged.  I can't imagine the fear of coming out to family and friends who might not agree with who you ARE.  My hope is that one day, there is never fear to come out.  There should never be a reason to be afraid about who you are. Love should always be celebrated instead of judged.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

I'm Tired of Dealing with CRAP!

ThinkKit has asked me what I would want to disappear in 2015.  I mean, there are obvious things I think most people would wish for like no more violence, health ailments to go away, debt erased, etc.  But the first thing that came to my mind was crap.  More specifically, cleaning up disgusting toddler diapers!  Don't read on if you can't handle reading about Number 2's!

Raven loves to eat and with all this eating, she poops like an adult sized amount 2-4 times a day.  Her gut is also sensitive to mucous so whenever she has a cold or random stuffiness, we get DISGUSTING diapers that make me want to curl into fetal position in a corner and cry.  I may have been around Raven for over a year and 8 months, but I still don't enjoy changing diapers and it seems the poo situation is grosser and bigger than when she was an infant.  It is also awkward having to chase after her if I see she has a lumpy butt and try to feel for any surprises.  Then, when it is diaper changing time (poo or pee), she gets ANGRY and makes the whole diaper changing experience miserable with screaming and kicking as if it wasn't bad enough.  I DREAD having to change her diaper in public bathrooms or people's homes because she screams like I'm sawing off her leg while I'm trying to be as quick and calm as possible so I stop getting pity stares.  I can guarantee you I've prevented a few women from ever wanting children just based off of watching my toddler diaper changes.

I truly hope by the end of 2015, we can successfully potty train Raven.  She still has no idea why we use the toilet or how to communicate to us that she needs to use the restroom so it's just too early to try to teach her to pull down her pants and diaper and go potty.  But I will tell you this, when that day comes where she can poop in a toilet and flush it away will be a day I will always remember fondly.  I will find some hill to climb and twirl around on like Julie Andrews.  I'm literally tired of dealing with Raven's crap.  I will leave you with this (sorry if you are offended by its potty language but I think it's appropriate)...and wish me luck on potty training in the next year!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

My Love Letter To Target

ThinkKit asked me what place I spent a lot of time in this year besides work or home.  If you know me well enough, you know what the answer is: Target.
Can I get an AMEN to the above Meme?!  You have to admit, Target is kind of like a crack addiction.  I am constantly coming up with excuses why I need to go to Target.  I have a Target redcard and the Cartwheel app, and I'm actually going to Target in an hour.  I even got JD interested in going to Target.  We go on family outings to Target.  We always buy something we don't need because I swear they pump something in the air to make you think everything there is amazing and a good price.

Target, this is my love letter to you. You've been there for me when I've been down.  You excite me with your constantly changing clothing and home decor sections.  Your kids clothes are cute and affordable.  I love being able to shop with a Starbucks coffee in hand.  If I were rich, I'd buy half your store.  Your chicken salad is SO good (really guys, you need to try it).  Your staff knows my name so I don't know if I should be flattered or embarrassed that you have seen me that many times.  Sometimes I don't buy anything, I just want to be around you because I love you that much.  You are my favorite store and can't imagine being in a world without you around.

I wish I could have been more interesting and said my third home was NYC, LA, or Paris because I have another home or business in those cities, but I don't.  I did a lot of traveling before meeting my husband and becoming a mom so I'm not complaining I haven't traveled much this year.  I just decided I'd be honest where I spent a lot of my time this past year and previous years.  Target has my heart (and wallet).  BFFs forever, Target.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Goodbye Silver Bullet

ThinkKit wants to know what I said goodbye to in 2014 and the first thing that came to mind was my beloved car aka Silver Bullet.  Sure, she was 11 years old with stained upholstery and rust forming on her sides, but she only broke down once in the 4 years that we had her.  In fall 2010, JD's SUV engine completely died and it was going to be thousands of dollars to get it replaced.  Since we had just paid for our wedding, we had no spare change to just buy an engine so we had to save up for it for a few months.  At that time, JD and I fortunately worked for the same company in the same building so we were able to ride together to and from work.  We had a lot of deep conversations in that car we shared as well as a few laughs and a few fights over pop music or metal to listen to.  I really enjoyed our time together driving around, we weren't distracted by a tv, books, phones, or video games.  I don't care that the horn broke about a month after I got it, I loved that car.

Then, one fateful early June evening, I was alone in Silver Bullet at a gas station waiting to go right but the traffic was crazy due to rush hour.  There was a stop light near the exit of this gas station and a kind lady in a Suburban waved me out to get in the right lane so that I would not be stuck waiting forever.  All I remember is I was pulling out and suddenly a black SUV comes swerving into me and fortunately my airbag did not activate (I heard those can cause broken noses), but I knew the crunch I heard was not good.  The lady who had waved me out already drove past the scene so I did not have her as a witness, but this woman (WHO HAD EARBUDS IN HER EAR THAT WAS ATTACHED TO A PHONE IN WHICH SHE WAS STILL HAVING CONVERSATION) comes barreling out of her SUV and starts yelling at me that she had the right of way while I explained to her that I was waved into the lane she was swerving into by the Suburban she must have seen was stopped.  She then LEFT the scene of the accident and pulled her car into a parking lot down the street!  I got a hold of the cops and kept my car where the accident was because that is what you're supposed to do until the cops arrive and I surveyed the damage.  The front of my car literally fell off and was on the ground.  I'm not too technical with car part names but after the cop arrived, he had me very slowly move the car to the same parking lot the lady WHO STILL HAD earbuds in her ear had parked. I took a glance at her SUV and saw a light scratch on her passenger door.The SUV destroyed my car with barely any damage at all!

The cop obviously acted like he didn't want to be there and bluntly told me it's illegal for someone to wave you into traffic (did ANYONE learn this in drivers' education?!).  The lady I guess was mad the Suburban had stopped and must have figured that she would go around it and get back into the right lane without paying attention since her phone call was so important that she had to have headphones on.  The cop actually duct taped pieces of my car together and said since I lived a mile away that I could drive it home slowly so that I could have it at my residence.  While helping me, the headphones wearing woman (yes she STILL had her headphones in) asked if she could go in which the annoyed cop said yes.

My insurance company totaled out my car and I'm not sure if they put that woman at fault but I got a check and my car was towed away.  I miss Silver Bullet, it did well for a used car.  I had good memories using that car.  Headphones lady destroyed my car that I loved.  

A couple weeks later, JD and I decided we would purchase a new car in order to have a warranty and for safety ratings with our toddler.  I have a Kia Soul now and I have to say that I love it!  I don't love making car payments but I know my family is safe in that car and we will have new and happy memories to make in the Green Bean.  I do miss you though, Silver Bullet, you were a good car to me and hope you are looking down on me in car heaven.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Taking Some Good Advice

ThinkKit asked me today what was the best piece of advice I received this year?  I think the best piece of advice I received was to live in the present.  As someone who has been a worst case scenario person filled with anxious thoughts, this advice made me step back and enjoy what is around me instead of being stuck in my own head.  I really have taken this advice to heart.  When the crocuses bloomed in late March, I went outside and just stood there, looking at them for 10 minutes.  I told myself I was going to stand there and let myself enjoy the flowers I was seeing and focus on how beautiful they were.  The first couple minutes, my mind was screaming all different thoughts, "Jenn: you need to go in and do laundry, how much money is in the bank account, has Raven been fed enough today, did I email that person back, what do I make for dinner, is it going to rain tonight, why is my head hurting, why is this person so rude?"  Then I consciously said, "STOP" to those thoughts and made myself stand there and just look at the flowers, appreciating them for what they were.

This piece of advice has helped me tremendously when I feel the stress devils sneaking up on me.  I latch my mind onto what positive things are going on around me and embrace them for what they are like my daughter's laughter, a hug, a funny social media post, nice weather, a good hair day, etc.  It's really incredible how you can rewire your brain's way of thinking when you quit worrying about the future or dwelling on the past.  The present, and what is positive about what is around will ease your mind considerably.  Since I started this mindful meditation if you will, I would describe my life as having more good days than bad days.  When I have bad days, I accept it for what it is if I cannot change something and tell myself it's not forever.  Not all good days last forever either so that's why enjoying the present is so important.

I truly feel like once I started focusing on things and not be stuck in my head of worry, I found so many beautiful things I hadn't even noticed before.  I still think I have a lot of work to do at being peaceful and content, but I'm a lot different than I used to be thanks to this great piece of advice that I decided to take seriously.

Next time you feel like your mind is a roller coaster of negative emotions, take a mental time out and appreciate one good thing around you. Live in the present.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hi I'm Jenn, I Like Weird Photos.

ThinkKit wants me to make you laugh with something I saw this year...and I saw this:
THIS DOESN'T MAKE SENSE.  This is so weird that you have to laugh a little bit if you look at it.  You can thank my husband for introducing me to this photo that literally makes him cry from laughing.  Now, I'm going to take it a step further and Google "Weirdest Picture Ever" and pick a few of MY favorites:
I like this guy.
A great use of photoshop and pun.
A HORRIFYING use of photoshop but still funny.
 I'll leave you with this guy because who doesn't love spoons around their shoulders?  The internet is a very interesting place, I'm glad there's always something out there to make me giggle.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I Thought I Knew You...

Today, ThinkKit has asked me what did I change my mind about this year?  In all honesty, I have changed my mind about what I think of certain people.  This post is going to be vague and I apologize for that but I'm not here to stir up drama for the certain individuals who I initially thought were good people, but I was wrong.  Now I'm not a saint (I enjoy cussing and a whiskey shot now and then), but I DO have a moral compass and would not cheat on my spouse, steal from strangers, spread mean lies about others, or be incredibly greedy.  Fortunately, the people who have disappointed me were never close friends of mine but I feel as I get older, it is important to surround myself with people who inspire me and are just generally good people!   It's better to have a few good friends than a bunch of fair weather friends.  I'm stepping off my soap box now. ;)  

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hey again internet!  It's been awhile since I've blogged but ThinkKit's daily prompts are back for the month of December and I'm going to participate again this year.  Today's prompt was to share a year in photos, or a significant photo (which I am choosing) and to dig deeper into the meaning behind it.
So here is a photo I want to talk about:

As some of you know, my hair was fire engine red for a week in early June.   Now, some of you probably hated it (which I ended up not liking it since it faded so damn quickly and my mom kept calling me Bozo) but dying my hair this vibrant color was more than a new hair color for me.

Some of you know that not too long after Raven was born, I began having digestion issues.  I had a hospital stay in June 2013, an endoscopy, a colonoscopy, an MCRP, a gallbladder removal, and various acid and anti nausea medications and still no answer as to why my stomach felt full/painful so much or why I would get nauseated almost daily.  I would literally eat 5 bites of food and suddenly feel like I ate a large Thanksgiving dinner.  Since I hadn't found the answer to my issues, a couple doctors convinced me I was just 'stressed out' causing me stomach issues.  In all honesty, feeling bad was stressing me out and not the other way around.  If I ate lunch at say, 11 am, I would be burping it up at 6 pm.  I couldn't eat very much and felt weak.  I lost 30 lbs from my weight after Raven was born.  I was losing hope with every pound that I lost.  I became depressed and angry because I knew I was not causing this problem but I wasn't getting an answer.  I isolated myself from a lot of people because I HATED the way I looked and hated the way my body was making me feel.  I just didn't want to be Debbie Downer to friends and acquaintances.   January through April, I got a lot of strangers negatively commenting on my weight which hurt my self esteem even more.  I thought this nightmare would never end.

Then I had a new gastro doctor who suggested I might have gastroparesis (a partially paralyzed stomach) that could have been caused by a virus or for unknown reasons.  The only way to find out if this was my issue was by taking a Gastic Emptying Scan.  The scan revealed that my stomach was emptying much slower than most people's stomach thus I FINALLY HAD AN ANSWER!  Fortunately with this condition, it could go away and I do have a milder version than the poor people who have to have feeding tubes in their small intestines or vomit 15 times a day because their stomach does not operate at all.  Because I have a mild enough condition (though still life changing and depressing), I was put on a prokinetic medication called Domperidone which tells the nerves in my stomach to contract when they won't on their own.  I take one pill about 10 minutes before every meal and I can eat like I used to!  I get hungry and I'm not nauseated!  I might have to be on this medicine the rest of my life, but I have come to peace with that as long as I feel better.  May is when I started the Domperidone and I could tell within 2 weeks that I was remarkably better and able to take in over 3000 calories a day in order to gain weight back.

So what does this have to do with hair color or taking a selfie with my daughter?  I felt like I was finally vibrant again and I wanted my hair to shout that out.  The past year, I would fake smile for the camera when inside I barely felt a reason for smiling since I felt so physically terrible and was losing weight like crazy.  This photo was taken soon after I dyed my hair and I am GENUINELY smiling in this photo.  I felt (and still feel) good, and it made me a better mom being able to have the energy to do more things with Raven.  I had a great summer with her before returning to the workforce this fall (besides my floral business which I have continued).

The hair color may not have stayed, but my happiness has.  I have gained a lot of weight back despite still being a naturally skinny person.  I love this photo, and it will always remind me that no matter what horrible situation I come across that I will make it out.  A friend in college told me once, "If things aren't okay, they aren't the end and in the end, everything will be okay."