Thursday, December 31, 2009

♫ It's been a year of MUSIC.

A compilation of 2009's top music songs and videos, in one song. It pretty much rocks.

Yours Truly,

** The Daycare from Hell.

**Guest Blogging time! Please lend our ghost writer, and her blog, your thoughts!** Sazaran and Nomz

One of the hardest things in my life has popped up. The decision to work and place my kids in daycare. I love to be a stay at home Mom but when a job comes around when you really really need it sometimes you just have to take it up. I started my quest on looking for a great daycare through google. A nice fancy page may not be all it's cut out to be. I felt like I found the a pretty good place for the kiddos. So, got up at 5:30 a.m. to get us all ready for my first day of work and the kid's first day of school. When I dropped them off I couldn't help but shed a few tears because they didn't even seem to notice that I was leaving. I called throughout the day and I was told my babies where fine and not to worry. But, picking them up was a different story. It felt like it took forever to get across town to pick them up. I hurried up to the door and to my freaking amazement here stands a almost 6 or 7 year old pushing my daughter who is only 3. Not only this a boy was jumping in front of her and screaming. I've never seen my little girl so pissed off. Her face was red and she was completely trying to defend herself to these bullies. I turn to look at the "daycare provider" and she was standing there laughing. She says to me "um so yea you owe us $500.00 for the week and we need your payment right now!" I was in total shock, I mean I couldn't even get out well, what the hell are you doing not even taking care of my kids??? Or, Why does my son have snot all over his face, or why in the hell was my infant only change ONE freaking time in a 9 hour period????? I gathered my kids and their things. I popped us in the car and my eyes swell up. I can't believe this has happened. I couldn't even fall asleep the night before because I was scared to leave them with anyone let alone a daycare. I decided that I wasn't going to take that crap, so I drove back and wrote a check for 110 bucks for one day to a crappy daycare. When I got my kids home they where so thirsty they drank 4 glasses of juice! That right there means they probably didn't eat anything or drink anything. I wish I could tell every single parent that takes their kids to this place not to anymore. They don't give a damn about babies or children just a head count on how much money they are making.

On a lighter note, I did find a wonderful daycare a day later. This place is awesome and they also say bible verses! I'm thrilled to be able to work and contribute to our family. It's also a nice break from being a stay at home Mom. But here is to saying good bye to debt and Thank the Lord for finding me a daycare that is best for my kids!


An edit from our Guest Blogger: First Steps Preschool is evil! The awesome one they are in now is called Kiddie Korral. :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

♫ My 2009, a Look Back...and Forward too.

I posted a status on Facebook today, and I meant it. ”Dear 2009, don't let the door hit you on the way out.”

It’s been quite the year. And, with New Years Eve tomorrow, I figured some time looking back at it would be time well spent. Of course, my life has been pretty mellow compared to some both around me, and in the celebrity world. Let’s start with the buzz, and move on to a bit more personal, shall we?

The Buzz.

America elects its first African American president.
American Idol has its first homosexual star.
The Swine Flu pandemic reaches from coast to coast, twitter to Facebook, friend to friend, and turns out not to be all that bad.
Twilight becomes the new Harry Potter, smashing book selling and box office records.
Brittany Murphy dies; possibly a drug overdose.
Chris Henry from the Cincinatti Bengals goes through a rough streak, then falls out of a pickup, and sadly, passes away.
Heath Ledger passed away after a stunning act as the Joker in the latest Batman movie, cause: suicide.
Michael Jackson passes away. It’s still a mystery why, as far as I know. Some say he’s still alive, partying with Elvis.
Jessica Simpson got dumped in an IHOP. Go Tony Romo.
Taylor Swift gets interrupted by the King of Fail: Kanye West. Then, she tops charts and becomes entertainer of the year. Wait a minute…
Everybody hates Facebook. Everybody gets a Facebook.
Everybody is confused about Twitter. Everybody gets a Twitter; remains confused…and now excellent at stalkng.
The 80’s came back with a revenge, from skinny jeans, to boy-cut hair, and denim.

The American Hero…lands a plane IN A RIVER. All survive, and he was the last to leave to make sure every single person was carried to safety.

Let’s face it, it’s officially impossible for me to name everything that happened this year. It’s been a HUGE year. Let me know what I’ve missed! This will be a great blog to look back on and remember!

My 2009.

Like I said above, while it feels like it’s been a tough year in some ways, I know it doesn’t even compare to some. This blog isn’t meant to sound gripe-y. I’m very blessed to have the friends and family that I do, and that they love me and my girls entirely regardless of my circumstances or choices. That being said, let’s review.

I left my past lifestyle in October/November of 2008, so 2009 was my new beginning. A second try, if you will. I’ve managed to:

Continue writing (Lucky for you).
Find new music.
Discover indoor lacrosse.
Find out what a good guy feels like. Meet his family. Fall in love with boy and family.
Experience Nascar with said boy and family.
Meet North Carolina.
Realize airports really are as fun as they’re cracked up to be.
Eat at the Melting Pot.
Get my girls in gymnastics.
Make Kyanne grow her hair even longer, despite her want for short boy hair like her sister.
Watch Kyanne literally lose her first tooth, during a fabulous trip “home”. Go through excruciating pain watching Kyanne get her lip sewed up, and un-sewed, and her teeth examined. FOUR TIMES.

Watch Kyanne go from cute, to beautiful, overnight.

Watch Leyna grow. And shine. And bounce. And get brilliant. And no matter how hard I was watching, realized I missed so much.

Get baby envy. Never want babies again.
Realize what real friends are.
See a Denver Bronco’s game.
Reconnect with friends from my past, and realize they belong in my future too.
Blog some more.
Stress over money.
Realize money is necessary…but not everything.
Learn Social Marketing, and rock it.
Found that soul-charging is the perfect word for certain people in life, and realize that they’re a necessity.
Tell myself over and over again that no matter how hard I wish I could control somebody’s happiness, it depends completely on their own actions.
Remember to thank God every single night.
Teach my girls to talk to God.
Go to church…and remember why I no longer go to church.
Talk to God some more.
Find time to read.
Find time to read to my girls.
Realize that every time I send them to their room because they’re driving me crazy, that I’m missing time with them.
Tomatoes still cause cancer.
Chocolate isn’t as bad as I thought, especially on the right occasion.
Forgive myself.

New Year’s Resolutions!

Be a better friend, even when it feels like I’m completely out of time, money, and control.
Be more patient when things don’t go the way I want.
Learn to drive a tractor-a real big one.
Learn to drive a semi.
Find time for myself…more time. Like a day a month, for just me. No kids, no boy, no phone.
I WONT feel guilty for crying the entire day that Kyanne is at her first day of Kindergarten. Yes, that happens this year.
When it feels impossible, just break it down in to possibilities and get it done.
When I feel like I’ve been knocked to my knees, remember that I’m in the perfect position to pray-and that up is the only direction to go.
Love more. Laugh more. Forgive more.

Yours Truly,

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


True story:

There was a man in the Bible named Job. This man was righteous; so much so that God had built a hedge of protection around him and caused him to be very prosperous. So, Satan challenged God by implying that if his blessings were stripped, he would no longer serve God as he did. God said, "Go for it and watch him prove you wrong." Through a series of unfortunate events, all of Job's children die; his land is destroyed by storms; his cattle are killed off by a plague. All this to show that his faith was not in God, but in things. So, Job's three friends decide to travel to him to provide "encouragement." They end up spending the whole time telling Job that he woes are a direct result of sin. Against God. Horrible sin that he must right in order for his blessing to be restored.

---> making this story short- Satan is proved wrong. Job remains faithful to God. Because of His love for him, God restores his blessing three-fold.

Moral of the story: there will always be that "anonymous" person in life- or a few- that inspire ulcers to make a home in our gut; throwing out all feeling and/or logic when doing so: Job's friends. With each case, I believe that we can make it a good or bad experience for either party. Whether or not those ulcers actually stand a chance is allll how we react. There is the option of taking each attack, back-handed compliment or mean-spirited comment to heart and become a shell of a person by doing so.


By realizing that the person who prefers to remain "Anonymous" is choosing to do so because they are immature and don't want their immaturity to be displayed for all to gawk at, we can take their babble (I love that word, doesn't it describe said person's opinion so well??) with a grain of salt and

First, if "Anonymous" is so important in life, they would not remain so secretive. Their thoughts could be shared with a name tag and all would appreciate their input. This only goes to say that most of the time, no one cares what they think. At least I don't. Obviously, this here blog is inspired by recent events and it may seem that my goat was got. Not true.

I'd like to say a thing or two to that thorn in our side: I reply with vigor because it is my (our) blog and I like to be involved. However, do not think that your comments affect me. You visit Daily Offensive a dozen times a day... so who is affecting whom? My point exactly. You may be hiding behind a convenient little title but your true insides are spilling all over. It's not a pretty sight to behold. I think you will find that our readers will almost always support us and despise you. Glitter-bless those faithful readers.

Dr. Seuss said it best, "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

♫ Random Monday...On a Tuesday: 12/29/09

Time to play catch-up! I took almost a week of vacation, which included a break from almost all internets too.

Random Monday, done on a Tuesday.

*~ I love Chick-Fil-A, and it’s official, that’s not a secret. It’s sad that in a town of like 75,000 people I can walk in and say ”the usual” and they ring it up and make it. Plus, I got it for Chrismas! Win!

*~Christmas was odd this year. For a lot of reasons. See, we had to balance the girls between two families for the second year in a row. Christmas Eve was mine, Christmas Day was his…and Christmas morning just felt really lonely without them. We were soooooo blessed though, to be surrounded by such amazing family, that loved on me and my girls so much. It was also different because this was the last year we’re having it at my grandparents house. Next year is just gonna be strange. I may just stay in bed. Or serve my kids dinner and presents in their beds. ;)

*~I got to see Inglorious Bastards and Sherlock Holmes this weekend! Both were most excellent! I’d highly recommend a quiet atmosphere on a large TV for IB, it’s mostly in subtitles, and in German AND French, and can be hard to follow, and you’ll also hate it if you don’t like blood. Or Quentin Tarantino. Sherlock Holmes is best accompanied by a theatre audience, two Icee’s, and a free popcorn. Excellent flick…it’ll hang perfectly on my shelf with National Treasure.

*~Speaking of free popcorn? Did you know that they put butter flavoring on movie theatre popcorn, not actual butter? Yeah, this cute kid at the theatre told me. He said it was a secret, but I’m pretty sure I can trust you guys. The real question is…what IS butter flavoring?

*~I’ll admit it, the Twilight books continue to prove better than expected. They’re not up in my “favorite” list yet, but they’ve got me thinking if Brandon doesn’t work out, a vampire very well could be the next thing on my “must-have” qualities in men.

*~If you’re going to pick a fight, don’t be dramatic when it turns in to a battle.

*~When does Abortion occur? After the baby becomes a baby? I keep seeing all these ads for that "plan B" birth control, the "morning after pill" as its called, and it makes me think it's just an abortion for a really punctual person. Don't wanna get pregnant? Don't do the deed.

*~If anybody knows of a safe kid person in my general area, looking for an opportunity to read by a fire while listening to my kids sleep while I get a second job, please let me know.

*~Text messages after 11pm and before 7am will be ignored. Don’t take it personally.

*~I’ve got so much going on in my head that I’ve lost sleep and can’t concentrate. I’m cleaning my closets tonight to the sound of my girls giggles and maybe some serious Alanis Morissette chick music, hoping that all the answers were misplaced or buried there on accident. It’ll be ironic, don’t you think?

*~Picture of the day, posted on our Blogs Facebook wall (click here: Daily Offensive Fan Page) by my mamma:

*~Quotes of the day:

" I gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which I must stop and look fear in the face... I say to myself, I've lived through this and can take the next thing that comes along... We must do the things we think we cannot do."

"I asked God to grant me patience. God said, No. Patience is a by-product of tribulations; it isn't granted, it is learned."

Song of the Day:

It's The Only One You've Got by 3 Doors Down (lyrics posted below for anybody interested):

Yours Truly,

It's The Only One You've Got lyrics

How do you know where
you're going when you
don't know where you've
been? You hide the shame
that you're not showing.
And you won't let anyone
in. A crowded street can
be a quiet place when
you're walking alone.
And now you think that
you're the only one who
doesn't have to try.
Then you won't have to fail.
If you're afraid to fly,
then I guess you never will.

You hide behind your
walls of maybe nevers.
Forgetting that there's
something more than just
knowing better. Your
mistakes do not define
you now, they tell you
who you're not. You've got
to live this life you're
given like it's the only
one you've got.

Memories have left you
broken and the scars have
never healed. The emptiness
in you is growing, there's
so little left to fill.
You're scared to look back
on the days before, but too
tired to move on. And now you
think that you're the only one
who doesn't have to try. Then
you won't have to fail.
If you're afraid to fly,
then I guess you never will.


Ooh. And what would it take
to get you to say that I'll
try? And what would you say
if this was the last day of
your life?

Monday, December 28, 2009

♥What TO Wear

Ever watch What Not To Wear? Well, I do and I always try to take the "rules" and store them in mah brain. The only issue is: not once have I seen a petite woman with curves- or shape similar to mine. So, I don't really know if her rules can apply to me. Solution: It's, officially, the coolest site out there. Here's how it goes:

You go to the site, register (free!) and then enter all of your measurements. And I do mean all. I would recommend having a friend help you and set aside about an hour to do the research, if you both want to try it. Then, after you enter all your numbers, the site tells you what kind of shape you are and what kind of clothes to buy that will flatter your figure! Really, I don't know why they didn't think of this sooner. I'm hooked.

Just sharing the good news with our lady-readers. :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

♥Stand in Awe

Psalm 14:1a
"The [empty-headed] fool has said in his heart, There is no God."

Isaiah 66:1a
"Thus says the Lord: Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool."

Jeremiah 51:15
"He made the earth by his power, and he preserves it by his wisdom. He has stretched out the heavens by his understanding."

Nehemiah 9:6
"You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you."

Watching this video, my head goes all twisted and I cannot even fathom the depths of the universe. To think that this was created by a God who is so personal, so in love with me that he has memorized the amount of hairs that are on my head I stand in awe. I ♥ you, Lord.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Just a Reminder: Play Nice

Things to love about the Daily Offensive:

#1. We blog about everything. We’re not specific to men, women, single parents, being frugal, etc. We’ll blog about whatever is on our mind. Most of our subjects, admittedly, appeal more to women due to the authors being women, and the majority of our readers, female…but we try to keep the subjects broad.

#2. We allow ghost bloggers a few times every month. We’re not short on inspiration or material, we just know what it’s like to write, and get both your thoughts out there in a blogging environment, and to write under a “ghost name” that will never be revealed. As long as they don’t go against the morals of the blog authors, we’ll allow anything. We’ve got about six in queue and LOVE them all. Keep them coming! <3

#3. The Daily Offensive is written by two different girls, and although they have a lot in common, they are quite different. Think of it as the Country Mouse and City Mouse. This gives you some really unique spins, and commentary.

#4. We allow anonymous comments. This is up for debate at the moment…but for now, you can comment without us knowing your identity. It can be used as a mini ghost blog, if you will. That’s rare. In fact, due to scrutiny and vindictiveness, you can hardly find a blog that will allow comments at all, or require you to be a registered user.

#5. We do our best to make you laugh, squirm, and think. We pride ourselves on touching the untouchables, and welcoming discussions on them.

We love our readers. We love that you participate in our blogs, and we love that we have such excellent ghost writers. Unfortunately, with the benefits listed above, we occasionally get attacked. If that happens, we generally ask you nicely to stop…or delete your comments. Discussion is one thing, agreeing to disagree is welcome…but pointing fingers, attacking, being vindictive or manipulative, flaming, meanness, prejudice, or using outside knowledge you have about us against us on the blogs will not be tolerated. While your name, address, and privacy are protected under an anonymous comment, your IP address and general location is tracked every time you click on anything on the internet. We have every ability to track your location...and block it, if you can't play nice.

A few quotes:

Some people’s lives seem to magically fall into place. We can see the blessings they have received, the ease with which they have attained their desires, their unwavering confidence, and their wealth. But, because we can never see the story of their lives as a whole, it is important that we refrain from passing judgment or becoming envious.

Should you find yourself the victim of other people's bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities; remember, things could be worse. You could be one of them.

"How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours."

It’s never what people do that make us angry, it’s what we tell ourselves about what they did.

~Nomz and Sazaran

**Remember when we used to talk to people?

**Ghost Blogging time! We think this is a great message, especially this time of year. Please lend our ghost writer, and her blog, your thoughts!** Sazaran and Nomz

With cell phones and computers and computers inside our cell phones we have incredible, instant access to information and to people. This is perfect for a girl like me; impatient and preferring not to hold a phone for too long, I can shoot a text or e-mail out for the response I need from a friend. Via social networking, we can get to know strangers and exchange tidbits with old friends that we’d otherwise lose touch with. I love browsing through the people I’m connected to and taking a look through their virtual photo album to see what they’ve done, where they’ve gone, how they’ve grown and leaving rambling messages on how cute their new babies are. There are more benefits to modern technology than I care to list and a number of them are taken for granted as we adjust to having them so readily available that we forget what it was like without them.

Remember when we used to talk to people?

Conversations with friends and family are rife with typos and emoticons and abbreviations. What happened to the smiles that don’t involve keyboards and shift keys and the exclamations marked by the excitement in our voice and not the symbol that says it for us? In a world where actions speak louder than words, why are we allowing ourselves to go mute? The world is falling silent around us and the only noise is the click-click-click of thumbs on a keypad.

It’s time to lift your eyes and open your mouth. We can’t accept sincerity through our inboxes. We have to communicate with our bodies and our voices, with touch and expression before talking at all is ancient dialect.

Jill Hausen |

♥Be a man!!

I've come across an alarming number of slacking, whining, good-for-nothing men who seem to have lost the definition of what it mean to be a man. Let me rant for a minute, please. Know that this blog is not directed toward all men, but it is directed toward a few specific boys who needs to get their crap together and start taking care of their families.

First, good on ya for working to provide for your families- it's an important and vital role. Know that it just doesn't stop there. If you think that your responsibilities end with a pay check, you're sorely mistaken. If you're not employed, it's understandable, but get off your ass and do something else to help keep the house in order.

For those of you that are married and have children- you are half of those children, therefore you are required to put in half the effort to take care of them. This means: giving mama a break (and, please, don't wait until she is at her wit's end and threatening to burn the house down), changing a diaper or two, paying for insurance- little ones have accidents. It also means that you are to set a good example for them. You're married now; the days of bachelorhood have ended. You don't need to sit on the couch every day, all day watching football, basketball, hockey or whatever sport may seem more important than the attention of your family.

If you have done, are doing or are thinking of doing drugs to ease whatever burden that is on your mind. You deserve to be kicked to the street.

Calling your wife names does not make you better; in fact, it makes you weaker, smaller and that much more of an idiot.

If Peter Griffin is your role model, I suggest a frontal lobotomy.

I don't really know what happened to this generation of men, but they have really dropped the ball. You would balk at the amount of women I have talked to that are abandoned by their husbands/father of their children, today. Really? I mean, reallllly? I know, I know, both parties can be responsible for this decline (I have a whole 'nother blog about that. Just so you know). But, men, be the bigger person! Grow a set of balls and be the man you are needed to be! Like your mama told you, life isn't fair; you may have to work two jobs, give up your hobbies for a little while, or just be content with not spending money- IT'S LIFE. You're not the only one making sacrifices.

Husbands, love your wives like you love your own body; Daddies, treat your children with patience and tenderness. In the end, you will only win. This, I promise. If you make an effort, be a good man/husband/daddy/human being, your family will adore you for it and you will be happy despite any hardships you may face.

Monday, December 21, 2009

♫ Random Monday: 12/21/09

~It’s been a few weeks since I did one of these. We’ve been so busy with other blogs! I mean, did you notice the amount of blogs Sazaran posted for you this week?! Plus, she totally caught on to my Random Monday idea and played in that sandbox today. Check it out. It’s a good one…all musical and stuff.

~I will be completely honest, Christmas is stressing me out this year. Bad. Financially, I’m worse off right now, well the last year really, then I ever have been. It’s been a trick trying to budget for three, on one income. I’ve been blessed to have such a great support system that are working their tails off to make sure my girls get to experience Christmas to its fullest. You know who you are. And you will understand when Christmas is slim pickin’s this year. I think everybody is feeling the crunch, which makes me feel both a little better, and really heavy hearted. I don’t understand why we don’t all just get born, and then get a million dollars for being born. Seriously, they should pay us to come in to this world…and then teach us how to manage it.

~Lady Antebellum has a new song out…which makes me want to skip like a school girl with cute pig-tails. Take a listen!

~I hate watching my friends go through things with their friends that are out of my control. Because not only is it completely out of my control, but I can’t even say much without feeling like I’m crossing a line. I mean nothing is as it seems, so it’s not my place to try and squeeze my puzzle piece in to their jigsaw, you know? My piece just wont fit.

~I miss my best friend.

~Wednesday is going to be epic. My girls are playing gymnastics, and every last Wednesday anybody who wants to can come and watch…and the audience planning on coming is quite the mix. We’ll call it a collision of realities.

~I am probably most impatient with ungratefulness over everything else. It drives me crazy when people spend money like they’ve got deep pockets, but hold on to it and control it when it comes to giving. Or when people are given things, and they assume they deserved or earned it, rather than being thankful. Money is a necessary evil, but it isn’t everything. And it pisses me off.

~There is no better sound than my girls laughter. None. I haven’t traveled the world and seen the Seven Wonders, but I really think a child’s laugh is like the Eighth Wonder that hasn’t been completely discovered yet.

~I’m playing White Elephant tonight, which should not be confused with White Santa. But is, really easily.

~I love peanut brittle, and the smell of Christmas. The season of Christmas, the fact that love seems to wrap its big ol’ arms around everybody in one room, regardless of past or present circumstances, and makes it feel like home.

~“God places some very loving people in our lives to not replace the gap, but to help fill it. I'm beginning to accept and learn that sometimes God allows us to have (or not have) certain relationships for a season and if they at some point in time begin to fade, it doesn't make it less important or forgotten--it stays as a beautiful memory and allows our hearts to be more open and forgiving towards others. know that you and your girls are so surrounded by God's blessings and love! Philippians 4:8-9 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Sometimes, I feel a tinge of guilt for the choice I made to walk away. More for the girls’ sake than mine. The "broken family" image. And then I realize how much better off we really are, just the way we are.

It’s songs like this one that bring on the guilt though…and then I realize that just because the song says it’s true, doesn’t mean that life says it’s true. Like…just because this country singer with oddly long locks feels this way, doesn’t mean somebody else does. Guilt, you have no place here, be gone. I’m so blessed to have stellar friends to point this out. Thank you Jess, your words carried the strength of an army this week.

~I’ve almost completely replaced coffee and cream, with green tea and honey. And it’s making my insides soooo happy. Plus? Cheyenne sucks for coffee. It helps.

~I’ve finished a difficult Christmas letter that I can mail without fear to every single person in my address book. Plus anybody else that wants one (FB me). This is huge, people. Do you have any idea how hard it is to tell people that dislike you, but love your kids, what we've been up to...just to make sure they still have a place in my girls' lives?

~Wanna know what else is huge? Me No Habla Farmer. AT all. But I totally drove a loader last weekend. A yellow one. And pushed a semi, and parked it. This is big.

~There is no other place like the back of a horse. And I miss it so much.

~I’ve rambled, and will leave you with this:

I’m not sure if I will blog again this week or not. So in case I don’t, please make sure you read through our December blogs-there really are some gems. Whether or not you have time for that, please, PLEASE have a very Merry Christmas…and remember that presents aren’t everything-it’s the love that they are wrapped in…and that’s really the only wrapping paper you can save forever, AND pass on at the same time. Is there any greater gift?! God bless, and Merry Christmas.

Yours Truly,

Friday, December 18, 2009

♥Sazaran's Random Monday Blog

~ For some reason, which I'm not particularly aware of, I've been more emotional than I normally am. Okay, there's the obvious- it must be this time of change that's getting to me. When you're split open, insides are bound to spill out at some point. I've mentioned before that I loathe change; I do not like my sand box to be messed up, in any way. It makes me feel out of control and vulnerable.

~ I have baby on the brain. Majorly. What an effing-opportune-time, I'd say. Seeing curled fists and hearing cooing voices makes my head spin and my arms yearn for another brand new soul to cherish. And when I think that I cannot have it, at this time, I want to scream and take out all my anger on the one who took that future from me.

~ There are certain fears that race through my mind, every once in a while. When they hit, I can't catch my breath. I have to close my eyes tight and pray. People help, too. If I get in the middle of a big crowd of people or go socialize with family- to get my mind off of those fears- I feel slightly better. I can't even blog about those fears, like I want to, because I'm afraid someone will take them and use them against me. Rock <----- me -----> Hard Place.

~ Just to set the record straight regarding some of the blogs I've written: most of the time, they are fleeting thoughts which seem to be a good conversation- or debate- starters. I am sarcastic, if you haven't noticed; so, my blogs might come off as black and white, passionate or totally unlike me- sometimes they are and sometimes they aren't. So, don't take the things you read as truth. There is a lot to me (and Nomz) that is not shared on here. Either for lack of space or ability to define precise feelings or convictions- they are not the whole story.

~ Naomi once told me that Kelly Clarkson could be my song-soul-make. I totally agree. The more I hear her sing (I know she doesn't write all her songs) the more I realize that they have For example: Never Again (among how many other songs have I posted, from her??) explains the divorce and how I feel. It kinda freaks me out. It's kinda cool. I'm sure if I ever told her this she would think I am a stalker. I would.

~ I hate talking on the phone. So, this is a big "sorry" to most people that I ignore. Really, I do love you, it's just that I cannot get anything done when I have a devise cooking my ear. Text? Oh, yeah. I'll text Facebook? You know it! Email? Perfect. But a phone call? Sorry, does not want.

~ You know that song, Gives You Hell? It's following me. I hear it every day and every time I'm in the car (on the radio- duh. I know it would be logical if it were a CD); I hear it every time I play Pandora; it loves me. And I love it. ♫You can take back your memories, they're no good to me...♫

~ There is this play area in the mall, here. It's meant for little children (42" and under) and, despite the rules, parents allow their big kids to run around like chickens with their heads cut off; knocking over the smaller ones and not caring one iota. It drives me crazy. What do I do? Do I confront the complacent parents and point out the rules? Or do I act in a passive-aggressive manner and call mall security over to deal with the unruly brats? My mama-bear instincts come roaring out, my claws a perfect match, every time Malachi comes close to being trampled.

~ Everything I want to do, I don't; those things I don't want to do, I do! It's a never-ending cycle and I want it to stop!

~I reallllly want to send a deep, dark secret to PostSecret. I just don't know which one to choose.
~ Someday, I will live in Washington. It doesn't even need to be Forks *wink*, just someplace near the water.

~I really do want those diamonds... just in case you're reading this blog...

~ My dad fought Chuck Norris.And.Won. True story.

~I think that this Christmas might just be the best I'll have in a long time- despite the fact that I have less money and more responsibility than I've ever had. There is a certain freedom to knowing that your future holds bright promise and opportunity and Christmas makes it hang in the air like frosty, snowflake-shaped dreams.

~ Here, a song I shall dedicate to my Malachi:

♥You have to kiss a lot of frogs...

It's funny how things work out, aye? This little diddy is right on the heels of my last, very entertaining blog.... and I wrote it first!

Just for the record, I have never had this much attention from the male species, in general. So, I thought I'd just share my agenda or, more aptly put, my lack-of-agenda and a short list of guidelines to wooing this lady; taken from past and recent experience. I think it's a good idea for a woman of any age to have guidelines, to guard her heart.


Call me old fashioned, but this girl's knees go weak when a man opens every door, guides her by the small of her back and walks her to her doorstep at the end of the night. Unfortunately, chivalry is about as common as the great white tiger. Sure, I know women like to be "independent" and "self-sufficient" but romance calls for a little grandeur. For those of you, men, that really try to be a gentleman I give you major KUDOS.


If I don't laugh while we're out, it's likely that there won't be a second date. Even to diffuse an awkward situation, it is highly appreciated.
“Laughter is the way to true love.” -Unknown
“Laughter is the closest distance between two people.” -Victor Borge
“Really, sex and laughter do go very well together, and I wondered - and I still do - which is more important.” -Hermione Gingold

Speaking of kisses:

No, I do not kiss on the first date. Or the second. Remember, patience is a virtue. Oh, and do try to remember that it is all in the kiss. 1.) Keep your lips moisturized, no one likes to swap spit with sand paper; 2.) Minty-fresh breath goes a looong way; 3.) If you're drunk, don't even try it. Kisses on the chin, upper lip only or left nostril will provoke gag reflex and later gushing of horrifying moment to closest friends.

Who pays?

I once heard that the one who pays for the date is the one who requests the date. I disagree. Along those old fashioned ways, I'm keeping to "the gentleman pays". That has dual meaning. If he is a gentleman he will pay; even if I ask for the date, he will pay. Just as with chivalry, this is pretty much extinct. But, if a man is after a woman's heart, this is the smallest gesture to show that he will take care of her, should she hand over her heart. This is a big one with single mamas, too.

In the end, I think the most important thing to remember is to Dating doesn't have to be a serious, ulcer-inducing event; even if he is truly a nice guy, there is no pressure to fall in love. Friendship that blossoms into something more will always be the best road taken. So, please, let us know your tips, rules and or funny experiences that had you thinking second thoughts on the scary subject of dating!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

**Keeping Christ in Christmas

We've had several ghost blogs come in through these last two or three weeks-to be fair to all of our ghost bloggers, we are going to post them occasionally, not all at once-to make sure they get equal attention. Let our Ghost Blogger know what you think!

Keeping Christ in Christmas

Let me start by saying this topic about by me needing to clarify my thoughts as we struggle with this holiday season knowing that I am not the only one struggling this Christmas. Our country has had a difficult year with a faltering economy. Only now do you we see that we, as a whole, have lost sight of the little things that are really the most important.

Christmas is right around the corner. I can hear it coming saying “ready or not, here I come”. I find myself wishing I could ignore it all together, knowing that in fact I cannot ignore it. You need to know that I have two beautiful children waiting on Santa. My daughter has asked every morning, “Is Santa coming today, mama?” everyday for months. I keep telling her, “Not yet, you have to wait a little longer.” While I have this huge sinking feeling. I wonder to myself where has all the splendor gone? Christmas has always been something I have looked forward to. I even decorated a Christmas tree for my daughter when I was still very much pregnant, knowing she wouldn’t even see it, let alone enjoy it. Now, five years later I have the tree up, the house is decorated, but there is absolutely nothing under our tree. I look at that tree and it just breaks my heart to know that I will not have anything to put under that tree. They will have present under there soon, only because papa will be here in a week, but not from mom and dad. This is why I feel haunted by Christmas this year.

Since I am being so open with you, let me tell you that ‘haunting’ feeling makes me angry. I do not go to church every Sunday, but I was raised to believe in God. And here I am worried about material things, knowing that Christmas is not about presents at all. Christmas is supposed to be about celebrating our lives, family, friends and most important the birth of Christ, our savior. I am asking you to think about this; when did the birth of Christ turn into spending money on material things. When frankly that is not what Christmas is suppose to be about. You can’t turn on a TV with out seeing something about the hottest toys of the season. But don’t hold your breath waiting for anything about the true meaning of Christmas.

Now let me make it clear that I am not looking for pity or hand outs. I have more the most can ask for this Christmas. I have a wonderful husband two beautiful children and another on the way. We have a roof over our heads, food in the pantry, and plenty of love to go around. My husband has also been struggling with the same feelings about not providing the ‘perfect Christmas’ for me or the kids. He works hard and it is apparent to everyone who knows him. He doesn’t have just one job, but two! Not to mention being a father and a husband. So when he brought up the topic of how he had failed us the Christmas. I responded with the fact that he has given us everything we need. That is when it hit me like a ton of bricks that tree may look empty, but it is not. It is filled with a love greater then I can put into words. A love from two parents that would move heaven and earth for our children. And the greatest gift of all, our lord and savior, Jesus Christ.

So the one thing I hope you take away from this rant to revelation, is as you celebrate this Christmas give thanks for what you DO have, not what you don’t. This country has fallen on hard times; it is only know that we can clearly see that Christmas is not about how much money we may or may not spend on someone, but how much we have to be thankful for.

The Baby sleeps
In the arms of His loving mother.
The night is still
And the beasts of the stable
Hover near
In soundless adoration.

The world's asleep
In the dreams of this loving Infant,
And our hearts our still
In boundless adoration.

Sleep, Child, sleep
Your sleep of purity.
Sleep, world, sleep
In God's Security.

~Van Varner

Hoping to all who read this you have a wonderful Christmas!

♥Flirting with disaster...

You know that part that was put into every woman, the part that helps them work their curves with a magic that stuns every man and gets them a discount or free drink anywhere? I think it got left out of me. Seriously, I watch my lovely friends bat their eyes and talk with angelic voices and I just.can' Never have I escaped a speeding ticked by applying lip gloss or showing a teensie bit of cleavage. Oh, I've tried, but I end up feeling like a total dork.

I haz no sex appeal.

Bend and snap does not work for me.

So, I'd like a few words from you ladies that do it so well. What is your secret?? I'm not looking to play men or get myself into trouble; I'd just like to experience it, for once. You know, feeeel the power. What is there to it? The flipping of the hair, the pouting of the lips, the swaying of the hips- I try it and end up looking like a tangled fish with a hip problem. Me? Complaining? No, just curious. So, let me hear your little stories about your charm and what it got ya. Consider it my lession #1.


Monday, December 14, 2009

♥The List

For those of you who've seen P.S. I Love You, you will be familiar with the following qualities Denise kept to when searching for Mr. Right:

Denise Hennessey: Are you single?
Guy with Clipboard: Yes.
Denise Hennessey: Are you gay?
Guy with Clipboard: Yes.
[Denise walks away]
Denise Hennessey: [a few frames later] Are you single?
Ted: Yes.
Denise Hennessey: Are you gay?
Ted: No.
Denise Hennessey: Are you working?
Ted: No.
[she walks away]

In fact, there are several movies in which the starry-eyed girl holds a piece of paper to her heart and prays that her list will personify in the form of tall, dark and handsome.

Years ago, in my virginal pre-teen era, I had a list of qualities that I wanted in my "future husband". I can't remember every detail, but I know the list was pretty ridiculously picky. Then, a friend of mine said to me, "Sarah, you'll never find someone if you can't give 'em a little slack." So I tore up the list and, well, fast-forward 10 years and we all know how that chapter ended.

Just this minute, I read a friend's list and felt that little spark re-light in my heart. Why don't I deserve every detail I want, dangit?! Of course, there is no such thing as perfection, but I've learned which characteristics are priority and which are not. It might take a little longer for this person to take their cue and enter my main stage of life, but why settle for less than what the heart yearns for?

Here it is:

* You must be a Christian. A passionate Christian. All luke-warm applicants will be denied.
* You must accept my son as your own and also want to have more children- with me. Duh.
* Please be taller than me (easy to do, I know). However, I need to cut it off at six feet.
* You must be able to balance your work life, social life and home life with skill. Any one cannot take precedence over the other.

* Romance, dear, and affection.. 'Nuf said.

* Humor. You will have me wrapped around your pinky if you can get me to laugh frequently.

* If you do drugs (this includes cigarettes), you will be booted out the door by my pointy pink pumps.

* A kind heart; I do not do well with someone who makes fun of others for sport. In fact, if your sense of humor is cutting, don't even talk to me.

Brownie Points for the following:

* Coinciding political views. I am Conservative. Beware.

* Love of traveling.

* A degree in any area which will allow you to provide for your family.

* You take pride in your appearance and hygiene.

* A firm handshake says alot about a person.

* My friends like you and vice versa. Double brownie points, for this one.

There ya go. Looking over this, I'd say I'm pretty easy-going. No requirements that resemble Edward Cullen. Now... all I need is a little patience.


♫ Why Do Women...

It’s all too common, hanging around a group of guys, to hear their wishes of wanting to understand women. I grew up mostly tom boy, grew in to a girl that was a tom boy crazy about boys, and now, a girl with a boy who has a great group of guy friends. It seems most of my life the majority of my friends close to me are male…and it seems that no matter which direction I go, these are the questions they’re dying to know the answers to. I can’t answer all of them, I can only try. Maybe, female readers, you could help me out. Or help them out, actually. Men…if you have any questions for us, ask. The blog allows anonymous comments, so we won’t even tell your manly friends that you’re reading a blog and asking our advice. ;)

#1. Why do women search for bad boys…or prefer jerks, over ones that treat them right?

You know, it’s a mystery, to be completely honest. For some reason we are attracted to the bad boys. The jerks. The assholes. The ones that treat us like crap. Because the one guy that treats us good, will probably leave us…and it’ll hurt more. It’s so much easier to love a jerk, because it’s easier to hate a jerk. While we desire that fairytale romance that we read in all our books and watch on all our movies, we also learn from a few broken hearts, that there are very few men out there worth the pain. Women also have a poor self image, generally, and like to find guys that agree with that-rather than tell us otherwise. We have so little faith in ourselves, that we have to find it in somebody else that gives us attention-even if it’s not the right kind of attention.

Look around. I think you’ll notice the trend…while good girls are attracted to the jerks, it seems the nice guys are attracted to the manipulating crappy women. Opposites attract, I’d say.

#2. Why are women emotional?

Isn’t it frustrating that when you do something really great you get tears, and when we’re mad…you get tears, and when we’re upset you get tears? Or how you can joke around about our looks one day, and it offends us the next? Or how we never forget anything? God granted us the ability to bear your children. Lucky you, that means every month we have the ability to get pregnant. Whether we actually are trying to or not, that one time a month comes that makes our emotions static-like. Everything is fuzzy, and pokey, and very, very sensitive. Most of the time, even though it usually lasts 7-10 days, the emotional part of it only lasts about five. So five days a month, prepare yourself for one mess of a girl, gents. Forgive us, love us anyway. It’s not like it’s our choice to go through that. Also? If you’re with a girl long enough, you’ll figure out when it’s gonna hit, this storm cloud of emotions, and you can plan around it.

“Every woman is wrong until she cries, and then she is right - instantly. ~Sam Slick (Thomas Chandler Haliburton)”

“They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken. ~Author Unknown “

#3. Why do women wear thongs?

I hate this question. Because even I don’t know why we wear thongs. If I had to guess? Some guy probably told a few women they looked sexy in them, and BLAM, we’re all sexy. But we’re not, are we? :} It’s nice to be able to wear them and have no lines in your pants…other than that, there is no benefit, and no matter what any girl tells you, they’re NOT comfortable. We do it mostly for your sake. Thank everything Victoria Secret is making more and more comfortable panties that are not floss-shaped.

#4. Why do women keep friends, that aren’t friends?

Frenemies. You know, I planned on writing a whole blog on this topic-but due to some sensitivity, it was difficult to write without pointing fingers. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been asked ”How can you be friends with somebody that treats you like THAT? We’re emotional, loving creatures. We were born with a motherly instinct…and even when we’re not mothers, we want to care for everybody. Mean people need love too, and that’s why God made women. To make sure everybody had somebody. So when you notice that your girlfriend has a friend that takes more than she gives, that doesn’t seem to notice the effort that your girl puts in to the friendship, that constantly runs her over with a big metaphorical truck-leaving you with a flatter-than-a-pancake girlfriend, just remember to love your epically awesome girl for being the girl that she is-rather than focusing on the big tough inside man that wants to run her friend over with the same truck, only better. Every girl has a “friend” that is horrible to her. We like the punishment a little bit, I’ll admit it. Plus, we feel like good people for loving people in spite of themselves. All we ask is that you continue to pick us back up when our we’ve had enough, and encourage us to keep on keepin’ on.

Good song to make your Frenemies listen to:

“There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women. ~Madeleine K. Albright “

#5. Why do women play hard-to-get?

We like to be chased. Somewhere in growing up, we get lessons on how to score THAT GUY. One of those rules? Play hard to get…because girls like to feel chased, needed, wanted…and guys like the challenge. Time has proven that some girl made that up. Girls DO want all those things, most guys hate the challenge of the chase. Guys like a challenge like the following conversation on a bar:

”What are you drinking?”
“It’s a secret…if you guess, we’ll dance.”

NOT this conversation:

”What are you drinking?”

Men like a flirty challenge…not a battle to the deaths to get your number. Girls LIKE to be chased. Hard. They need to feel needed.

I think I could write a blog a day on the women’s psychy…but I won’t. Because then I take the mystery out of things. That…and women are so unpredictable that this doesn’t even apply to all of us. It’s a good place to start though.

A few quotes:

Women cannot complain about men anymore until they start getting better taste in them. ~Bill Maher

A woman can say more in a sigh than a man can say in a sermon. ~Arnold Haultain

Women get the last word in every argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument. ~Author Unknown

The rarest thing in the world is a woman who is pleased with photographs of herself. ~Elizabeth Metcalf

If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there are men on base. ~Dave Barry

Yours Truly,

Sunday, December 13, 2009

♥DFC by Sazaran

This is my submission for today:

"I never believed in Santa Claus because I knew no white dude would come into my neighborhood after dark." -DICK GREGORY

"I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph." -SHIRLEY TEMPLE

Take a look at this gallery of pictures and laugh your butt off: Santa??!

Friday, December 11, 2009

♫DPC: December 11, 2009

There is nothing like Christmas cookies.

Read more about the December Photo Challenge here! December Photo Challenge

Yours Truly,

Thursday, December 10, 2009

♫DPC: December 10, 2009

My girls, at "my mastics" last night. We are hard core, braving the blizzard to tumble!

Yours Truly,

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

♫ Random Monday: Entertainment, Mostly

Random Monday: On Wednesday.

I’m sorry, my random Monday plan isn’t working out too well, because we’ve been so motivated lately to write you things worth your time. ;) Read this week’s blogs, they’re GREAT!

You’re getting it today. Not because I’m not motivated or inspired, but because I’ve got random things floating around that I’m just sure you want to discuss.

~I’ve decided if I can make it through Monday and Tuesday, the rest of the week flies. Every Wednesday, I’m always like Whoa, only two more days!. I vote we just get rid of the first two. Or at least Tuesdays.

~Last time I was feeling random, I criticized the Twilight Series of books. It was completely unfair, considering I never even opened one. One of my dear friends pointed this out, and handed over the first book. I started it two nights ago, and am actually shocked, and pleasantly surprised at the quality of writing. Because of its attractiveness to younger crowds, I assumed it would be elementary. Quite the contrary. I will try to write a full review when I’m done…as of chapter 5, consider me hooked. There, I admitted it.

~I am not a fan of Christmas music earlier than three days before Christmas. It drives me crazy that it plays when I’m shopping, and at work, and on every radio station…so often that usually by Christmas, I’m tired of it. I’m also not a fan of Carrie Underwood. She’s quite hypocritical between her music and her lifestyle, BUT…BUT the girl can sing. She’s one of the best new artists in my opinion-based on her talent alone. That being said, her version of Do You Hear What I Hear is amazing. Listen:

~I think the “feels like” temperature should be illegal to talk about. The real temperature is good enough for me, and when it feels 30 degrees colder than that, I don’t wanna know.

~I watched the movie “Up” this week with my girls. Here’s the deal…I’ve cried at like two movies my whole life. Two. Armageddon is the main one…that part where the dad is on the moon or satellite or meteor or whatever it is, and has to tell his daughter goodbye forever and ever? Yeah. That part. Anyway…UP made me cry. Like, bawl. The first fifteen minutes of that movie yank hard on your heart. Then the movie turns to adorable, FAST. And, thanks to Disney being, well, Disney, it ended happy. 7 out of 5 stars from me. Buy it for your kids, you won’t regret it.

~Residentially challenged happens to be the new fancy word for homeless. Just in case you didn’t know.

~It has been a day of quotes, let me tell you. I’ll share a few gems I’ve found today. Some through Facebook, others just browsing along…

“Love isn’t what makes the world go round…it’s what makes it worth the ride.”

“Giving up doesn’t always mean you are weak. Sometimes it just means you’re strong enough to let go.”

”Sometimes you have to let life turn you upside down so you can learn how to live right side up."

Yours Truly,

♫ DPC: December 9, 2009

December Photo Challenge!

Read more about it here: December Photo Challenge, and find her main blog homepage here: Thoughts n Stuff

I dare you to tell me this isnt the cutest puppy you've ever seen, inside the coolest truck you've ever seen.

Yours Truly,

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

♫ DPC: December 8th, 2009

In case you weren't paying attention yesterday...

Read more about it here: December Photo Challenge, and find her main blog homepage here: Thoughts n Stuff

Picture of the day!

I can't believe it's been a year...

Yours Truly,

Monday, December 7, 2009

♫ Texting Etiquette

You know those contracts you have to sign with your phone carriers? The kind that say ”You are OURS for two years, and you don’t get any new cool phone unless you agree to TWO MORE years!”?? I really think that in that contract, there should be a few rules of etiquette. Both texting, and phone. Today, we’re going to cover what was left out of the texting section of your contract, both good and bad…because you know, etiquette has its good side too.

Can I get a booooooo, hisssssss?! The things below are things that drive your friends crazy. Please cease and desist as soon as possible:

#1. When someone obviously takes quite a bit of time to write you something creative, unique, interesting, or at least substantial, please do not respond with a one word answer…or worse, a one letter answer.

Examples: “K”. “LOL”.

#2. When somebody texts you something that requires a response, and you think it’s going to take hours or even days to think about? Don’t take hours or days to respond.

Example: “Hey, do you want to go out tomorrow night?” Invalid response: silence.
Instead: “Hey, do you want to go out tomorrow night?” Awesome response: I’m busy right now, I’ll text you when I know for sure!

#3. When you’re at a movie, at dinner with friends or on a date, at dinner, or are in mid-conversation with another person: DO NOT be texting excessively at the same time. It’s rude. It’d be like having a conversation with somebody in the room while you’re on the phone with somebody else.

#4. If somebody texts something similar to the following in the response to “what are you doing?”…:

Getting ready to head in to a movie!
Just sat down to dinner!
Getting ready to go to bed!
Enjoying some quiet time
I’m super busy!

don’t continue to text them. Say something to the affect of ”Have a great time!” and drop it. Do not send more than two texts asking how it’s going, where they are, how the food is, what movie they’re in, etc. And don’t get offended if you get no response at all. Generally, it means they’re busy.

#5. If you’re worth a group of friends, laughing out loud at a text you got, then quickly putting it away is rude. Try your best not to laugh out loud, or cuss, or throw your phone, unless you’re prepared to share the news.

#6. The following responses are “enders” to a conversation:

Have a great night!
I will let you know as soon as I get a chance!
My phone is about to die…

Meaning, following it up with more conversation isn’t the preferred direction. If you have something that’s going to take more than five texts to say, call the person up rather than texting.

#7. Don’t text somebody saying ”Call me.” YOU CALL ME, and leave a message if I don’t answer. Voicemail is not yet a thing of the past.

#8. Don’t say: ”I’m having a bad day. But I don’t want to talk about it.” as an opener. It leaves the person on the other end in full awkward.

Can I get a Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay! And round of claps?!?! The things below are things people LOVE to get via text:

#1. People love when you come across something funny, intriguing, or random and think of them to spread the word!

Example: Dude, this guy in front of me at checkout has the coolest Perm-Mullet I have ever seen, and is totally buying Depends!

#2. Small updates via text are welcome, rather than a phone call. Let’s face it, we’re unsocial after socializing most of the day. An update like I can’t wait to see you tomorrow! is so much better than dealing with a whole conversation.

#3. It’s awesome to get a response. Period. Even if it’s just Thank you for texting me, I’ll get back to you when I’m less busy!

#4. Everybody loves pictures. Pictures of anything. Send pictures! Also? When you get a picture message of something random, people love responses to their brilliant pictures. They took the effort to make sure the picture was perfect, and send it to you, and a response is sooooooooo exciting!

#5. When you’re with another person, and see something that you can’t say out loud-text it! Secret texts are secretly super exciting. Do NOT laugh out loud though. See above rules.

Example: This karaoke singer is terrible! It allows you to have a little laugh, without offending the person singing.

Curious, what are your texting pet peeves and joys?

Yours Truly,

♫ December Photo Challenge!

From now on, this contest will be known as DPC, followed by a date.

Here's the deal. I met this great gal via Twitter, who happens to blog, and is also an awesome mamma. Anyway, the point, is that she's doing this "December Photo Challenge" thing, where a bunch of bloggers are posting a photo a an effort to network, get some link juice, AND SHARE AWESOME PICTURES. See? I told you she was brilliant. Or maybe I didn't mention that...but she is.'ll be getting a photo a day from me, or at least I'm going to try, until the end of December. Also, make sure to check her blog daily of pretty pictures, and grand blogging skillz.

Read more about the contest here: December Photo Challenge, and find her main blog homepage here: Thoughts n Stuff

Drum Roll Please....

DPC: December 7th, 2009:

My Leyna Bug. My sister captured this shot...but since it's my kid, my camera, and my backyard, I totally get to use it to kick off this thing.

Check back daily!

Yours Truly,

Friday, December 4, 2009

♥Just to clarify...

This post is not mine. I wish it were. You can find the actual article here: What If Jesus Meant All That Stuff? I wanted to share it because I agree with every.word. And I think that (although He can manage His own) the record needs to be cleared. Please, don't base your opinion, or lack thereof, of Jesus on what you see imperfect people doing. Kthxbai.

To all my nonbelieving, sort-of-believing, and used-to-be-believing friends: I feel like I should begin with a confession. I am sorry that so often the biggest obstacle to God has been Christians. Christians who have had so much to say with our mouths and so little to show with our lives. I am sorry that so often we have forgotten the Christ of our Christianity.

Forgive us. Forgive us for the embarrassing things we have done in the name of God.

The other night I headed into downtown Philly for a stroll with some friends from out of town. We walked down to Penn's Landing along the river, where there are street performers, artists, musicians. We passed a great magician who did some pretty sweet tricks like pour change out of his iPhone, and then there was a preacher. He wasn't quite as captivating as the magician. He stood on a box, yelling into a microphone, and beside him was a coffin with a fake dead body inside. He talked about how we are all going to die and go to hell if we don't know Jesus.

Some folks snickered. Some told him to shut the hell up. A couple of teenagers tried to steal the dead body in the coffin. All I could do was think to myself, I want to jump up on a box beside him and yell at the top of my lungs, "God is not a monster." Maybe next time I will.

The more I have read the Bible and studied the life of Jesus, the more I have become convinced that Christianity spreads best not through force but through fascination. But over the past few decades our Christianity, at least here in the United States, has become less and less fascinating. We have given the atheists less and less to disbelieve. And the sort of Christianity many of us have seen on TV and heard on the radio looks less and less like Jesus.

At one point Gandhi was asked if he was a Christian, and he said, essentially, "I sure love Jesus, but the Christians seem so unlike their Christ." A recent study showed that the top three perceptions of Christians in the U. S. among young non-Christians are that Christians are 1) antigay, 2) judgmental, and 3) hypocritical. So what we have here is a bit of an image crisis, and much of that reputation is well deserved. That's the ugly stuff. And that's why I begin by saying that I'm sorry.

Now for the good news.

I want to invite you to consider that maybe the televangelists and street preachers are wrong — and that God really is love. Maybe the fruits of the Spirit really are beautiful things like peace, patience, kindness, joy, love, goodness, and not the ugly things that have come to characterize religion, or politics, for that matter. (If there is anything I have learned from liberals and conservatives, it's that you can have great answers and still be mean... and that just as important as being right is being nice.)

The Bible that I read says that God did not send Jesus to condemn the world but to save it... it was because "God so loved the world." That is the God I know, and I long for others to know. I did not choose to devote my life to Jesus because I was scared to death of hell or because I wanted crowns in heaven... but because he is good. For those of you who are on a sincere spiritual journey, I hope that you do not reject Christ because of Christians. We have always been a messed-up bunch, and somehow God has survived the embarrassing things we do in His name. At the core of our "Gospel" is the message that Jesus came "not [for] the healthy... but the sick." And if you choose Jesus, may it not be simply because of a fear of hell or hope for mansions in heaven.

Don't get me wrong, I still believe in the afterlife, but too often all the church has done is promise the world that there is life after death and use it as a ticket to ignore the hells around us. I am convinced that the Christian Gospel has as much to do with this life as the next, and that the message of that Gospel is not just about going up when we die but about bringing God's Kingdom down. It was Jesus who taught us to pray that God's will be done "on earth as it is in heaven." On earth.

One of Jesus' most scandalous stories is the story of the Good Samaritan. As sentimental as we may have made it, the original story was about a man who gets beat up and left on the side of the road. A priest passes by. A Levite, the quintessential religious guy, also passes by on the other side (perhaps late for a meeting at church). And then comes the Samaritan... you can almost imagine a snicker in the Jewish crowd. Jews did not talk to Samaritans, or even walk through Samaria. But the Samaritan stops and takes care of the guy in the ditch and is lifted up as the hero of the story. I'm sure some of the listeners were ticked. According to the religious elite, Samaritans did not keep the right rules, and they did not have sound doctrine... but Jesus shows that true faith has to work itself out in a way that is Good News to the most bruised and broken person lying in the ditch.

It is so simple, but the pious forget this lesson constantly. God may indeed be evident in a priest, but God is just as likely to be at work through a Samaritan or a prostitute. In fact the Scripture is brimful of God using folks like a lying prostitute named Rahab, an adulterous king named David... at one point God even speaks to a guy named Balaam through his donkey. Some say God spoke to Balaam through his ass and has been speaking through asses ever since. So if God should choose to use us, then we should be grateful but not think too highly of ourselves. And if upon meeting someone we think God could never use, we should think again.

After all, Jesus says to the religious elite who looked down on everybody else: "The tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom ahead of you." And we wonder what got him killed?

I have a friend in the UK who talks about "dirty theology" — that we have a God who is always using dirt to bring life and healing and redemption, a God who shows up in the most unlikely and scandalous ways. After all, the whole story begins with God reaching down from heaven, picking up some dirt, and breathing life into it. At one point, Jesus takes some mud, spits in it, and wipes it on a blind man's eyes to heal him. (The priests and producers of anointing oil were not happy that day.)

In fact, the entire story of Jesus is about a God who did not just want to stay "out there" but who moves into the neighborhood, a neighborhood where folks said, "Nothing good could come." It is this Jesus who was accused of being a glutton and drunkard and rabble-rouser for hanging out with all of society's rejects, and who died on the imperial cross of Rome reserved for bandits and failed messiahs. This is why the triumph over the cross was a triumph over everything ugly we do to ourselves and to others. It is the final promise that love wins.

It is this Jesus who was born in a stank manger in the middle of a genocide. That is the God that we are just as likely to find in the streets as in the sanctuary, who can redeem revolutionaries and tax collectors, the oppressed and the oppressors... a God who is saving some of us from the ghettos of poverty, and some of us from the ghettos of wealth.

In closing, to those who have closed the door on religion — I was recently asked by a non-Christian friend if I thought he was going to hell. I said, "I hope not. It will be hard to enjoy heaven without you." If those of us who believe in God do not believe God's grace is big enough to save the whole world... well, we should at least pray that it is.

Your brother,


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