The Baby Feeding Battle

When I found out I was pregnant, I was flooded with a million emotions. These emotions haven’t really left me even though I gave birth in late January to my child. I feel happiness. I feel sadness. I feel rage.

I could go on and on.

Motherhood is the best and worst thing at the same time. You’re scared probably 90 percent of the time you’re doing something wrong and the other 10 percent you are actually enjoying your child.

That brings me to the topic of this blog: feeding your newborn.

You’ve heard it a million times. You’ve seen it everywhere. And like it or not there is, unfortunately, a war between breast feeding and bottle feeding. What’s truly unfortunate about the whole war is that it is hard enough battling outside forces when it comes to feeding your child. The last thing on any woman’s mind should be fighting that battle with another woman that feeds differently than her.

Around week 20 of my pregnancy people had started to ask me if I planned to breast or bottle feed. Some of these people were health care professionals while others were counselors. Then, of course, there were the family members and strangers that would come up to you. I always responded truthfully with, “I am going to see what the baby wants. I plan on breastfeeding but if it doesn’t work out I will happily switch”

You would swear that I just told them I was going to drown my child in the ocean.

“Breast is best.”
“Don’t you care about your child?”
“You know your child will be smarter if you breastfeed.”

It happened every time I was asked. Eventually I just told people I planned on breastfeeding forever to get them off of my back. Which in hindsight, I should not have folded to societal demands.

It is said that research shows that breast is best. I’m not even going to argue that point because it’s not worth it. I encourage women to breast feed and I encourage women to bottle feed.

What research doesn’t tell you is how you, as a mother, will react to breast feeding.

I mean the emotional demons.

My child was breech and I had a c-section. Also, as a first time mom, my milk did not come in immediately. Actually, my colostrum didn’t even come in immediately. To top it off, my baby had low blood sugar. I wouldn’t say the deck was stacked against me, but it certainly made it very difficult to feed. I remember the hospital stay. Trying to get my colostrum to come in was the worst. They hooked me up to a pump and nothing came out. Absolutely nothing was coming out of me. So as I laid there listening to my child cry for nourishment, I felt pretty useless. The nurses kept putting her on me to feed and she would just get frustrated. They too would get frustrated. Well. I would be frustrated if I was trying to eat and nothing was coming out. Finally after her sugar went too low for their liking, they gave me some formula and a syringe to feed her. I felt relief because she finally was going to be fed.

It took six days for me to get my milk in. I became a slave to the pump and to my kid. But I was willing to do it to give her the best start in life. I supplemented formula only if absolutely necessary.

Then. All hell broke loose.

First, no one told me about lactation migraines. Every time I fed my baby for a prolonged period of time, my vision would blur and I would get this debilitating migraine. I would have to take my child off the breast just so I could see normally again. But again, I wanted what was best. Second, my baby became ill with a 24 hour bout of vomiting and diarrhea. I tried to feed from the breast, she would vomit. The next day I tried formula and she finally kept it down. I decided to try breast again and she would vomit.

I went like this for a week

Then, the demon known as post partum depression reared it’s ugly head.

I cried. I felt useless. Then I realized something: I’m not going to let my motherhood be defined by my boobs. I switched to formula and haven’t looked back.

Motherhood is not defined by a biological relation. Motherhood isn’t defined by how you feed your baby. Motherhood is the love you give to that little human being. Motherhood is making sure that child never suffers.

Breastfeeding wasn’t for us and I don’t regret that. My sanity and life has been saved by this decision. I can sit with my child and feed her and she smiles. She hears my voice and she smiles. I wasn’t going to let a failure to breastfeed take that away from me.

To all the mothers out there: you are beautiful. It doesn’t matter how you feed your baby, what does matter is that you respect that some women feed their babies differently than you. Next time you encounter a mom that feeds their baby differently, I encourage you to give that mom a pat on the back and tell her she is doing an awesome job. I still get crap for my decision to bottle feed from the pro-breast movement.

We need to #NormalizeFeeding.

And I mean all of it.

Check out my princess in this cutest baby contest and vote for her to winūüôā
https://www.bidiboo.com/baby/4581274260099263-Anya/

Absentee Blogging

I haven’t blogged in a very long time. And I wanted to give you a bit of insight as to why I haven’t been writing down my thoughts.

I’ve been living out in the world.

First, this year has been a whirlwind. We bought a house. I’ve spent the better part of the last two months trying to get this house organized. It has taken me forever.

Why?

Oh, because I’m also pregnant.

Today marks 34 Weeks of stretching, puking, sleeping, straining and loving that I didn’t know was humanly possible.

I wanted you to know that I’ll blog about my journey when I find the energy. It will be a long blog. And I’ll blog about our little princess too. Because she is changing our lives for the better.

It amazes me what love can doūüôā

The Unjustified Backlash Against Caitlyn Jenner

I have not blogged in 10 months.

Holy moley Batman!

I guess you could say that I have been busy living my life and that nothing has compelled me to write a full blown blog.

That will all be changing in the next few months. And today I’m going to start with a very heated topic: The Unjustified Backlash Against Caitlyn Jenner.

I am a straight female from an extremely small town. You would think that my opinion would be a stereotypical, rural mindset. But in fact, I’m the total opposite. There is much more to this world than my little home town.
When I heard about Caitlyn’s front cover on¬†Vanity Fair,¬†shot by the amazing Annie Leibovitz, I thought, “It takes courage to grow up and be who you really want to be.” Then, of course, the backlash started. The backlash grew when Jenner won the Arthur Ashe ESPY Award (which, let’s be honest, most of you didn’t even know existed until a few days ago). People say she doesn’t deserve the award. People say the young basketball star Lauren Hill deserved the award, or even Noah Galloway, the combat veteran. I’m not saying that these people did not deserve the award.

I’m saying attacking Caitlyn Jenner and not calling her a hero and saying she didn’t deserve the award is despicable.

The word hero by definition
noun: 1.a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. 2.a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal

I’d like to add that it should also say woman as a side note.
Basically, the idea of a hero is objective. I think my mom is a hero, that does not mean the rest of the world thinks my mom is a hero. That does not make her any less of a hero to me. Noah Galloway is a hero because of his self less sacrifice on the battlefield and his perseverance. Lauren Hill was a hero for having a dream, battling cancer and raising money for research before her passing. Caitlyn Jenner is a hero because she finally had the courage to be who she really was after 65 years of hiding. The award is also tied to sports achievement, so let’s not forget that Caitlyn Jenner was also a widely decorated Olympian under her former name.

All of these scenarios are different, but none of them is less heroic than the other. Since when did we all become so high and mighty that we rate and rank suffering and heroism? Honestly? When did that happen? Realistically the award could be given to any transgender, any kid with cancer or any combat veteran if you really thought about it. Suffering and heroism should NOT be ranked! There have been a ton of transgender children that have committed suicide in the last year.

Don’t they deserve to have a hero?

There’s nothing wrong with being who you really are. We are all heroes if you think about it. Yes, some get more recognition than others. But it’s not a popularity contest. I could nominate my mom for this ESPY award, and not a single one of you would care.

And none of you cared before Caitlyn Jenner won the award so why bother caring now?

What’s even more funny to me is the people who¬†justify their judgmental ways based on the premise of God and religion. I bet God is pretty sick and tired of everyone trying to speak for him. There’s a few passages in the Bible that come to mind when I think of all this judgment against Caitlyn Jenner:

Matthew 7:1¬†‚ÄúDo not judge, or you too will be judged.”
Mark 12:30-31 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.‚Äô¬†The second is this: ‚ÄėLove your neighbor as yourself.‚Äô¬†There is no commandment greater than these.‚ÄĚ
John 8:7 “When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‚ÄúLet any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.‚ÄĚ

So. I mean. There’s that too. Which it seems everyone forgets about. By condemning Caitlyn, you are not doing yourself any favors in the eyes of God. If you’re a believer, you believe Jesus came to die for us and that God is the ultimate judge. If that’s truly what you believe, then let him judge! It is not in your job description as a human being to judge Caitlyn Jenner! Stop whining about her victory and celebrate it! I’ve had all sorts of arguments on my page about this subject.
My favorite argument was, “God doesn’t make mistakes” I responded. “Yes. Jenner was born in the wrong body. Many babies are born with cancer and with severe disabilities. Are they not allowed to use the science at hand to live a better life? Or should they live with these struggles until they die?”

Think about that the next time you say she had no right to undo what God intended. If that were the case then every single one of you that say that should frown upon cancer treatment and reconstructive surgery for children as well.
But you don’t do you?

And you know what that makes you? A hypocrite.

Heroes are everywhere. They represent something to someone, even if you think that person does not matter.

You want to change the outlook of the world? Be someone’s hero instead of trying to tear down other people.

How Social Media is Destroying Humanity

When we think about humanity as whole, what do we think? We think of a species, the Homo sapiens. We think of a superior species that has been set to rule over the rest of the creatures on this planet.

However, it’s becoming clearer every single day that we are a species that is digressing at a rapid rate. Much of that has to do with social media.

Before social media took over the world as we know it, human beings were forced to do this terrible and archaic thing known as actually talking and communicating with each other.  We had to, dare I say it, speak to other people. We had to find out what makes them tick. We had to find out their secrets.

We had to actually care.

We do not care any more. We only care about something when it is trending on Twitter or is ranked highly on Facebook. Otherwise, we do not care about anything.

Last week was the first time I openly mentioned my depression online because of the tragic passing of Robin Williams. I told my story to provide an outlet for others that are suffering from depression to come forward. I battled back from trying to commit suicide. And to this day, I can say that successfully without any medication, I manage my symptoms with self-affirmation. I came forward and was happy to see that many people reached out to me to say that I made them feel more secure in themselves. They felt like they could share their stories. They, like me, shared one similar sentiment:

Why does it take a major tragedy for us to talk about such a serious problem terrorizing people all over this country?

The answer: Because unless it’s on social media, NO ONE CARES!

I saw the trending Tweets: #suicideprevention #depression and so on and so forth. I saw them, and while it made me happy….Deep down, I was mad. I was mad because no one cares enough to talk about this unless it’s a trending Twitter topic. It showed me that people are becoming less and less human. Our depth of caring is at an all-time low.

Fast forward two days and we have the Ice Bucket Challenge. And everyone forgets about their #suicideprevention tags

Now, I support causes for charity 100%. That’s not my complaint with this scenario. My complaint is that, once again, we need something to trend on Facebook or Twitter for us to care about a terrible disease. What is even worse in my eyes is that instead of just challenging people, we are wasting clean water. Literally. This is America and I get that we have clean water. But let us consider the thousands upon thousands of people all over this world that would kill to drink the water we are pouring over our heads to avoid a donation to charity. Originally, you were supposed to donate as well as do the challenge. However, along the lines it became, do the challenge or donate.

Seriously. You are dumping clean water that millions would die to drink over your heads to avoid a major contribution to a charity that helps cure a terrible disease?
ARE WE THAT ARROGANT?

And to everyone that keeps saying, “But it’s raising awareness.”
You are missing my point. You really are. And I do not know how to make it clearer.
You should always care about people with terrible diseases and you should donate to them as often as you can. You should care. ALL of the time. You should not waste clean water when so many people are not fortunate to have that luxury. There is a little kid without shoes in a third world country drinking water out of a sewer right now while you avoid donating money to charity with your ice!

And, in a few days. #ALS will not see any donations. They will go back to seeking out donations that no one will want to donate to because it is no longer a trending Twitter topic.

And not to mention, that ALL charities need our assistance and by “requiring” people to donate a large sum to one charity disinclined them to donate to multiple because they cannot afford it. I am very happy that so many people donated to this charity, but the premise is not right. We should not need to plaster ourselves over social media to donate to charity just so we can trend on Twitter or Facebook.

If it were not for business purposes or networking for causes I believed in, I would delete Facebook and Twitter. Besides the fact that people want to “trend” the amount of defamation and slander on these sites is astronomical.

And we wonder why the world hates us.
We are arrogant. Nothing more. We are extremely arrogant. The reason terrorists come to our country to commit mass murders is because we are arrogant. The reason some of our citizens snap and go on shooting sprees is because we are arrogant.

WE NEED TO STOP.

We need to stop being arrogant and start caring about our fellow man. We need to donate to charity because it’s right. We need to talk to people so that they know they are not alone.

WE NEED TO CARE.

But most of all….

We need to evolve.

 

Why Breed Specific Legislation is Stupid

I have had it up to my ears with the person known as Colleen Lynn and her site, dogsbite.org. ¬†It advocates for the euthanization of Pit Bulls and Breed Specific Legislation. I’m going to quote the Huffington Post article by Arin Greenwood for this information:

The newest comprehensive examination of dog bite statistics, put out in December by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, looked at what factors tended to lead to fatal dog bites. These include a dog not being spayed or neutered, dogs being “kept isolated from regular positive human interactions,” away from the rest of the family, and dog owners having histories of abusing their pets.

Some pit bulls bite, of course, just like some of any breed of dog will bite. And the media may be more likely to report a pit bull’s bite, or the person bitten may be more likely to think the dog that bit them is a pit. What the JAVMA study shows, though, is that breed is specifically found not to be a factor in the likelihood of a fatal dog bite.

There you have it; breed really is not a factor of fatality.

So what is?

I’ll tell you what is, the American News Media and how it destroys the image of the breed in its attempt to get ratings. ¬†I went to school for journalism, and I can tell you right now that all this does is give an article hype. If the media throws the words “Pit Bull” in front of an article, the ratings go up.

And that is all the media outlets want.

A woman on the thread of “The Problem with Pit Bulls” that was poorly written in TIME Magazine, posted a list of articles for the world to see. ¬†I think the world needs to see this list:

Baby killed by Catahoula Hound
http://m.clickondetroit.com/news/infant-mauled-to-death-by-family-dog/26400472

Infant killed by a Pomeranian
http://articles.latimes.com/2000/oct/09/local/me-34015

Baby killed by Black Labrador
http://m.newson6.com/story.aspx?story=8746561&catId=112042

Infant killed by a Retriever/ Chow Mix
http://alldogsbite.org/2013/08/2009-case-highlights-the-risks-of-dogs-and-new-babies/

2 yr.old girl killed by Great Dane
http://www.unchainyourdog.org/news/Roebuck.htm

Infant killed by Golden Retriever
http://retrieverman.net/2012/04/25/golden-retriever-mix-kills-baby-in-south-carolina/

79 yr. old woman killed by Mastiff mix
http://www.wirefm.com/news/local/two-jailed-over-liverpool-dog-attack/

One year old boy killed by Rottweiler
http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fmyfox8.com%2F2014%2F05%2F05%2F1-year-old-boy-dies-after-rottweiler-attack%2F&h=2AQHMKdrf

Infant killed by Jack Russell Terrier
http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fmetro.co.uk%2F2013%2F04%2F09%2Fharry-harper-inquest-docile-pet-dogs-bite-killed-baby-boy-asleep-in-his-cot-3590392%2F&h=MAQE8320o

Elderly Woman killed by a Cane Corso
http://btoellner.typepad.com/kcdogblog/2014/02/fatal-dog-attack-in-dayton-oh-on-breed-the-media-common-denomenators-reckless-owners-and-ineffective.html

A newborn baby killed by Shiba Inus
http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2013%2F12%2F11%2Fmia-gibson-killed-dogs_n_4425476.html&h=EAQFLEIcY

Elderly woman killed by Rottweiler
http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.myfoxal.com%2Fstory%2F25020271%2Fleeds-couple-sentenced-for-dog-attack-that-killed-neighbor&h=rAQHD0D0s

7 yr. old girl killed by Malamutes
http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.therecord.com%2Fnews-story%2F4416501-seven-year-old-manitoba-girl-dead-after-dogs-attack%2F&h=VAQEE-xoP

13 yr. old boy killed by Mastiff
http://www.northjersey.com/mobile/news/answers-are-scarce-in-paterson-fatal-dog-attack-1.730543

4 yr. old girl killed by Labrador/Husky mix
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/02/28/ala-girl-4-dies-after-being-att

2 Mastiffs attack a jogger
http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au%2Fnews%2Fjogturns-nasty-as-dogs-rip-intotimo%2F2269158%2F&h=gAQE_-wiZ

Labrador-Shepherd Mix attack elderly woman
http://www.niagara-gazette.com/local/x1760077341/Wilson-woman-needs-57-stitches-after-being-attacked-by-neighbors-dog

Mastiff bites young man
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1406/S00408/whitianga-dog-attack-owner-comes-forward.htm

A Samoyed Husky attacks middle-aged woman
http://www.burtonmail.co.uk/News/Walker-left-in-state-of-shock-following-dog-attack-20140519104357.htm#ixzz32CyIPrPr

A 4 year old is nearly killed when a Labrador attacks him
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/boy-4-recovering-after-dog-bites-him-while-playing-at-the-spits-dog-beach/story-fnihsrk2-1226793584839

Black Labrador Retriever attacks girl
http://www.news10.net/story/news/local/davis/2014/06/06/children-attacked-by-dogs-in-davis/10110165/

French Bulldog-Labrador mix bites 8 year old girl
http://globalnews.ca/news/1369543/dog-seized-after-biting-9-year-old/

A pregnant woman’s lip is nearly torn of when she is attacked by a Rhodesian Ridgeback
http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mirror.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fuk-news%2Fpregnant-womans-lip-bitten-horror-3481529&h=yAQFHfGWt

Chesapeake bay Retriever mauls woman
http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2013/05/attacked_over_backyard_fence_p.html

A teenager is mauled by a husky
http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mirror.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fuk-news%2Fcharlotte-edmondson-dog-attack-teen-3469091&h=BAQHAMT2g

You can read her full list here at the article: http://time.com/2891180/kfc-and-the-pit-bull-attack-of-a-little-girl/

Need any more information? Check this out:

36b09df082ca048c5fd86ae3d4a0ef57

Does that help paint a picture of how the media has wrongfully created a monster? There are many more articles to post with various breeds, but you, my readers should look that up for yourself. This is why there should be no breed specific legislation. Dogs can and will bite if provoked or if they are in fear of something. ¬†But when a media outlet throws the words PIT BULL in, even wrongfully, it makes the situation worse. ¬†Remember that viral video of a kid that was saved by his cat? The media immediately said pit bull, then it had to retract that statement because the dog was a CHOW mix. I’m calling out every single media organization to change its standards and stop this stupidity. I’m telling you to do your job instead of creating a mess. All breed specific legislation does is make potential dog owners afraid of a dog because the media has made it that way.

Colleen Lynn, you are a terrible human being. But, what can I say? You come from a species that has enslaved African people for the color of their skin. You come from a species that kills for sport. You come from a species that herded Native Americans onto reservations. ¬†You come from a species that put Jewish people into camps for practicing their religion and tortured them before killing them. You come from a species that abuses anything and everything that it can so it can feel “powerful.” The species has a glowing record for turmoil, despair,and¬†negligence. ¬†That’s putting it nicely. ¬†There have always been people like you. There always will be people like you. ¬†People that think they’re doing the world a favor by eradicating a species they deem to be inferior. How do you put it? “It’s in their DNA.” ¬†I can see that a long line of hatred and ignorance is in your DNA.

To be honest, I feel sorry for you and your pathetic excuse for a life. ¬†If you have this much hatred in your heart, you don’t know real love. ¬†I feel sorry for your heart. I feel sorry for your soul, but given your hatred, I’m not entirely sure you have either a heart or a soul.

But you can be sure that there have always been people like me that make it their mission to stop people like you.

 

Why Getting Married Young Isn’t the End of the World

Social media and the internet are flooding people’s lives. ¬†Various sites and organizations give advice and tell people how to live life.

But the truth is, there is no handbook for life, and there most certainly is no handbook for falling in love.

Over the past few months I have noticed a growing trend across various types of social media. ¬†That trend is embracing being single. I think being single is awesome because you can find out who you are as a person and work on yourself. ¬†I was single for an extreme length of time. ¬†For certain periods, during my teens, I thought it was the end of the world. When I was in college, I loved it because I saw couples around me fighting all the time and I knew I did not want to deal with that. When I turned 21, I was in tune with myself. I felt alive. I graduated college and was working. ¬†I had still had some loneliness, but it wasn’t so crippling anymore.

That’s when I met my now fiance.

I was awake and alive before, but, I felt more alive when we started dating. Now, I did not feel more alive because of getting laid or anything extremely superficial. I felt like a very exciting version of myself. I was learning new things. He was the first person to introduce me to a gun because of his military experience. We traveled quite a bit together and I went to places that I had never gone to before. I realized that even though I was alive, that there was much more for me to do and much more for me to become. But, I needed him to urge me to tap into that potential. I have always been outspoken and I had stuck up for myself to an extent. However, he showed me that I shouldn’t ever let anyone make me feel inferior. He told me I should be treated with respect. That’s when I started being less tolerant to people treating me as if I was a doormat. I started to not let anyone talk down to me. I held myself in a higher regard because I realized that I deserved that. But, he showed me that. Another thing he taught me was that I am, in fact, not always right. THAT was a somber and humbling day for me. My mom had been trying to tell me for years, but, somehow his delivery made the message click. Now, I struggle with that, but I’m only human right?

We live together in our house that we rent with our rescued dog, Dallas. He graduates from Penn State University in June and will be looking for a job, possibly in the oil and gas industry. He just knows he wants to take care of me. We are growing together. ¬†We still keep our identities, but our identities are growing together. ¬†He plays video games and I am a book-worm. Miss Dallas begs him for food but she begs me to go to the bathroom. I’m still outspoken, and he just listens and laughs.

We KNOW we cannot change each other, and we aren’t trying to.

I take that back, the only thing I would love to change is that he cannot, for some reason, ever get his clothes in the hamper. The clothes are endlessly are all over the floor.

What does this mean for you?

1. Don’t be afraid to fall in love. Whether it’s for a year or it’s for forever, do it. Each time you do it, it will change you. When you meet the one you will be changed forever.

2. Don’t assume that the person is going to change you. There’s this misconception that being in ¬†relationship makes you sacrifice who you are. Well, if your relationship is like that, you should not be in it. Every day I see on Facebook that there are statuses about “not needing that inconvenience” or “people who get married young have nothing to live for.” You should marry someone who makes you a better person. Don’t hate on the people who found that person at 21. Some people take until they are in their 30s to find the person that embraces all of their flaws and makes them a better person. But please, stop hating on those of us that found that person at a young age. I guess you could say I got lucky, but there’s no reason for you to bash young, happily married couples because you want what they have or are tired of seeing their sappy statuses and tweets.

3. Be Patient and Stop Comparing. My mom always used to say, “Your time will come” when it came to everything that I ever wanted in life. I was patient. I worked on myself. I was rewarded. If it takes until you are 40 years old, then so be it. Embrace it. Love it. OWN it. But again, leave my relationship out of it. My relationship is mine and what works for me may not work for you. But just because I learned at a young age how to not only be myself, but be myself with another person does not make me LESS than someone else. Nor does it make me more. I’m me.

4. Be Happy with Yourself. If you aren’t happy with yourself and you cannot love yourself……no one else can truly love you. That is the biggest thing to remember. Many relationships crash and burn because one person is expecting the other to fulfill the lack of self-love and happiness they have. It does not work. Don’t even try it.

I’m getting married. When? I have no idea yet. We are saving and making other life decisions before we actually tie the knot. Many of you will think I am crazy because I am getting married to a person I met when I was 21. I am now 24. I am not crazy. And even if I was crazy, don’t look down upon me because I am happy. That’s my problem with this whole new trend, that people think it’s okay to bash people who get married young. For those of us that I know that got married young or are engaged, we could care less if you are single. So why would you care about us being married? Why is it such a big deal? Furthermore, why are SOOO many people writing about how stupid it is to be married young? Seriously? Why do you care so much to write about it so heavily? I don’t know if you got burned in a relationship or what, but my words. You need to stop this trend. How about we just all do what we want in love and stop being jealous and envious of people who have something we want? How about we let other people make whatever mistakes in love they wish to make? That sounds like a plan to me. And guess what? It may sound crazy, but I do everything I want to do. I do everything single people can do with the one difference of having multiple sex partners and one night stands.

If you want to be single, then be single. Just know it’s not for everyone. If you want to be in a relationship, be in a relationship. Just know it’s not for everyone.

I only ask that you stop making young, married/engaged people the target of your bullying. We have lived life just as you have; please stop acting like being in a long-term relationship is a death sentence. Otherwise, you’re going to scare a bunch of people into never falling in love. We do things. We are free.

We just found that freedom and have taken one other person along for the ride.

How to Speak American

And Crown Thy Good With Brotherhood From Sea to Shining Sea

The funny thing about that statement is how much the people of America do not actually follow it. You all know what I am talking about, the Coca-Cola Super Bowl Ad that has caused an uproar across the nation.

Because only in the United States would people be so ignorant and selfish to get angry over a commercial that expresses unity.

It doesn’t matter which language it was spoken in, we all knew what it meant. Coca-Cola wanted to express that there is diversity in America and that diversity should be embraced for all people to see.

Let’s take a look at the video here:

Oh my gosh are those people of different races speaking different languages? OH THE HORROR.
Bite Me.

I’m honestly surprised more people didn’t whine about the fact that the line “God Shed His Grace On Thee” was left in the song because that seems to be the standard for people these days. Anyway, the #speakamerican uproar does nothing but show the true ignorance of some of the people in our nation. For one, the Europeans stole this land from the Native Americans, so if you want to speak English, why don’t you ferry your ass back to England where it originated from? The only people who should have any right to complain about an official original language for this nation are the Native American people. The rest of the American people need to shut up because they are not descended from people who actually lived here. Two, did you, the educated people of this country also know that American isn’t actually a language? Are you smart enough to actually grasp that concept? That’s just as bad as saying people from Mexico speak Mexican instead of Spanish. And the whole immigration issue. How about all of you “home-grown” people who hate illegals realize that your ancestors were immigrants! I for one think the Native Americans should have been just as judgmental and rude as the people of the USA are today. Then they wouldn’t have been put on reservations and treated like a subhuman species! They NEEDED a better immigration policy and should have turned every one of those English away instead of trying to educate them and help them survive!

Let’s say we adopt English as our formal language. Which dialect of English do we pick? ¬†Do we pick the mid-west? How about the New England, more specifically the Bostonian dialect of English….or better yet, let’s pick the New Orleans dialect of English and speak Cajun English?

Oh…….wait, even our English is multi-cultural? WHAT? NO WAY!

The differences in saying in my household alone are crazy because I was born in Pennsylvania and my fiance was born in North Carolina. The first time he told me to “cut the light” I looked at him in utter confusion. For those of you that don’t know, it’s common place in his hometown and below the Mason Dixon line to say that when they want to turn something off. Eventually, I got that he wanted me to do that, and turned off the light.

I imagine when the forefathers of the America as we know it, not the America that was stolen from the Natives, got together that they didn’t imagine the people of this nation would be so ignorant to the problems of the world and the people in their own country. I imagine they felt we would evolve and get along with one another independent of our differences.

If anything, this #speakamerican trend is doing nothing but spitting in their faces. Every single person that posted something condemning this commercial should be ashamed of themselves and their ignorance to the world around them. The world does NOT revolve around you. Use the brain in your head to realize there is more to life then the house and community you live in. Stop clinging to your gun because it won’t save you from yourself. Stop clinging to your Bible ¬†and abusing it because you are NOT acting in the name of Jesus Christ AT ALL. Jesus healed the afflicted and helped people. He didn’t give a shit about what language someone spoke.

And while we are on the subject: If you believe in Jesus……..Jesus wasn’t white either. Just FYI. He was born in the Middle East….so he’s the stereotypical definition of Un-American to all of you that are assholes and say it is in his name.

One nation.
A nation divided.
Because people still after how many years of evolution aren’t smart enough to put their differences aside.

If you want to speak “American” it’s really simple: Be an entitled ass that does not care about anyone else. You will then be right on your way to speaking American.

Don’t Ever Take Dating Advice From Taylor Swift

If there is one person that I really think gives the worst dating advice, it is Taylor Swift. And she doesn’t even give it purposely.

She writes about it in her songs.

I cannot stand that. For one thing, it is extremely disrespectful for someone to view love as a money-making scheme. And that’s all she is proving by writing all of her hits about her ex-boyfriends. She may not think that is what she is doing, but it is. If she had any respect for the people she dated, she wouldn’t publicly bash them in her music while millions of listeners are so impressionable. It just shows young people everywhere that it’s okay to date someone and break up with them……

as long as you can write a song that people will eat up and listen to.

Now, I do not condone staying in a bad relationship by any means. In fact, if you are in a bad relationship, then get out. But, please spare us the bull and don’t write a song about it. I think it would be very interesting to see what all of her former lovers would have to say in a song about her. And I guarantee it would go along the lines of her being selfish. The first thing I notice about her is that she does not care about the other person. Let’s look back at when Harry whats-his-face won a music award and her response was “Are You Kidding Me?”

Harsh much?

I get it, she’s empowered.

But she isn’t really.

Almost three years ago I started writing blogs about females embracing their imperfections and flaws. And one of things I’ve noticed that has taken off with this subject is females not “settling” for less than they deserve. Now, I agree with this. But I also would like to point out to many females out there that men can do the same thing. Being empowered does not give you a license to be a bitch to everyone around you, or to parade around bashing men because it is the thing to do. Being empowered means that you have found an inner strength to yourself that would only be enhanced if a man walked into your life (or woman, whichever you prefer). The key here is to not become selfish along the way. Most relationships fail because of lack of communication. They also fail because the people in those relationships focus more on what they can take from the other person than what they can give.

This is why I say don’t ever take dating advice from Taylor Swift.

Because Taylor Swift never focuses on self-reflection, it’s always about what the other person did.

And that’s why her relationships failed and will continue to until she looks at what she can give to another person. And it may take the right person for her to do that. And she by no means has to be willing to give of herself at her age….she can wait. But deep down, when I see her.

I see someone that’s afraid.

You want dating advice. I’ll give you some dating advice from what I’ve learned with my fiance and what I learned watching my grandparents be together for my whole life. They were married almost 58 years before my grandpa passed away.

1) The relationship isn’t just about YOU. There are two people. There are two hearts beating. There are two sets of needs that need met. There are two sets of expectations there.
2) Don’t say, “I want you to do this.” Instead try, “What can we do make this better” or “Where can I work on making things better.” A little humility never hurts. I have news for you. I’m empowered. I’m stubborn. I’m a bad ass female…..and I can still be humble because I realize there is one another person that has the other half of my soul.
3) Learn what phrases to say to the other person. If you think the other person isn’t listening, change your approach. My fiance and I know which phrases get the other person to do what we want and which phrases will piss us off instantly. Communicate. It’s a constant learning process…but once again…this is where a little humility can come in to play. Also, if you don’t want to take their bullshit. Don’t. But address it in the correct way. Because they don’t have to put up with yours either.
4) Don’t think you can change them or their habits.¬†This is simple. Don’t insult the other person by trying to drastically change who they are as a person. I mean, do you want to stop being that badass female? No. You don’t. So don’t expect the other person to drastically change to make you happy. It’s wrong. Either love them at the core of who they are or move on and save yourself a lot of stupid heartache.
5) Don’t talk all the time. Listen too. ¬†The person you’re with will tell you what is wrong and what they want….you just have to listen to them. I don’t mean hear them….I mean listen.
6) Stop thinking you’re always right. I still struggle with this. But, I’m learning and he is very patient with me. Almost three years and diamond ring patient.
7) Focus on what you Give. Give to the other person. Constantly. Compromise. I love compromising. It is literally the best of both worlds. And occasionally something I didn’t want to do ends up being something I liked anyway. Don’t take from the other person and don’t let yourself be taken advantage of. But, give.
8) Real love isn’t a fairy tale. Just get over it. It’s not. There’s no white horse. There’s no castle. Just. NO. Move on from the childish version of love to the more awesome version I saw in my grandparent’s marriage. You want a sweet love story? Watch UP! Seriously, the first eight minutes of that movie was the best love story I’ve ever seen filmed. Oh, and date the beast, not the prince. People always call me and mine the Beauty and the Beast. I like it that way. People with layers are more interesting than the people without them.

Above all. Realize that anything in life worth having is something you have to fight for and work for. It’s not going to be easy. Learn to embrace your own beauty and imperfections first…..

Then, embrace someone else’s.

And Taylor, don’t be afraid to fall in love. It’s the most interesting adventure you could ever go on.

Adventure is out there.
Jump Feet First.

‚̧

Advocating for Man’s Best Friend

Early in December, my fiance and I decided that we wanted to make a difference in the world. We both love animals and we thought it would be an excellent idea to adopt a dog from our local shelter. In the second week, I was working and I had a customer come in and tell me about his family and how they had a dog named Dallas. All through that night, I thought, “That is very interesting name for a dog.”

I went on Petfinder.com and I put in my zip code.

That’s when I found Dallas at my local shelter, the Gateway Humane Society.

She was listed as a golden retriever and hound mix. They said she was three years old and looking for a home. She looked like my other dog at my mom’s house, named Bella.

And I knew she was the one for us. I’m not one to argue with fate when it hands me signs like that. I decided to email the shelter that night about coming out to see her on Saturday afternoon. When we went out, I asked to see her and they brought her out to me. She immediately kissed my face and I was in love. However, I was scared because quite a few families had asked about her as well. I was just hoping and praying that we could impress the staff enough for us to take her home.

Sure enough, they called us and told her she was ours. And we’ve never looked back.

Dallas is perfect. She knows how to do everything and barely ever gets into any mischief. I can tell by her demeanor that she had a rough life before the shelter rescued her; she falls to the ground and covers her face if we correct something minor that she does. I can tell she had at least one litter of puppies. She will get in the truck but she freaks out if we go anywhere near the woods. Which, given the fact that she tested positive for Lyme’s disease and anaplasmosis, makes me consider that she may have been found near the woods.

Every day this dog shows me a love that is unlike any other that I have received from a pet. I have had five dogs in my lifetime including Dallas. Two of these dogs passed away and the other two live with my mother, though the one is near her end. We had those four from the time they were puppies. I will say that having a dog from a shelter is different from having a dog since they were a puppy. A shelter dog will love you more for the simple reason that you saved him or her from a life of loneliness and possible death. Dallas was fortunate enough to be taken to a no-kill shelter, but many dogs and cats are not so lucky.

It makes me sick that human beings abandon animals so carelessly without any consideration. What kind of species thinks that it’s okay to just throw another away for no reason? It makes me really disappointed and disgusted with the human race. What is even more appalling is the lack of punishment for those that abuse animals. In Pennsylvania, most offenses are merely summary offenses and get minor fines. I am a fan of a group on Facebook called Justice Rescue. They just rescued a dog last week that had a litter of puppies. The owner had left her and her puppies to die, after abusing the mother by beating her and attempting to burn off her tail. The work these gentleman do is so exceptional that it brings tears to my eyes that such caring people actually exist.

I also follow a group called Urgent Part 2, which follows the Animal Control and Care Center of NYC’s death row animals. They advocate for these animals that are going to be put to death for no reason and try to find them adopters. I am appalled that organizations like this kill shelter exist. Daily, dogs come across my feed that are about to be killed. Some of these animals are only six months old. Yet, this shelter will kill them anyway if no one comes forward within their roughly 12 hour period to adopt these animals. Then they give these adopters 48 hours to show up to the shelter to get the animal. Sadly, some of these animals are only in this shelter for a week or two before the staff decides to kill them. It’s disgusting quite frankly. I understand they have limited room, but this Animal Control Center has been under scrutiny for years. Recently, they have had to self evaluate because a dog was choked to death in their care. The fact that this center exists and is legally allowed to operate like this is a disgrace to the United States of America.

I am sick of the lack of punishment for animal abusers and the lack of care for life that people can show. I am appalled that a center can kill animals as young as six months that have been residing there for as little as a week and still be operational.

 

THIS NEEDS TO STOP.

I’m calling out everyone that reads this blog. I’m calling out the representatives in Washington. I’m calling out the Senate.

President Obama…..I’m calling you out on this too.

How can all of you sit idly by and let these situations happen? How can you continue to allow the animals of this country to be disregarded? You’ll spend billions on things we don’t need, but you can’t save the lives of those that depend on us? It’s disgraceful. I want change. I want all of you to go to these pages I am posting at the end of this blog and look into the eyes of these animals. I want you to justify what is being done. We, the people, have a duty to protect and we are failing. YOU, the government, are allowing us to fail by not holding people accountable for their actions.

Stop the Kill Shelters. Stop the Puppy Mills. Stop Breed Legislation.  Stop the NONSENSE.

It’s time we blame the human beings for the way animals act. Because it’s always been the human that can’t properly train. Dogs in general have a caring demeanor. It would probably surprise people to know that “Pit Bulls” as everyone refers to them as, are a group of rather loving animals. Any animal can bite if not taught to. It’s called training…learn how to do it! Also, consider doing research on the Bully breeds as well as every other breed. Quite frankly, breed legislation is the same thing as racial profiling, and it’s just as stupid.

For every human being born, there are 15 dogs born and 45 cats born.

It’s time for us to do our part and be the voice of the voiceless.

Here is a link to the Urgent Dogs site: http://urgentpetsondeathrow.org/dogs/
H
ere’s some Facebook links:¬†https://www.facebook.com/Urgentdeathrowdogs
https://www.facebook.com/urgentdogsofmiami

This is the Facebook for Justice Rescue: https://www.facebook.com/JusticeRescue

Locals of Western and Central PA, here is where I got Dallas, http://gatewayhumanesociety.net/

 

 

Please. I beg of you, consider making a difference in the world. Adopt an animal. You will be doing something for someone who can’t repay you.

And you will feel like a brand new person and gain a friend that will love you for the duration of his or her life. If you can’t adopt, advocate and donate. These animals cannot speak for themselves, it is our job to speak for them.

 

2013: A Call to Change and a Call to Faith

When I graduated from DuBois Central Catholic High School in DuBois, Pennsylvania in 2007, I really did not see my life heading in the direction that it went in. I had 57 other classmates heading into the world with me, which was very shortly cut to 56 a month after us graduating. We had big dreams to say the least. When I graduated I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, I just headed to Penn State University in the hopes that I would figure it out as I went along. I spent four years there earning my Bachelors in Journalism with a minor in English. I loved writing and I loved taking pictures…..

and I knew somehow I wanted to change the world with them. I just had to keep faith that I could.

Part of growing up in a Catholic school was learning how to keep your faith. My class was like one giant family, and no matter where we head in life, we still are.  The school bound us together in faith and in love. At any given moment we can come together after being apart for months, and pick up right where we left off.

This year, my faith was tested numerous times, and I firmly believe that because of the class I had, my family and the teachers I had, I succeeded the tests.

This year was a year of love in many ways: Love in Death, Love in New Life, and Love for Eternity.

When I was in high school I told myself I was never going to get married until I was in my 30s, if I got married at all. I spent time talking to my friends about not wanting to settle down because I didn’t want to wake up next to the same person. I just wanted to have fun.

Flash forward seven years and I have a diamond on my ring finger.

I am a firm believer in soul mates. I saw it in my grandparents every day up until he passed away in February. And I’m a firm believer that it’s not something that can really be explained, it’s merely something that can be felt. I could say a million words about how I feel when I’m with Kyle, but none of those words can ever come close to the actual feeling. I’ve seen it a few times this year in people’s engagements besides mine and in people’s weddings. And I can say out of the engagements and weddings that I’ve witnessed, I believe every one of them is with their soul mate. And I believe that only God could have brought them together, just like he brought me and Kyle together. There is literally no rhyme or reason to how Kyle and I met, but I’m glad it happened.

Another thing I witnessed this year, was baby mania. I have never seen so many people I know get pregnant and pop out children. And every last one of those kids is absolutely adorable. It’s an amazing thing to see. I can see parts of the parents in each of the children, but I love babies the most because they have beautiful souls. They just radiate faith and hope. And it’s beautiful. And with new life also comes death, which I witnessed a few times this year. I started out with my grandfather’s death in February, and in August, Kyle’s grandma passed away. Through it all, I maintained the faith I had because it kept me going. And by doing so, it helped me make peace with death in general. Death isn’t as final as some people make it out to be, it just depends on how much faith you have.

With all of this faith, I have come to the end of 2013. There are 18 days left and tomorrow I’m going to continue to test myself by going to a local animal shelter and adopting a dog. Next to babies, I feel animals have the purest souls. In fact, I may rank them above, but it’s definitely close. I said I wanted to make a difference, and I can’t think of a better way to do that then giving a dog a forever home. Personally, I wish I could take them all, but I know I cannot do that. That’s where the testing comes in: knowing that I am strong enough to handle a fragile soul for life and walking away from those that deserve the same thing. If I had to ask for one specific thing for Christmas, it’s that every animal have a loving home. That’s what I want.

When I got my second tattoo, it was inspired by a quote that changed my life. That quote is, “Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.”

I read it after my grandpa passed away and it stuck with me because during his funeral, I sang every song. ¬†Now granted, I had popped a Xanax because I get anxiety sometimes, but, I sang as loud as I could because I wanted him to hear me. The priest even said to me as I walked out of church, “I see you’re still singing. That’s good.”

I had to, because at that moment, with all of the emotion, I had to sing.

Change is inevitable, but if you have enough faith, change can be enlightening and rewarding.