Ode to my fur baby!

Ode to my fur baby!

Am I raising a cat or an infant?  I ask myself this question often about my little feline bundle of joy, Kiwi.  She is most definitely NOT what I signed up for when I got a cat, and sometimes I wonder if she’s a dog or human child trapped in a cats body.

I ended up with Kiwi by accident.  A friend of mine brought home a stray kitten, knowing her husband was allergic.  Although, this cute little kitten face could not have possibly been resisted.  Alas, the husband remained allergic, and the cat had to go.  At this point I had seen her a few times, and had becomed mesmerized by her cuteness.  So when said friend called and said the kitten was going to the pound unless I took her home, well, if you know me, you know there was no choice for me in the matter.  That’s how Kiwi came to be mine.

I have never been a cat person.  I have always loved dogs.  They are loyal, affectionate, obedient, and you can almost always tell what they are thinking.  Cats scare me.  They are diabolical.  You can never tell what they are thinking, and that just freaks me out.  I often feel when I look at cats that I can see them secretly plotting someones demise.  It’s just a little creepy!

However, as Kiwi and I became aquainted, I began to see she was not like other cats I had known.  She was needy, and affectionate, and wanted a lot more attention than I was prepared to give.  So I had to adjust my expectations.  And the more I got to know this little kitten, the more I became suspicous that she was not a normal cat.  Cats are supposed to be independent and aloof.  But not this little one.

So now I have started asking myself:  Is this a cat, or a child?  In case you’re thinking I’m crazy, I present you with 10 ways my cat acts like a child:

1.  She needs constant attention, and will cry until she gets it, like a baby that cries until you pick it up.

  
2.  She has to be where I am all the time, and does not care if it’s an inconvenience.

  
3.  I can never shower or go to the bathroom alone.

  
4.  She must always sleep in my bed, and must always be on top of or at least touching my body.

  

5.  She needs so much physical affection, but only on her terms

  
6.  She follows me around constantly, and is always in the way

  
7.  My bed is never mine.

  
8.  Constant food and water are always a must.

  
9.  And I can’t forget about the constant early morning wakeup calls…

  
10.  But no matter what, she loves me the most, and always makes sure I know it. ūüôā

  

What defines courage?

What defines courage?

I will be sharing 2 blog posts this week.  One will be serious.  Since I have already opened the controversial can of worms with my last TWO posts, apparently, I thought I might as well go for a 3rd.  My 2nd post this week will be purely comic relief.  So stay tuned!

Since the appearance of the new public figure Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair a few weeks ago, I have seen responses varying from supportive to outright hatred. ¬†The transgender lifestyle is for sure a controversial topic to some extent, I think mostly because a lot of people don’t understand it. ¬†And not very many celebrities or public figures have ever come out as a transgender individual. ¬†So it is still a fairly new thing, at least in the public eye.

The main topic of outrage I have seen about this is due to the fact that Caitlyn has been awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at this ¬†year’s ESPY’s. ¬†A majority people have expressed the fact that what Caitlyn has done is not courageous or heroic and is not deserving of that title. ¬†I’m actually surprised how many people were shocked by this given the fact that the award went to Michael Sam last year. ¬†But that’s neither here nor there I guess.

Given the list of some of the previous winners, which includes, Robin Roberts, Muhammed Ali, Nelson Mandela, and Pat Tillman, just to name a few, I will agree that giving the award to Caitlyn Jenner is somewhat questionable. ¬†My personal opinion on it is that it is a ratings and publicity stunt on the part of ESPN. ¬†But is that Caitlyn’s fault? ¬†No, it’s not. ¬†And does that mean that what Caitlyn has done is not courageous? ¬†Absolutely not. ¬†Some of the more hateful memes I have seen regarding this show soldiers saying they want to “thank” Jenner for her “courage.” ¬†And another one that is going around is that Caitlyn won this award over Noah Galloway, an Army veteran and amputee. ¬†Just to clear things up, that is FALSE. ¬†There are not nominees for this award. ¬†ESPN chooses one person to recieve it, end of story. ¬†I happen to think Noah would be an amzazing recepient for this award. ¬†But he did not “lose” it to Caitlyn Jenner. ¬†And putting that out there is just plain hurtful. ¬†Gotta love social media. ūüôā

But all these memes and all these people insulting the award that was given to Jenner made me start to wonder: ¬†what defines courage? ¬†Who’s to decide who is a hero, who is courageous and brave, and who is not? ¬†Seeing the memes with the soldiers made me wonder, is heroism and courage limited only to those who fight in the military? ¬†Do NOT get me wrong. ¬†I am one of the biggest military supporters you will ever meet. ¬†I love America and the amazing men and women who fight for our freedom. ¬†Without them, I wouldn’t be able to express these opinions right now. ¬†I have a father and brother who both served in Afghanistan and my father also served in the Gulf war. ¬†Their courage and bravery are the ultimate gift in my opinon.

However, does that mean that other people who do courageous acts are not worthy of that definition? ¬†Courage and bravery mean so many things to so many different people. ¬†I would not say that Jenner’s decision to fully transition to a woman and share that journey with the world should be in the same category as a person who is serving our country. ¬†But it is still courageous nonetheless.

Let’s define courage. ¬†COURAGE: noun. ¬†“the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.” ¬†Nowhere in that definition does it say that definition is limted to a certain group of individuals. ¬†Courage is defined in so many ways. ¬†Courage is being a parent. ¬†Courage is going for that dream career at the expense of everything else. ¬†Courage is committing to spending your life with someone. ¬†Courage is knowing when to walk away from someone who isn’t good for you. ¬†Courage is training for a marathon when you haven’t run a day in your life. ¬†I don’t believe that anyone has the right to automatically say that someone’s behavior isn’t courageous solely based on the fact that they don’t agree with their lifestyle.

There are a lot of people out there who saying being transgender or homosexual is a lifestyle choice. ¬†My opinion on that is that it absolutely is not. ¬†As a hot-blooded, man-loving woman, I know that I could never just up and decide to be sexually attracted to women. (excluding the few drunken kisses with my friends in my 20’s, but who doesn’t do that right?) ¬†And I could definitely never just decide that I no longer like my lady parts and instead want to have a penis. ¬†So I have to believe that it is the way we are made. ¬†Meaning transgender and homosexual people are that way from birth, and they have no choice in the matter. ¬†I won’t debate that because everyone has the right to their own opinion. ¬†I know what the Bible says about homosexuality, but the Bible also says a lot of things about loving each other and to not judge, lest you be judged. ¬†So you can’t pick and choose which parts to follow if you’re gonna use that argument.

So to everyone who is being all high and mighty on this issue, I’d like you to stop for a minute and consider something, without judgment, just for a moment. ¬†Imagine what your life would be like if you were living a lie. ¬†If everything you said and did HAD to be a facade. ¬†If you went through every single day feeling different, or not right in your own skin. ¬†How must that feel? ¬†Now imagine one day you find the COURAGE to be who you truly are inside, to do what makes you happy, to be who God intended you to be. ¬†But, by doing that, you risk losing your job, your family, your friends, possibly everything you have worked for or achieved in your lifetime. ¬†To me, that is one of the ultimate acts of courage and bravery.

Caitlyn Jenner coming out this way to the world and sharing her journey with everyone to see could cut both ways. ¬†On one hand, part of me thinks that she is becoming one of the Kardashian pulicity whores. ¬†But, on the other hand, her decision to go through this journey out in the open also has the opportunity to help people. ¬†And if her journey helps even one person out there who is struggling with the same issues, then it’s worth it. ¬†So to those who would say that Bruce Jenner was not courageous for changing his life, or that Caitlyn is not courageous for living it, I would say this: ¬†Think of all the life choices that you have ever made where you stood to lose something. ¬†Did you stand by your decision anyway, no matter what opposition stood in your way? ¬†That, my friends, is courage.

In closing, I will give you this, in hopes that we can all try to see each other through God’s eyes, through loving eyes, and not eyes of hatred or judgment. ¬†1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Dear Duggars:

Dear Duggars:

I have never had the intention of getting political/controversial on this blog. ¬†My posts are normally intended for fun and relatability, and I don’t ever want to try to ruffle feathers. ¬†But since I am sitting here fuming over what I just witnessed, I feel I must get this out or else something in my home is about to get broken. ¬†Also I am about 3 glasses of wine in and so mad I can’t even see straight.

I will preface this by saying I have never thought the Duggars were bad people. ¬†I think they are very closed-minded and don’t agree with a lot of parts of their lifestyle, but I have never begrudged them for living their lives. But then this scandal about Josh Duggar erupted. ¬†And I was immediately infuriated by the hypocrisy of it all. ¬†How dare they go out of their way to label gay and transgender people as pedophiles, when they had a pedophile living under their roof? ¬†How dare they go on television and claim to be an upstanding family with no flaws while they have this awful secret? ¬†I’ll tell you how: ¬†It’s because they are “The Duggars.” ¬†They are put on a pedestal as the epitome of Christian values. ¬†When this came out, I was shocked at how many came to their defense. ¬†If this was the Kardashians instead of the Duggars, I promise you no one would be defending them. ¬†I am a Christian person, but what I am not is a hypocrite who portrays a life of perfection while sweeping all my horrible choices under the rug.

Immediately I hear people saying “everyone has sinned” and “no one should judge” and quoting all the Bible verses to support that. ¬†Where were these people when the Duggars were out there ACTIVELY JUDGING people? ¬†Claiming that an entire group of people were sexual predators solely based on their sexual orientation. ¬†If they had this secret, instead of advocating against the gay community, they could have been out there advocating for victims of sexual violence. ¬†That would have been a way to spin this horrible situation into something positive. ¬†But instead they hid this and persecuted others, instead of using it to do something good.

Alas, I was ready to let it go and move on, if they actually owned up to it. ¬†Maybe Josh and his victims really did get the counseling they needed. ¬†Maybe Josh really is no longer a threat to little girls. ¬†At least I was hoping for that. ¬†I do sympathize for what this family went through. ¬†And they had a chance to come clean and have some good come out of this, and that’s what I was praying would happen. But then…I watched the Megyn Kelly interview.

So now, to help calm my anger, I am going to address the main takeaways from this interview, and why I think Jim Bob and Michelle as parents and people, should be completely ashamed of themselves.

“He was just curious about girls and just touched them over their clothes.”

Maybe if you would have conversations with your children about their bodies, and sexuality, and what’s inappropriate and not, he may not have “been curious.” ¬†Or, you could just let him have a girlfriend like a normal 14 year old boy.

“This was not rape or anything, it was touching someone over their clothes, a couple of incidents of touching them under their clothes, but it was just like a few seconds.”

Molesting is molesting.  Sexual abuse is serious whether it is rape or a guy grabbing your boobs at a bar.  Stop trivializing it.

“As parents you’re not mandatory reporters. ¬†The law allows for parents to do what they think is best for their child.”

NO, Jim Bob, CHILDREN. ¬†You have children, not “child.” You were the parents of the victims too, not just the offender. ¬†Why is what’s best for Josh coming before what’s best for your daughters as his victims?

“They didn’t really understand. ¬†It was more of his heart, his intent, he knew. ¬†He knew it was wrong, but they weren’t even aware. ¬†They probably didn’t even understand that it was improper touch.”

I am calling straight bullshit on this one.  I was molested starting at age 5 by a boy a little younger than Josh.  Even at age 5, knowing nothing about sexuality, I knew it was wrong.  I knew no one should be touching me that way.  STOP TRIVIALIZING IT!  And again, back to my point above, maybe if you had these conversations with your children, they would be fully aware.

“Our girls, even though this was a very bad situation, as we’ve talked to other families who’ve had bad things happen, a lot of their stories were even worse.”

This was by far one of the most infuriating parts of the interview for me. ¬†Again, as I stated above, sexual abuse is a serious thing, no matter what the degree, and excusing Josh’s behavior because others have gone through worse is just unforgiveable in my book. ¬†She even asks Jim Bob here, “As a father of your little girls, not Josh, weren’t you upset about this having happened to them?” ¬†Instead of answering that question, he replies with ¬†“We are just thankful that Josh came to us and told us what happened.” ¬†The fact that neither of these parents ever acknowledge even once in this interview, even when probed, what their daughters went through, is simply disgusting. ¬†The entire thing was about Josh and what was best for him.

“We don’t let, we don’t let them play hide and seek together, you’re not alone together, and (MY FAVORITE) little ones don’t sit on big boys laps. ¬†There’s boundaries we’ve learned.”

A: ¬†Siblings should not have to have those kind of boundaries. ¬†B: ¬†Way to put the responsiblity and blame on the girls by telling them what they shouldn’t do around their boy siblings.

“I don’t know why this came out, there must have been some kind of agenda, or bribe, or something.’

I don’t know about everyone else, but I sure have an agenda against pedophiles.

“We want to be advocates for protecting juveniles’ records.”

Or, you could choose to advocate for these victims and other victims of sexual abuse.  Just a thought.

“A pedophile is an adult that preys on children, Joshua was just 14 and turning 15 when he did what he did, and the legal definition is 16 and up to be considered a pedophile.”

This was about the moment where I almost threw the remote at the tv. ¬†Now you’re just debating semantics. ¬†14 is still old enough to know right from wrong, and no matter the age, it is still a crime and should be treated as such.

“I feel like this is more about an agenda, and there’s people that are purposing to try to bring things out and twisting them to hurt and slander.”

No. ¬†Just…no. ¬†Could the person who came out with this have wanted to hurt you? ¬†Sure. ¬†But it’s not twisting, it’s the truth. ¬†And it’s not slander, it’s THE TRUTH. ¬†And one thing I’ve learned about the truth is that it always comes out, it just does. ¬†If you never wanted anyone to find about this, you shouldn’t have put yourselves in the public eye. ¬†You were not targeted because of your Christian beliefs. ¬†No one is perfect. ¬†You’re being targeted because you’re hypocrites.

“Hopefully justice will be served on those who released juvenile records.”

How about justice for your sexually abused daughters you ass?!?! (sorry, this is where I just lost it)

I do understand the need to protect your family and children, and I can understand why they didn’t want this to come out. ¬†But, this whole interview was about Josh’s struggle, they said nothing about what the victims went through. ¬†The only suffering of the victims they addressed was that now they are “being victimized by people with an agenda.” ¬†That disgusts me. ¬†Josh, Michelle, and Jim Bob are not the victims here. ¬†Those poor girls are. ¬†Who speaks for them?

In closing, I will say, I am sorry if I offended anyone with this, but as a victim of sexual abuse I cannot sit idly by and watch this whole thing be excused like he just stole a piece of candy from the drug store. ¬†And the last thing I would say to the Duggars…people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Is there something in the water?

Is there something in the water?

They say things happen in threes.  Births, deaths, accidents, engagements, and apparently…divorces.  I’m seriously starting to wonder if it’s something in the water.

Divorce is so common no one even blinks an eye anymore.  50% divorce rate in the US if you listen to the statistics.  For me though, it’s never really hit that close to home, with the exception of my parents divorcing when I was a kid.  You hear about celebrity divorces practically every day.  Or it’s a co-worker, or your neighbor, or your friend’s uncle’s roommate.  But then it gets more real.  It’s your parents.  Or your sibling.  Or your close friends.  Once it hits that close, it makes you see things differently.  These past few months have been like that for me.

I’ve always had the opinion that most people give up too easily on their marriages.  We live in a society where instant gratification is at our fingertips.  So many things that used to require hard work don’t anymore.  If you want a cup of coffee, you push a button.  If you want to know some random, obscure fact, you ask Google.  And sadly, if you’re in an even remotely unhappy relationship, there’s always seemingly greener grass at the snap of a finger. You don’t even have to leave your house or even shower to meet someone nowadays thanks to internet dating.  If something is broken, you don’t fix it, you throw it away and get a newer, shinier version.  That’s the way of the world we live in.

Now obviously not all divorces are avoidable.  If you’re in an abusive relationship, emotionally or physically, that’s unhealthy.  If someone repeatedly violates your wedding vows or has no basic respect for the marriage, that is also a recipe for disaster.  Sometimes people change the rules after the marriage license is signed.  You definitely have to be with someone who has the same life goals and values, and shares the same level of commitment to your relationship.  But when people say “we grew apart” or “we’re not in love anymore” I feel like that is a cop out.  Marriage is a choice.  Love is a choice. And it’s a choice you have to make over, and over, and over again.  It’s for better or worse, and sometimes the worse comes before the better.  The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it.

I have always had that hard core attitude about marriage.  You stick it out.  You honor your vows and you make it work, excluding the situations oulined above.  But these past few months, my confidence has been shaken a bit.  When you see people close to you, people you love, people you never dreamed wouldn’t make it, get divored, it makes you start to question your own marriage.  If these marriages that I thought were so amazing and strong could fall apart, who’s to say it won’t happen to my marriage? When I hear of so much infidelity everywhere, it makes me wonder, what’s to stop my husband from straying?   When my husband and I have had the same fight for the 500th time, I start to wonder if we are even compatible.  Then I start to fall into this doubt spiral and question everything I know.  It is a sad thing to see people you care about go through something so difficult and to see those dreams shattered.  And although I know in those particular cases all the parties involved will go on to be happier and better people, it’s still shocking and sad and definitely casts some doubt now and then. 

Luckily for me, I know that even though I have these doubts occasionally, I know they aren’t anything I ever have to actually worry about.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that my husband is all in.  Even though it took him 7 years to propose, (pause for reaction!) I know he is 100% committed to us and our family and our life that we’ve built together.  We have our share of fights, believe me.  We are both passionate and stubborn, and have different opinions when it comes to a lot of hot button topics.  That makes for some volatile arguments occasionally.  There are most definitely days I have to actively choose to love my husband. And I’m sure it’s the same for him from time to time.  But no matter what, we always choose to forgive each other and move on.  I always say “Oh you’re mad?  Sorry about ya.  Have a seat and get comfy because we’re gonna work this shit out!”

There is a quote from Cory on Boy Meets World (yes, I love that show, what of it?) and it perfectly sums up the way my husband feels about our marriage.  And it’s how I know he will never betray me or leave me.  He says “Every statistic that you throw at me is gonna be about other people.  I don’t care about other people.  I care about you and me.  If every marriage failed except one, I guarantee you that one would be ours.”  That is how we both feel about each other, and that’s how I know our marriage will stand the test of time.  That, and…this: