Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday Best: Love Will Lead the Way

top: Kohl's, pants: Smith's, shoes: Bella Me, hat: gift, necklace: Full Circle Exchange 

This past week was filled with rainstorms. I love a good rainstorm. I love the smell. I love hearing the rhythm it makes as the drops pound against my metal roof. I love how cleansing it is. The grass and the trees seem to be given new life thanks to the moisture. Rain is rejuvenating. 

Love is kind of like rain. It's rejuvenating. It gives new life. It makes people whole. Love washes away hurt and insecurities. 

I want to love more. I want to do a better job at loving those who are hard to love. I want to be more present and act more fully for those who so openly and willingly love me. I'm learning more and more each day that love is where it's at. Love is what it's all about. 

Speaking of love, that amazing heart necklace I'm wearing was created with lots of it. Melody Ross, a talented artist who uses her art for good, has teamed up with Full Circle Exchange to create an amazing line of gifts. The heart pendant necklace was created by women in Peru and it is made of reclaimed metal. The necklace also came with a bar of  gourmet "Happy Chocolate" . . . with a name like that, you know it must be good. The box that these gifts came in was designed by beautiful Melody. Buy your own gift here or look for it at your nearest Walmart (I hate Walmart but for this I'm making a small exception). There are other pretty products too: mugs, scarves, aprons, cards, and a whole lot more.  

This post isn't even sponsored. I just think it's a rad cause and you'll love the products. Perfect gifts for Mother's Day! 

Read more about Full Circle Exchange here and spread the love.       

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Truth Tuesday

  • I'm a pretty inconsistent blogger lately . . . if you haven't noticed. And if I'm going to be honest (and I will be since it's Truth Tuesday), I have a lot of issues with blogs. It probably stems from a blog post I read a few months back about how being a blogger is way harder work than being a journalist. Writing a post about your weekend that is riddled with spelling errors and bad grammar is not harder work than writing a real article, where you interview real people, about real issues. I'm sorry, it's just not. Being a journalist is actually a pretty tough job. At work the other day, I found an article of the "200 Worst Jobs of 2013". Newspaper reporter was 199 and broadcaster was 196. Newspaper reporter was only better than one job, guess what that was . . . A lumberjack. 

  • It always confuses me when people use a plus sign for the word "and". For example: apples + bananas. Does anyone else read that as apples plus bananas? Am I alone here? 

  • Everyone applies their makeup with a cat around their neck, right? 

  • If you know me, you know I have an obsession with bears (really, I have an obsession with all animals). So obviously, I made BWell take me to "Disney's Bears" over the weekend. I started crying during the opening scene. That's how emotional bears make me. 

  • I recently wandered around the mountains alone with my dog. So I guess I wasn't really alone, but you know what I mean. I felt super adventurous. Also, Munch peed on everything. 

  • Speaking of dogs, I took some BuzzFeed quiz to see what kind of dog I am and it told me I am a mutt. All my confidence went out the window. Thanks for nothing, BuzzFeed. 

  • You know how teenagers supposedly get mad because no one treats them like adults? Well, I never experienced that as a teenager. But that's my life right now. It's a very frustrating phase of my life because, seriously, I'm a freaking adult, and not many people treat me like one. I feel like I'm in such a vulnerable stage of life, trying to prove myself all the time. Every single day I'm trying to prove myself, whether it's with something huge like my career . . . or with something small like what I made for dinner. Proving myself in adulthood feels much scarier than anything else I've ever experienced. 

  • My Easter dress this year was hot pink. I'm not a hot pink person . . . but it's good to try new things.

  • I feel like I should end by saying that I realize there are many wonderful things about blogs. I just had to vent for a minute at the beginning of this post. I love reading blogs and I love being able to blog myself. Hooray! Hugs and rainbows everywhere! 
Thanks for reading. Only a few more days until the weekend. ;) 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

People are People

Several months ago, the Superbowl happened and there was more controversial talk about the commercials afterward than about the game itself.

When I first saw the Coca-Cola commercial, I was almost in tears. How beautiful, I thought, to bring the many cultures and diversity of our country together in a song. A song about beauty and freedom . . . things that mean something to all people regardless of religious beliefs or what language you speak.

Later when I got on Facebook, I was again almost in tears, but not the good kind. I was in shock over how many hateful comments I read pertaining to Coca-Cola's advertisement. There were comments about how unpatriotic it was that the song wasn't in just English (English isn't our national language, just fyi). There were comments about how people needed to learn English or get out. There were comments (and this brought out my inner-wolf) about how awful it was that the "terrorists' language" was used in the commercial.

I don't know exactly what spell I fell under at that moment, but man oh man, I got defensive. I turned into one of those super opinionated people who start silly arguments on social media. I'm willing to bet I even lost some Facebook friends that night . . . and I won't hold it against them for blocking me or deleting me, because I got intense.

I understand why people get upset about illegal immigrants.

But the thing is, I feel like people very seldom try to understand the risks that come along with being an illegal immigrant, and why they feel those risks are worth it.

If I lived in a country where the government was corrupt and I feared for my life every day, I would want to get out too. If I were treated like a piece of property and denied my basic human rights because I'm a woman, I would not be okay with that.

I can't say I understand immigrants, legal or illegal, but I'd like to try to understand. I was born an American, and I'm proud of that, but that doesn't make me better or smarter than someone who comes from different circumstances. I learned that very humbling lesson at a young age.

In grade school, I was very advanced in reading. I started reading Greek Mythology and Shakespeare when I was in first and second grade (how did I have any friends?). When I was in third grade, my teacher asked me if I would like to be her helper during part of reading time. I proudly said yes.

I grew up in a very small town in Southeastern Idaho, a location abundant in farmland. It was a common thing for Mexican immigrants to come and work on the farms. These families typically did not stay in one place for too long. In third grade, there was the sweetest little Mexican girl in my class. I can still imagine her large brown eyes and mischievous giggle clear as day, but I can't remember her name. I've never been good with names. We will call her Daisy for the sake of the story.

Daisy didn't speak much English and she was behind on her reading. My teacher wanted me to go out in the hall with Daisy for a certain amount of minutes during reading time so I could read with her one-on-one. This quickly became routine for me and Daisy. We would sit with our backs against the wall near our classroom door and make our way through Daisy's basic workbooks. I watched her progress from attempting to sound out one syllable words, to being able to read and comprehend full sentences. It was exhilarating. I was teaching her.

However, I didn't realize how much Daisy would end up teaching me.

We could have built a friendship and understood one another, but there was one problem . . . I was too prideful.

 I made the mistake of thinking I was better than Daisy.

Daisy set me straight.

Fridays were library days. On Fridays, Daisy and I would pick a book to read together for fun. Usually, she ended up just asking me to choose the book. On one of our library days, I told Daisy she could choose any book in the whole library to have me read to her . . . and I wasn't going to help pick it. That's when she led me to a section of the library I'd never been to before. She pulled a picture book from the shelf marked "Espanol".

What did that mean? I was about to find out.

We claimed a spot in the library pit and I opened the book to the first page. I recognized all the letters on the page, but they were thrown together in an order I did not understand. But I couldn't not understand in front of Daisy, so I started sounding out the words and struggled through a paragraph of sentences that held no meaning to me.

And what did Daisy do?

She laughed. She was laughing at me. I quickly felt my face heat up with anger and embarrassment. My palms, damp with sweat, stuck to the pages of this book filled with utter nonsense. How could she be laughing at me? I was smarter than her. I was a better reader than her. That's when she started correcting me as I read words incorrectly, as I had so commonly done for her. I made my way through the book, speaking terrible broken Spanish, with the help of Daisy by my side.

I finally understood how Daisy must have felt every single day she came to school. She showed me that I was not better or smarter, we just had a different understanding. I'm so grateful Daisy taught me such a valuable lesson that afternoon in the library pit of our grade school. It's an experience I will never allow myself to forget. I wish I knew where she went and what she's doing right now . . .

After I simmered down from my Facebook rage and realized that no matter what I think, Coca-Cola will continue to make gobs of money with or without my support of their commercials, I sat back and asked myself why I was so passionate about the subject. Then I asked myself how I was making a difference by merely voicing my opinion on the subject. It's easy to have opinions. It's harder to act on those opinions. So I figured it was my responsibility to act. I recently started volunteering at the English Language Center in my community and thus far it has been so rewarding.

I really do not care what your political views are. Gosh, I can't even make up my mind on my own political views. I'm glad you have opinions even if they are different than mine. However, I don't have much tolerance for hate and arrogance.

It comes down to one basic point: people are people.

People are people . . . with beating hearts in their chests which keep them living and breathing. People are people . . . with hopes, and fears, and insecurities, and passions. We are all people. We're really not that different from one another.

Before you openly call someone a sinner or terrorist, before you label someone as uneducated or poor, remember that person has feelings. Same as you.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Best: Sheer Terror

top: Pink Zone, leggings: Adornit Shoppe, sandals: Fashion Box, necklace: Downeast Outfitters, earrings: Smith's, watch: Fossil 

Some days I feel like being risque, so I wear a see-through shirt. Things could be worse, right? At least I remembered to wear a bra. Also, one of the fellow deejays I work with jokingly asked if he could borrow these leggings. I told him sure, because they are the softest leggings ever so he probably would want to try them out. Plus, they are stretchy and one-size-fits-all.

I wore this getup on Friday. After work, BWell and I went to dinner with friends. We then felt like scaring ourselves with our friends so what else would a group of young adults do? We sneaked into the graveyard after dark and chanted some stuff around the weeping woman statue. Legend has it she will cry tears of blood . . . but nothing happened. After that adventure, we were feeling rather brave so we may or may not have gone to the nunnery* (read about that urban legend here). Then we stayed up late talking about scary legends and watching scary movie trailers. 

Even though we all had a grand old time, I still think the the most terrifying thing was my extremely sheer shirt. 

*I have been intrigued with St. Ann's Retreat (the nunnery) for years now and I totally don't think it's haunted. The property is beautiful and I actually have this crazy notion that one day I'll own it. ;)