Didn’t you get the memo?

I love the season of the holidays. Finding the perfect tree, breaking out the decorations, and relaxing with a sense of satisfaction that the joyous giving and sharing season is upon us. The colder weather, a chance of snow, a sense of community and family all around.

I’ve always been the person that takes down their tree the DAY AFTER Christmas. Why? Um. Christmas is over come December 26th. The Canadians are doing it right folks, ever heard of Boxing Day? Box up your shit and put it away. No sense in dragging out the season. The new year is just around the corner and let’s have a fresh start when the clock ticks to midnight. This year, however, with little ones in the picture and a husband who prefers leaving the tree and decor up a few days post Christmas, I obliged. Honestly it was still kind of nice, we paid a lot for the tree and it still smelled like pine. I was liking it. The new year came and a few days later the gigantic tree came down and awaited the Boy Scouts of America, curbside.

That weekend I began wondering, “when are these neighbors of mine going to take down their exterior, CLEARLY, Christmas decor?”. I feared the worst. These people had no timetable. They didn’t adhere to the normality of the seasons. They were instead, going to torture me. Let me say this, I absolutely cannot stand exterior decor beyond the season. CANNOT. You people who leave your lights attached to your house well into March? There should be an acutal law against that type of human defiance. A fine imposed. A scarlet “trash” label that gets affixed to your home. This type of behavior is beyond my comprehension. Yes, I get it’s the Northwest and it rains in January and it’s ‘cold’. That is NO EXCUSE! Get off your ass and get to dismantling.

My home office window looks the front of our house and directly across the street is the display of a string or two of icicle lights the neighbors have strung from their gutter. They don’t turn them on anymore, but they are there. Hanging. Yes they are white and yes they blend in mostly with the white gutter. But I don’t care. I can see them, I know they are there. I have disdain for those neighbors. Why? Because of the lights they won’t take down? Yes. It’s that simple. The weird guy that smokes on the porch doesn’t help matters either.  In fact, that guy is HOME ALL DAY, EVERYDAY and all the more reason those lights should be taken down.

They aren’t the only offenders though. The neighbors next door to us have the same awful icicle lights and other houses in the area still have red bows, ornaments hanging from trees in their yard, and various other ornamental yard decor. And most abundant of all is the wreath. About every other house still has one hanging up. Come on people, you are KILLING ME!

I know this sounds like a rant of something completely insignificant. So what if people still have lights and shit up? Who cares? I care. You know why? Because this is slippery slope folks. What ELSE do they have going on in the INSIDE of these houses? I shudder to think.


The Good Book

I have little to no feeling about religion. I’m aware it exists, there are several of them, and while I’m not familiar with the intracacies of each I understand the underlying theme of believing in a power greater than thyself. I’m no stranger to religion however. I grew up with an uber-religious father, who for a time had close ties via his employment to a Catholic church. There are pictures of me at the Confirmation ceremony when I was about 9 years old. I wore a white dress, had oddly frizzy/curly blonde hair and large pink glasses. I remember afterwards the entire family went out to brunch at a local family restaurant. I remember getting presents and cards filled with money. This was awesome, but even then, I remember feeling awkward.

My brother and I attended Sunday school and even attended various church summer day camps in our younger years. Oddly, I don’t recall learning a ton about God and Jesus and their discipiles and shit, I remember more about eating food and playing games. Maybe we hold onto what we choose  to remember. As I got a bit older, into the early teenage years, my dad would harp on me about going to church every Sunday. I’ve been to Sunday mass a few times in my life, but likely less than I can count on my fingers and toes. Hell, I’ve even been to midnight mass! But to me, it wasn’t something I could hang onto.

It seemed like a bunch of bullshit to me then, and now, I just really don’t care. In a way, as a teenager, I was probably rebelling a bit. This was a point in my life where my dad was going to church EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Sometimes, multiple times per day. And every time I talked to him, it was more of the same, “When are you going to come to church with me?” My response was always an emphatic NEVER, which my dad took as a joking matter assuming he’d get through to me one day.

In the last 10 years of my adult life, rarely does the thought of religion ever come up. If it does, it’s because someone is talking about it on the news, or someone in my family died and their funeral is…at a church. Of course I go, I’m not a monster. Now, though, people seem to be hanging onto life so my exposure to the inside of the sanctuary has been non-existent and ever moreso my thoughts about religion.

My oldest Sdaughter* is 5 years old (almost 6). She’s a very smart and curious little girl and she is always asking lots of questions about everything and anything. For Christmas, she was gifted a children’s bible while on vacation. When she returned to our stead after New Year’s she told us all about her children’s bible and how excited she was to have her very own. Prior to this, she had been hearing about God and Jesus through the grapevine, from a little girl at school and an adult in her circle. She had asked US questions on the subject and we stood behind a scientific approach to life rather than a creationism stance. I had never really considered this topic as something that would come to the forefront so soon as neither her father or mother are religious. But I suppose similar to Santa Claus, children hear stories and get curious.

Religion is such a touchy subject in this country, one that should be approached carefully. Many people are turned off by the mere mention of it (like me) and some go on a rant about how one perceive’s a certain religion (like me). I’m not opposed to allowing her (or other kids) to learn about religion, but I think it’s a conversation that parents need to have with one another and come to a mutual understanding before allowing religious materials in an otherwise non-religious set of homes. Children are naturally curious and need to fulfill their curiosities through questions, answers, and sometimes application to real life. I think it’s important to understand and be exposed to variety in life and learn about other cultures and religions in order to gain respect to all, even if you inevitably do not agree.


Breaking up is hard to do.

I came across this article/story/blog post via Twitter. (Twitter, you’re so awesome!) I found myself laughing out LOUD. I do this a lot (reading and laughing) in the presence of my husband-to-be, which generally results in a confused, sideways glance….Anyhow, breaking up IS hard to do and when you’re a teenager it seems like the most devastating event in your life. Unless you’ve experienced poverty or death, it probably is.

As you get older, it can have a similar impact. I can think back to my own personal experiences and remembering how sad I was. The constant crying, disrupted sleep, lack of appetite (ok, so I ALWAYS kept eating). I reveled on how life would never be the same. “Why me? Why doesn’t anyone love me.” Thankfully things never would be the same again. Life will never be the same. And often times, for good reason. We grow, we change, we get over it. Time it will take, but we often come out stronger in the end.

This little piece is a humorous way to reflect.

Everything as Fuck by Ian Karmel





I agree with many points of Jen Gunter’s post in response to George Will’s recent opinion piece about the effects ‘sexual assault’ is having on college and university campuses. For me, Will’s column seems a bit all over the place jumping from ‘a not rape’ to the diminished autonomy and prestige of colleges and universities. He has every right to his opinion, but it can be dangerous when his kind of message is disseminated. Reports of rape and sexual assaults have to be taken seriously. Not all assaults are reported, but that doesn’t make them any less of a violation.

The stereotypes and stigmas associated with these events need to be dispelled. People need to be educated and enlightened, not shamed into silence. Some people are stronger than others. People have different coping mechanisms (maybe none) and deal with things differently. We can hypothesize about how we’d handle the situation, or imagine how our son or daughter would deal. Surely they’d go screaming for the hills and tell the first person they saw, stranger or not, right? But we don’t really know until we come face to face with plight. We shouldn’t pass judgement on victims when we have not stood in their shoes.

Courage and support.

It takes a lot of courage to get yourself motivated to run after spending nearly a year in a mostly hate relationship with the sport. It’s a lot easier to sit on the couch and do nothing than to get in your running garb, grab your water bottle and eject yourself out the front door and hit the streets. My common excuse is ‘not enough time’. I know better. I know all the excuses. I know the game and how it’s played. But I just got to the point where I didn’t care. Not caring attributed to my not-so-sunny attitude, irritability when it came to dealing with others and thinking clearly, and disruptive sleep patterns. 

Running isn’t just about being able to run or even finish a race. It’s not really about losing weight or staying in shape. It’s just a general, overall way of life to feel better about everything. More than just fitting in my clothes (which trust me, is super important!) running exercises my mind and my soul. I feel more positive. I give back an energy into the world that is charged with cheer instead of negativity. My outlook for the future is sunnier. I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to. My family will only benefit from the better me. It’s not say I won’t have disappointing days or never face another obstacle. Running allows me to have the clarity to deal with those situations differently, positively, instead of always focusing on the negative. I’m fortunate to have such great support in my circle that encourages me to keep going, raise the bar, and never think ‘I can’t’. 

Grab a pair of kicks and hit the bricks.

Ready or not, h…

Ready or not, here I come.


Welcome to the neighborhood.

When new neighbors move into your neighborhood, aren’t you supposed to do something nice for them? Shouldn’t you bake them a pie, or take them over a fresh, hot casserole? I think that’s how it used to be done. I’ve never had the privilege to live in such a neighborhood, so I’m not exactly certain if that sort of thing still occurs between strangers.

These days, I don’t know that I’d eat something a stranger made. People are so weird, and crazy, maybe I’m included in that mix?! But then again, if I were to make something for a new neighbor, I’d feel bad if they didn’t eat it because they thought I might be unsanitary. However, there are about 1001 things most people cannot eat these days, so you’re probably also hard pressed for your creation to please everyone’s palate.

Nearly two weeks ago, the rental house next to me was graced with new live-ins. I was slightly frightened and nervous as rental and this neighborhood typically spells unsavory. Much to my surprise the intended occupants seemed normal from a distance. I saw a mother with a few children. Seemingly harmless on the surface. But my imagination tends to get the better of me from time to time so I had concocted a myriad of scenarios in which these newest tenants would be a nightmare on my street. 

A knock at my door or a ring of my doorbell will send the dog into a frenzy. She’s trained to ward off visitors of any kind. IF you happen to be the UPS, FedEx, or mailman you will get an extra viscous bark and you will be thankful there is a closed door between you and pup. Most door visits are from solicitors trying to sell you new siding, kitchen cabinets or they’re trying to spread the good word. Much to my surprise it was neither of those, it was my new neighbor and one of her kids. 

She introduced herself and her middle school aged son as my new neighbors and wanted to know if they could rake up the leaves in my yard. For a second I thought I was being punk’d, but those five seconds quickly went by and I realized she was being truly genuine. Sweet! She said her son would be glad to rake them up to get them out of my way. This timing couldn’t have been better as collecting them was on my to-do list before the rain set in making them a wadded mess to clean up. As he was out there raking my leaves, I felt a twinge of guilt. I don’t know these people and they are offering to rake up my yard. Do I pay them? Is this just generosity at its finest? Perhaps so. 

The greatest thing was to find out she is a kindergarten teacher at my old elementary school. How cool? Well, you might think ‘not so much’ but I have never met anyone who actually heard of where I spent my formative years. And yes, I’m a nerd.

So here’s to neighbors (nice ones) and generosity. Pass it on! You never know how you may brighten someone’s day.

Previous Older Entries