Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tomorrow! TOMORROW!

Tonight I seem to have reached the point where there isn't anything left to put into boxes. This is good, because moving day is TOMORROW. We are signing the lease at 10 am! I can't believe how quickly this has all happened. I can't believe we're going to have a HOUSE! With a YARD! And a darling little front porch, and a fence, and a little shed, and there are just so many things I'm excited about! This is the first time in my life that I haven't had a yard, and it's been a year and a half and it's been absolutely long enough. We have big plans for that little piece of the earth!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Moving Mountains

Well, moving one mountain, anyway. Today, in preparation for the next few days when The Man will be at work and I'll be home with the kids trying to get things packed on my own, I moved The Mountain (basically everything that belongs in both bedrooms) from the spot where it took up about 2/3 of our living room to the bedroom which I completely emptied yesterday. I could actually feel the tension level falling in the house as The Mountain disappeared from the living room and in its place grew a pleasant little arrangement of toys for the kids. They'll be able to safely hang out in the living room, and I can close off the bedroom where everything is stacked in boxes. On moving day (four more days!!) it will be very easy to just move the boxes from where they're stacked to where trucks are waiting in the parking lot.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Moving Frenzy

When we woke up yesterday morning, our apartment looked normal. Now we have a mountain of packed boxes in the living room, one completely empty bedroom, and one bedroom where the four of us are living like vagabonds with all of our beds and the clothes we need for the next few days. Toys and crafts for the kids are packed but easily accessible, and an empty room means a safe place for them to play while I pack and organize. It's all coming together, and in less than a week we'll be in our new place.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New House for a New Year!

This has all happened so quickly. It had been MONTHS since I'd even been on Craigslist. Our budget has been incredibly tight for several months and moving was completely out of the question. It's even still sort of out of the question, except all of a sudden it's actually happening.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Our Journey to Equality

Last night Americans spoke loudly in favor of equality. We sent a clear message, and it wasn't so much a message about the candidates as it was about the issues.

Equality has always been one of the top issues for me. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people are a part of our society, always have been and always will be, and the idea that an entire group of Americans should be systematically discriminated against is appalling to me.

Twelve years ago I got involved with my first political campaign - the Yes on 6 campaign in Maine. I got involved in this effort through the gay/straight alliance group at school. We worked hard. We made phone calls from our own phones, went door to door, wrote letters, passed around petitions, and drove people to the polls. We heard countless stories from Maine citizens who had been fired, bullied out of their jobs, evicted from their homes or denied housing in the first place - not to mention the stories that had been there all along about people in long-term committed relationships being unable to visit their sick partner in the hospital or receive health or life insurance benefits. We also had countless experiences of being shouted at, cursed at, and threatened by people who were very uncomfortable with the idea of ending these forms of discrimination. There was a lot of energy on our side of the campaign, though, and we were full of hope that we would be part of the group that would really bring about change, equality for ALL Americans no matter who we love in our private lives.

But despite the energy on our side, there was a lot of resistance on the other side, and we ended up losing. It was the same year that Al Gore lost to George W. Bush in a highly controversial election that was riddled with many different kinds of fraud, and the despair among our group of equality supporters was palpable.

Even though we lost that particular fight, as time went by we started to see something happening. It was happening in Maine, but it was also happening all over the country. Over the past decade, there has been a lot of lively national - no, GLOBAL - discussion about marriage equality, and there has been an incredible shift. Twelve years ago I was about as discouraged as I could get, but since then as months, years, and entire campaign seasons have gone by, I’ve been so proud to see a new landscape unfolding.

Equal rights for GLBT people has been a defining civil rights issue for our generation. The debate in our country has gone on and on, but the voices who speak out against discrimination have been speaking louder and louder, and last night our voices were heard loud and clear.

We don’t have the right to use our own religious and moral beliefs to deny a normal, legal marriage and family life to an entire group of American people. It is not okay for people of a particular religion or philosophy to continue insisting that their way is the only “moral” or “right” way. And this is not an attack on religion - it has nothing to do with religion. It has everything to do with the rights of a substantial percentage of the American population. Our right to work, live, love, raise our families and contribute to our societies in peace and safety.

Giving equal rights to all Americans, whether gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, or none of the above, does not revoke anyone else’s right to live their own life, worship their own God, or raise their own family.

Today, the day after America banded together and voted for equality, I am beaming with pride. I’m incredibly proud to have played a small role in the work we’ve done. I’m proud to be involved in this movement for equal rights, and excited about what the future holds. As I’ve gotten older and hopefully wiser, this issue has only gotten more important to me. There is so much that is uncertain in our world, and Americans should have the right to be confident in the security of their own family.

There’s still a lot of work to do, but I’m seeing the tide turn and I’m overwhelmed with pride for our incredible country. We have been testing the water with anti-discrimination laws and domestic partnerships. There have been tremendously discouraging votes that were very close but ended up voting down equality, but there is a ripple effect underway. We have put our collective foot down. Last night we spoke up in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington State. We’ve already spoken in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and Washington DC.

Beyond elected officials and ballot measures, we've grown so much as individuals and as a society. We speak out against hateful slurs, against bullying, and against discrimination in many forms. We've used our power as consumers, as voters, and as concerned citizens to send the message over and over again, all across our country, that we will not stand by while our we, or our friends, relatives, coworkers, neighbors, sons, daughters, parents, receive different treatment under the law because of the gender of the person they happened to fall in love with. We will no longer stand by and allow a policy of discrimination to cast a shadow over American families.

If you are against gay marriage, then don’t marry a gay person. But there is no way in which allowing GLBT couples the same rights as straight couples will cause harm. Conflicts between religious beliefs and someone elses civil rights should be handled in churches, not in our government. We are all Americans and we have equal right to live and love in the United States of America, and the group of us who believes in equality is only continuing to grow.

I’m an incredibly proud American today. My heart is full of hope and optimism. No harm can come from letting go of old and hurtful patterns. When we focus only on our differences we drive ourselves farther and farther apart. Let us join hands and walk together into our future and focus on how we can bring our country together.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Joy of Music in our home

During my six years of mothering, there have been countless times when I've been touched by how special a particular moment is. Watching a baby take those cautious first steps; seeing a young child struggle with something that seems simple to me and then witnessing the pure joy and pride that washes over him when he finally gets it all by himself; listening to him read a book from cover to cover for the first time. There are so many important "firsts" that happen in family life. Lately, though, our six year old has been taking beginner piano lessons, and I believe that this experience has been the biggest "miracle" in my parenting journey so far.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Being Compassionate Doesn't Mean Allowing Yourself to be Blamed or Abused

It's interesting, the feeling that I get when I am reminded to be more sensitive to someone when I feel that I've given them an extraordinary amount of sensitivity. It's a funny kind of conflict. I think we have all experienced this feeling to some degree.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Size 18 to Size 8 - My Weight Loss Journey in Photos.

Hi there! This is me. 
I'm known here as Sunshine Mama, and this is my story of gaining and then losing a whole bunch of weight. When we got married in 2005 I weighed about 135 pounds and was a size 6, the smallest I'd been in my teen and adult life. After my first pregnancy I started on a roller coaster of weight gain and then eventually weight loss. From 220 pounds to 155 pounds, from a snug size 18 to a slightly loose size 8, from 2006 to 2012 - this is the whole experience.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Reflections on a Changing Life

From moving twice in the past three years, including one cross-country move, gaining and then losing about 70 pounds, friendships and relationships that sometimes ebb and sometimes flow, there have been plenty of changes in my life. There have been new hairstyles, new phases, new projects, and even recently new clothes, which is always pretty exciting.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My mistrust of Western medicine.

To be honest, I have a general mistrust of Western medicine. I would say that this one feeling of mine is the thing that consistently evokes gasps and raised eyebrows. I have a lot of strong opinions on a lot of subjects, from breastfeeding to birth to grammar to mental health and many other things, but when I question listening to ones doctor, or maybe treating conditions at home rather than rushing to a doctors office, people are consistently shocked.