The Honey Pot

The Purpose of the Pot: to share with you a little of me. I love to Blog and I love to share. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show. Click on the the Boutique Label and you will find a collection of unique items handmade by me- Honey! If you are interested in anything, leave a comment with your email address and I will get back to you!







Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Because my loan isn't already big enough and I don't have enough paper.

I graduated in December with my Bachelors Degree. I thought it was enough. I thought for sure I would have a job by January 15th. I was going to have health insurance after not having any for three years by March 1st at the latest! I had this huge plan:

Step one: Get a job! 

Step two: Sit for RHIA credentials by April 1st, 2017

Step three: Receive CHIP credentials by Summer 2018 

Step four: Enroll in graduate school by Summer 2019

It's now February 21, 2017 and Step four is now completed two years ahead of schedule.

Yep, you read that right. I am now officially in Graduate School. I will be pursuing a Masters of Science in Health Informatics at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. The best part- no relocation necessary. The worst part: I really thought that I could break up with my homework but it looks like that will not be possible.

So why is this happening two years ahead of schedule. Because despite the 30 plus job applications I was sending out every week, I was meet with the same rejection: we cannot hire you because you have no managerial experience (and we are not willing to give you any).  Okay, I added the last part. I thought I had paid my dues. I had spent 9 years doing grunt work and the last three of those bettering myself through education. Every rejection was another way of someone saying you are not good enough. Apparently, I had not done enough and I was not good enough.

I am sure that by going to grad school will not increase my chances for a job. This is a long term decision for a long term result. I completed my counseling for my loans today and it will take me 10 years to pay off what I will owe at almost $750 a month once I am done in two years.

So now, I re-write my plan.

Get a job! 
Get RHIA credentials! 
Do my Homework (classes start March 16th) 

I am not putting anything in any order!!

The kids are not thrilled about grad school but are okay with this program. It's all online, I will be more available and I will be able to work.

I've wanted a Masters degree since I was 17 years old. I started myself on a path that would place me where I wanted to be in life. Things, wonderful and miraculous things happened along the way; My Hotstuff, Miss May and Bubba Jones were those wonderful events. It didn't stop me from continuing on my path. It created a new path so that I could continue on the journey I started.  Now, I am finally finishing a journey that I started when I was 17.

I have really truly witnessed in the last couple of years that prayers are heard and prayers are answered. Those answers may not come under the circumstances that we choose or desire but they are heard and are answered.



Friday, January 6, 2017

What adding to my already massive student loan and getting another piece of paper taught me

As stated once before...

  " Massive life decisions are made for two reasons: desperation or necessity.

   I made one out of desperate necessity: I went back to college because I needed to make a difference in my life and the life of my family."

About three months and two days after I claimed my first, very expensive piece of paper, I realized during Sunday Dinner (no less) that I needed to pursue a second piece of paper. I immediately called my sister, because that is what one does in this situation. I got her advice because your sister usually has the very best advice. Plus, the fact that she works at the University really really helped!

I emailed my former adviser, asking for help and the directions I need to follow in order to get into the Bachelors program. Less than 24 hours later she replied: "you don't need to do anything, congratulations you are in the program". Now... classes started in less than three weeks and I scrambled for money and books and everything!!!

But I had to break the news to my kids- this was not going to be easy. They hated the fact that I had already been in school for that last two years and I was going back for another year.

Bubba Jones's reply was a flat out NO! I couldn't go back because I would always be in (what I called) "homework mode". Miss May wasn't too thrilled either- in fact, I vividly remember my preteen rolling her eyes. Hotstuff... he wasn't thrilled but what can I say?!? I would not have been able to do the last three years without him and his unconditional support and love.

One year and 4 months later- I finished with my Bachelors Degree! Going full time, full speed and taking no less than 13 credits a semester. I graduated!!!



I heard my name called... I walked forward... I shook the hand of my college dean, accepted my diploma cover and smiled really pretty for the camera. I am not going to lie... it was one of the very best days of my life. I knew in that moment, that I can do hard things. I had proven to myself that I could.




My mother once told me that her biggest regret in life was not getting her associate degree. She didn't want me to have that same regret. So there I was, dressed in black, with no regrets.

To quote the ever awesome Tom Petty:
Runnin down a dream, that never would have come to me! Workin on a mystery, going where ever it leads... ya, runnin down a dream!

So what did adding to my already massive student loan and getting another piece of paper teach me?




1. Take time for God
Salt Lake City LDS Temple 
 So many times, we are told of the importance to take time for ourselves, take time for our families, take time for this... take time for that! As if there is 270 hours in the day!!  My "Me Time" was spent on my commutes to and from Campus or my internship. Time management took on a whole new meaning while I was in school. I understand, you don't want one more thing you have to give a priority to.
Seattle LDS Temple
I took the time, once a month, to faithfully attend Temple. However, once I began to devote some time to my God, to my faith; miracles began to happen. I made honor roll almost every semester. I found more time for my family, for my Hotstuff, for my school work, for everything. All of those hard things- I was able to do them because I took time for my God.

"But I am an atheist!" you claim. That is okay... take time to recognize the creations that are around you.  Recognize those wonders that are bigger than you are. Take a moment to be amazed by this great big world you live in. Find the good in your life.
My good in my life- My Miss May

2. What is required isn't what is always right 
I had this class... two classes. I hated them. Took them both in the same semester. One class, I couldn't understand why I needed to take this "upper division" class and why it wasn't a required freshman class. The other... while it was very informative, had NOTHING to do with my degree but it was required.
Steve Jobs, in his 2005 Commencement speech at Stanford University talked about dropping out of college.
"So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made.The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked far more interesting.... If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later." 

I never quite understood what he meant until I had been in my "informative but nothing to do with my degree class". I was there because it was required. The assignments I needed to do had nothing to do with anything I could apply practically to any part of my life- personal and professional. Those classes were a waste of time and money but I was on a time and money crunch. I needed to get things done but if I had had the chance, I would have taken those classes that were not required of me. I would have taken the time to learn something valuable and worthwhile. 

3. I can do hard things!! 
I have fibromyalgia. I have IBS-C. I have a broken uterus. I am an Asthmatic. I have a broken body.



Every single one of us can do hard things. The only thing that really truly is stopping us is ourselves. Many times I blogged about not being able to paint or crochet. I started painting a year ago and it finally clicked in my brain on how to crochet. I realized I couldn't do those things because I was stopping myself- I gave up too easily. I am the next Rothko? Probably not, but I enjoy learning about art and painting. I may never crochet as well as my Oma did but I have a small skill that will provide lots of newborns with hats. 

4. Learn by example 
There are some things that our textbooks and professors can't teach us. Those are the things that we need to learn through the experiences we have outside the class room. 

5. How I did it.... 
                                                                        "I don't know how you do it!" 
It was the one phrase that so many would tell me. I didn't know how to answer them. Truthfully, it all goes back to taking time for my God. There was something bigger than me helping me. I had the support of husband and two amazing offspring. I had a words of encouragement from friends and family. I had professors who cared about me and worked with me. I finally passed that stupid effing math class!!!! And I got a B+!!!!!!!! 
There is something bigger than ourselves. Call it what you want. But that something bigger than me, I know that is how I was able to do any of it. 

6. "Bob Ross is Marijuana! Except, you don't smoke him- you just watch him!" 
Those are the wise words my Mother in Law claimed. While writing my final paper [my internship report... 20 page nightmare!] I was extremely stressed. My blood pressure was through the roof. I was ready to cry. I hit the worst mental block of my life and I had nothing to help me!! I was sitting at my computer staring at my screen and realizing it was too quite in my basement. I needed some noise. So off to the trusty Netflix for some background noise and what do I find?!? 

CHILL with BOB ROSS!!! 

OH MY GOODNESS!!! It was like Marijuana from Heaven! I turned on the first episode and turned back to my paper. Within in a few minutes, my blood pressure began to bottom out. I was super relaxed. My mental block began to fade. I was golden. By the end of the third episode, I had to turn it off because I ready to fall asleep and I was hungry.
I was so relaxed I couldn't give an (expletive F-word) about the fact that he had just painted the same damn picture 3 times! Or that all of his trees were happy!!! I was so chill that I could finally write my paper.  I called my mother in law to tell her of my experience, later that night. And that is what she said to me: "Bob Ross is Marijuana! Except, you don't smoke him- you just watch him!" 


That is what I learned, for a whole lotta money! 


Oh! and I finally received my Credentials!!! Now, I have to study for my next set of credentials. 

The job hunt has begun and I while I wait for my phone to ring, I am going to enjoy being a "stay at home Mom" until I go completely nuts! And in the meantime, I will wait for the anxiety attacks regarding my impending student loan bill slowly creep up on me. 



Was it worth it?
Worth every last student loan dime!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Your Choice and the Accountability for Life

To the State of Ohio,

Just recently you made the choice to pass a law that (in so many words) says an abortion cannot be performed if a heart beat is heard. The heart beat of a fetus is heard around six to eight weeks of gestation. While this choice has been made, I can't help but wonder:

What are you going to tell the little girl that was raped multiple times by her father and is now pregnant with his child?

How are you going to console the mother, whose daughter has died with a wire hanger in her hand trying to give herself an abortion?

How will you hold the fathers of these children accountable? Because the last time I checked, it took one male and one female to make one human.

How will you help the mentally retarded woman who has been raped and cannot take care of herself or another person?

What do you tell the husband whose wife has died of pregnancy related complications, when all that was need was an abortion to save her life?

What plans do you have in place to prevent the unnecessary deaths of countless number of woman?

How will you help those who may find themselves in what they believe to be a hopeless situation, believing that the only alternative is to give themselves an abortion that results in their pointless death.

Do you have plans for the influx of children that will now be on welfare? or placed in foster care?

Do you have plans to help families adopt these children that cannot be cared for?

What plans do you have for your Prenatal Medicaid Services and CHIP? Do you plan on funding either of them?  What about your department of education?

Are you going to be willing to help that mother who will need two or more jobs to make ends meet?

How will you guarantee that the father of those children pays his child support?

I am Pro-Choice with a belief that abortion is not always the answer. Life is sacred. The sanctity of life does not end the moment we exit the womb. It begins from the moment of conception follows us to the moment of death.

 Many women enter into clinics, surgical centers and hospitals feeling powerless and hopeless. You can't just declare "No More Abortions" and hope the problem magically fixes itself. We need to start giving those women hope! Because when they have hope they can find the power to make a change for the better in this world.

Unless you the State, step up an offer an alternative to an abortion, "Back-alley Abortions" will make a come back stronger than ever! You will be met with death and you will have no one to blame but yourselves. You've taken away someones right to choose. You've taken away their choice, Now give them another choice. Give them a choice that gives them hope.

Many of these woman made the choice to have sex. For many of them, the choice was forced upon them. I beg of you, no matter the sins of the parents, please do not let these children suffer. If you really are pro-life, then be a champion for a persons entire life.

Sincerely,

Honey


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What a piece of paper and a massive student loan taught me



   Massive life decisions are made for two reasons: desperation or necessity.

   I made one out of desperate necessity: I went back to college because I needed to make a difference in my life and the life of my family.

   Back in May of 2013, with tears in my eyes after my third meltdown in less than two days, I call my husband from work and asked if I could quit my job. Without going into too much detail, I knew that I needed to get out of my job when my friend remarked, that I was working in the most hostile work environment that she had ever heard of. I guess when your coworkers try to sabotage you, that could be considered a hostile work environment. My friends wasn't the only one who knew of my dilemma and who also made the same suggestion for me to quit. I didn't realize what was really happening to me until someone else told me. 
   In addition to the nightmare of my work environment, I had progressed as far as I could in my job/career. I couldn't move anywhere, no matter the knowledge that I acquired or the skills that I obtained; I was never going anywhere. I was stuck as I was and I was desperate to get out and move on.
   Before the phone call to my Hotstuff, I had received a job offer from a hospital in Alaska less than two weeks before. After weekend of prayer, fasting and meditation; I had to decline this offer. It wasn't what I was supposed to do. I was supposed to go back to school to get my degree and my credentials. After that blubbery mess of a phone call to my Hotstuff, I put my affairs and paperwork in to order. I then put in my application for a university 80 miles north of where I lived and was accepted. Five semesters, 20 months of school and just as many finals, plus one  massive student loan later- I have finally finished! 


How I feel today:
David Tennant = Awesome 

   Towards the last 4 weeks of my last semester I felt a lot like this: 
 

And my motivation at the end of each semester was this:
This is what I should be doing!

 
   I knew going back wasn't going to be easy. I am married with two kids. Granted, my kids are not infants and can pretty much take care of themselves to a point... but they are still in my stewardship. Also, I didn't quit my job completely, I just moved into a different role- I became a part time (as needed) employee; which worked to my benefit. I went to school full time- 12+ credits every semester except one. I took seven credits one summer semester in which included ICD 9 and 10 diagnosis coding plus PATHOPHYSIOLOGY!- the hardest class I have ever had to take in my life. Most nights I didn't get to bed until after 11 pm. I learned some valuable time management skills. I took one vacation; the first one in two and a half years. My textbooks became the only books I read. I would go at least a day and half with out seeing my family, once a week.
   In the time I went to school, I threw a bridal shower for my sister in law.  Attended six weddings- one of them I was the Matron of Honor and helped to coordinate, one wedding I helped put together and did all of the flowers for, Hotstuff's brother and Grandfather got married, my sister got married and the final was a cousin that got married. Also, in that time my son was baptized. There were still family events, birthdays and holidays to attend to and celebrate. I spent my kids spring break typing my final papers and doing my homework while we were in California. And did I mention that I also have Fibromyalgia? Because I do.

  This is not me trying to play martyr. Just because I went back to school didn't mean that anything else in my life had the ability to or could stop. I wasn't single or in my 20's anymore and I didn't have someone to pay for my life/ living expenses while I attended school. I had a life, priorities and responsibilities that still needed me. Going back meant putting on my big girl panties and getting things done.

   People ask me: how did you do it?

   My response: I don't know. I just did it.

For when you need to keep your erotic friend fiction hidden: | 13 Ways To Add More Tina Belcher To Your Life

In the end, after all of my hard work, late nights and missing my family, I was given a piece of paper, a massive student loan and a license plate cover letting the world know that I was now an alumni of my university. So with all of my accolades, what did a piece of paper and a massive student loan teach me?

1. I must agree with Audrey Hepburn, happy girls really do make the prettiest girls.
audrey hepburn | breakfast at tiffany's

2. During Midterms and finals, all you really need is Diet Coke and Snickers. This is true of any stressful situation. 
Never underestimate the safety of all around me if I'm not   ;)

3. One of the very best shows ever is The X-files. It doesn't matter how old that shows is,... okay it's over 20 years old but the point is- That shit is still awesome!! and they solved all of it the old fashioned way: without Google, extra fancy schmancy technology or the constant use of a cell phone.
The X-files in a nutshell..

4. Binge watching on Netflix is a way of life and a wonderful therapy. Don't judge. 
A Soulmate That Is Always There For You


5. My Happy Place: the beach
My Happy Place (Beach) Art Print

6.  We all have comfort foods and one should never underestimate the power of comfort foods.
AMEN!

7.  Never underestimate the power of a good run or a good cry.
I already do!

8. Speaking of a good cry... "There is no crying in Baseball!" but if you don't cry at least twice a semester, you are doing it wrong.

 There's no crying in baseball! Love this movie.

9. From Joe Simpson, author of "Touching the Void"; "Success is about choice... not chance."

Touching the Void by Joe Simpson An amazing story of courage and survival
 If you have never heard his story, it is a must read!!!!

10. All good things worth doing will more than likely be the hardest thing you will ever do.
Visit www.mydreamshape.com for workouts, recipes, diet tips, workout music and tools! 30-60 minutes of being uncomfortable is better than being uncomfortable your entire life.


   As you read through what I have learned, those lessons are the ones that you don't learn in a classroom. I may have just earned my college degree but there are lessons that will never be found in the class room and those are the best lessons of all. 

   What's next for me?? Just because I have graduated doesn't mean I am done and life will be just peachy from here on out. I still have to sit for my credentials and find a new and better job. I still have meals to cook, a house to clean, a job to do, children love and be a mom too, a Hotstuff to give some sweet, sweet lovin' to and some sanity to keep. And I must not forget about those student loans that will be knocking on my door, demanding payment in a couple of months.

   Going back to school was worth it... every last C I earned, every paper I wrote, every new thing I learned, every train and smelly bus ride, walking in bad weather and good weather, every crappy test question- all of it. From start to finish, it was all worth it. But don't worry I didn't get all C's!

I made a decision out of desperate necessity and it has been one of the most important and best decisions of my life.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

With a love like that

I am LDS (Mormon) and I live in Utah. And please, DO NOT call me a "Utah Mormon", because I know exactly what you are talking about when you call me that and it hurts... I rather you call me fat and spit in my face. But that is not what I am blogging about today. 

Today I am blogging about the most controversial subject in Utah right now- No, not Same Sex Marriage but Homosexuality. 

One day, I will be able to find the words to explain my stance on Same Sex Marriage but I need to be able to fine tune how I feel to help you understand without offending or contradicting myself. Frankly, I am struggling with the issue. 

In 2004, the state of Utah defined marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman. In December 2013, a little judge came along and said: "Hey, people of Utah you are being jerks!" 
Just kidding! I don't think he said that (or used the word jerks). 

"On December 20, 2013, District Judge Robert J. Shelby struck down the same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional.[7] He wrote:[8]

Amendment 3 perpetuates inequality by holding that the families and relationships of same-sex couples are not now, nor ever will be, worthy of recognition. Amendment 3 does not thereby elevate the status of opposite-sex marriage; it merely demeans the dignity of same-sex couples. And while the State cites an interest in protecting traditional marriage, it protects that interest by denying one of the most traditional aspects of marriage to thousands of its citizens: the right to form a family that is strengthened by a partnership based on love, intimacy, and shared responsibilities." (From the most trustworthy source on the internet: Wikipedia.)

After December 20th, what did I see? I saw two things:

One- Thousand of people rushing to the courts to get married. 

Two- I saw HATE. Pure hate coming from people who preach about love, charity, compassion and that all of us are children of God. 

I was, as they say: "born into the church." Meaning, that my parents were members of the church, therefore I am automatically a member- same rule applies to most religions. I grew up being taught that I am a Child of God who loves me and God loves all of his Children. I was taught and have learned to love others, that great commandment from John chapter 13 verse 34: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Just a note: in that scripture Jesus states not once but twice: "Love one another".

I was encourage to serve, show compassion and show charity (which is defined as the PURE LOVE OF CHRIST) to everyone. No matter who or what they are. After December 20th, I felt as if I had missed some footnote in the church manuals that said: we should love one another as Jesus has commanded... except those who are gay.

My brother is gay and I love him. Do I agree with his all of his choices? No and to be fair he doesn't agree of mine but he is still my brother. For me, there is no footnote that says love everyone except the gays. I love and accept my brother for who he is, not what he is.

One of the best lessons I have learned about love has come from the most unlikely source in my little Mormon life. It came from Pope Francis.




Pope Francis leads millions of Catholics everyday. His position is viewed as the closest to God and yet he is humble enough to say: Who am I to judge? I believe that if Pope Francis can live this, so can I.

When we let go of our judgments, we let go of our fear and we learn to love.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

D-I-V-O-R-C-E

I am a huge Coldplay fan and I am so excited for their new album to come out. I am in love with the new song.

 So my interest was peaked this morning when I heard on the radio that Chris Martin, the lead singer from Coldplay and his wife, actress, Gwyneth Paltrow are separating. I take no joy in the demise of any marriage and what the two of them are going through is not easy. Best thoughts and wishes to their family.
(To read the full public letter: http://www.goop.com/journal/be/conscious-uncoupling

But "separating" is not the word they are using to describe what they are actually doing.

The term they are using is: "CONSCIOUS UNCOUPLING"

My first thought: "What in the hell is conscious uncoupling??" So I did a little research and I found an article from the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/paltrows-conscious-uncoupling-confounds-many/2014/03/26/2dc65960-b52b-11e3-bab2-b9602293021d_story.html ) and from Time Magazine (http://time.com/38650/what-gwyneth-paltrow-really-means-by-conscious-uncoupling/) and I headed over to www.goop.com (Paltrows website and blog.)

"The term was coined by a Los Angeles therapist and author, Katherine Woodward Thomas, who has created a five-step “Conscious Uncoupling” online process — to “release the trauma of a breakup, reclaim your power and reinvent your life.”" (from the Washington Post article).

Mr. Martin and Miss Paltrow, let's face it! What you are doing is not "conscious uncoupling". You are getting DIVORCED and using really big words to deflect what you are really doing does not change anything or make what you are doing any easier.

Paltrow,announced their divorce on her website with a public letter. Below the letter was a blog post from Dr. Habib Sadeghi and Dr. Sherry Sami, expanding on what "conscious uncoupling" is.

Dr. Sadeghi and Dr. Sami, the authors of this article, I hereby declare your article: BULL SHIT!!!!!

"Why?" you might ask.

#1 I did not get married to get divorced and I do not believe that anyone else gets married to get divorced.

The current statistic states that 50% of all marriages in end divorce; it's sad but very true. I am a child of divorce and so is my husband. Just because divorce is a common occurrence doesn't mean that it is a good thing or always the right thing. To be fair, there are times that divorce is the right thing- those are the marriages that have turned toxic and abusive.

I went into my marriage to be married to the man I love not to divorce him after any amount of time. Has my marriage been perfect? No and far from perfect. We work on our marriage constantly and we don't work on it for our children. We work on our marriage for us and because we do, our children reap those benefits.

The average cost of a wedding in the US today is $25,200. So who in their right mind would spend over 25 grand on a wedding just to get divorced??

"When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." -When Harry Met Sally


#2 "To put in plainly, as divorce rates indicate, human beings haven’t been able to fully adapt to our skyrocketing life expectancy. Our biology and psychology aren’t set up to be with one person for four, five, or six decades. "

Sure, we are all living longer and I hope to live a very long and full life... with MY HUSBAND!! The same man that I married when I was 19. My great grandparents lived into their 80's. My great-grandfather was born in 1907 and my great grandmother was born in 1914. They were married for 65 years! Legally, they were married for only 60 years. My great grandparents divorced after 30 years of marriage and for five years were divorced. My grandmother told me the story that my great grandmother called her one day to announce that she was going to marry my great grandfather again. When she explained why, she simply said: "Because there is no other man like him." Even though they were legally divorced for five years, my great grandfather still counted those years as being married. In those five years, he learned how to cook a hamburger but he also learned to love his wife.

From the Guinness book of world records; the longest marriage:
Herbert Fisher (USA, b. 10 June 1905) and Zelmyra Fisher (USA, b. 10 December 1907) were married on May 13, 1924 in North Carolina, USA. They had been married 86 years, 9 months, and 16 days as of 27 February 2011.Herbert Fisher sadly died on Sunday 27th February 2011. The couple had 5 children.
“The remedy for most marital stress is not in divorce. It is in repentance and forgiveness, in sincere expressions of charity and service. It is not in separation. It is in simple integrity that leads a man and a woman to square up their shoulders and meet their obligations. It is found in the Golden Rule, a time-honored principle that should first and foremost find expression in marriage.” 
~Gordon B. Hinckley 

#3"Yes, there will be hiccups in the process, but by and large, there’s no more learning left to do. They’ll both be the same people 10 or 20 years from now as they are today. "

I am NOT the same person I was 12 year ago. I am NOT the same person I was yesterday. My Hotstuff isn't the same person today as he was 12 years ago and I certainly hope that he [positively] changes over the next 12 years, just as I will. I am constantly learning about him and he is constantly learning about me.

Marriage is not supposed to be easy. It is supposed to be hard. You are supposed to grow, change and learn together. Isn't that what one of the many aspect of marriage is? A process by which two people grow, change and learn together.

“What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life--to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?” 
~George Eliot 

#4 "The belief structure is the all-or-nothing idea that when we marry, it’s for life....The idea of being married to one person for life is too much pressure for anyone."

Challenge Accepted!

My Hotstuff and I have been married for over 11 years. This summer we will be celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary. He is the only person that I have ever wanted to be married to. On the day I married him, my intent was to get married and be married. The mere fact that you are telling me that I can't do it, makes me want to do this even more.

I don't believe that people go through out a happy marriage with the thoughts of:
 "When is this marriage going to be over?"  

"I wonder who I am going to marry next?" 

"This marriage is too hard!! I want another one!" 


If being married to the same person for an entire lifetime really is "too much pressure" then NO ONE would ever get married. If marriage is really that bad, then why get married? Do you have so little faith in people that you have resulted to insulting our intelligence. Millions of people right now are fighting for the simple right of marriage. Can you look any of them in the face and tell them to give up? Don't fight because you are just  going to fail. Could you tell a couple who has been married, don't get your hopes up because it is not going to work out?

"I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life."
~Rita Rudner 

#5 "Living happily ever after for the length of a 21st century lifetime should not be the yardstick by which we define a successful intimate relationship: This is an important consideration as we reform the concept of divorce."

Then how would you define a successful intimate relationship? By reforming the concept of divorce? Let's look at their definitions:

Divorce: the complete separation of two things

Marriage: the relationship that exists between a husband and a wife (a similar relationship between people of the same sex)

People get married to live happily ever after! We all want a happily ever after for our lifetime with the person we love the most. We all want to find our Prince/Princess Charming and ride off into the sunset with them. I certainly did not get married to be miserable. I got married because I found a happiness with the man I love. I got married to share, to laugh, to cry, to love, to play, to go and do with my Hotstuff. My happily ever after cannot be measured.

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.” 
~A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Dr. Sadeghi and Dr. Sami, I read your post and felt that you treat marriage as if it was a plastic toy that you could play with and if you broke it you could just get a new one. As if it is okay to have a mentality of: "it's okay! I can be a complete jerk because I can always get another one". You treat marriage as if was this impossible task that no can or ever will be successful at it, so why try? You suggest that it's okay to have multiple marriages and divorces (and I am not judging anyone who has had multiple marriages and divorces) but have you taken into account the damage that is done with each new divorce? You suggest that we don't need to take responsibility because nothing is ever our fault. 
I am not an expert and I don't claim to be, but I know what I have with my husband deserves the greatest respect, love and work that I can give. Our marriage is sacred and we treat it as such. We are responsible for our marriage. 

To quote my Hotstuff: "If our marriage fails, it wasn't because we couldn't, it's was because we didn't."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Walking Porn

I am a mother.
I have two children and the oldest is a beautiful girl; Miss May.


 Just recently, the topic of  modesty has become a huge discussion in our home. Miss May is 10 years old and is growing up. I have two years left of a little girl before I get a teenager and that teenager will be greeting this world in full force.

Confession: I had an eating disorder when I was a teenager.

I hated my body... I kinda still do. I was poor and most of what I wore was very outdated and not flattering. Imagine Harry Potter receiving his cousins Dudley's over sized, old and tattered clothes... I was the female version of that. At a time of my life that I should have been able to blossom, I wasn't allowed to. Both of my parents were very heavy and at some point in their lives, have topped the scales at (or close to) 300 pounds and I inherited the predisposition to being over weight. I didn't and still don't have that flat tummy, every woman is "supposed" to have. I carry my weight in my belly, hips, butt and thighs. Always have and always will. I grew up in a very abusive home where my life was completely dictated by my mother with a very strong religious influence. She was so controlling that I had no choice in anything I wore; including my underwear.

Did I rebel?

Hell yes, I DID!!!

Like I said, at a time in my life when I should have been able to blossom, I wasn't allowed to. I also did not have a body like the other girls. I so desperately wanted to be skinny that I didn't eat.

So what does my eating disorder have to do with modesty?? A lot.

Growing up, I was taught that certain articles of clothing were immodest: tank tops and shorts that did not go to or past my knees. Two piece swimming suits were a huge no-no and most of the time I had to wear a t-shirt over my one piece swimming suit in public. Push up/lacy, under wire... basically any bra that wasn't white and plain and underwear that were not granny panties were something that only a prostitute wore. Essentially, anything that exposed my skin with the exception of my lower legs, anything from the neck up and from the elbows down was immodest and sinful.


I was told that you were a whore if you wore a thong... and that was something that came from church leaders. To be fair, my mother used the word "whore" and my church leaders simply implied that.

The point I am trying to make is that I have never felt comfortable in my own skin and being able to express myself through my clothing was forbidden. High school is not an educational experience but a social experience and if you can't fit the social norm: Welcome To HELL!

My best friend Bullfrog and I have know each other since we were 12 years old. She was raised a baptist and over the 5 years of school we shared together, I saw her in pants twice. She was not allowed to wear pants; only dresses and the length had to come below her knees.

So what the big deal about what we wore?? Two words: WALKING PORN.


What we were taught was, we were and still are walking porn to all men. And we as women are responsible for how they think, feel and act. We are sinful, horrible, ugly and men are not responsible for their lustful thoughts or their actions. If we wore something immodest and a man has an improper thought about us, that is not the mans fault. They get a free pass from sin while we as women are condemned as whores for showing our ankles.

Just recently, the was a devotional given at BYU- Idaho by Elder Tad R. Callister of the presidency of the Seventy from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  His devotional is about modesty and it is a good devotional with great thoughts ( https://www.lds.org/ensign/2014/03/the-lords-standard-of-morality?lang=eng ). But.... this is what upset me:

"Women particularly can dress modestly and in the process contribute to their own self-respect and to the moral purity of men. In the end, most women get the type of man they dress for."

My personal translation to that: if you get raped, it was because of what you wore and it is your fault. If your husband ends up being a jerk, it's probably because you wore thongs and lacy push up bras. A young mans "moral purity" is your, the woman's, responsibility and not his.

If that is true, then please explain something to me. Many Muslim woman wear something call a Burka. This article of clothing covers the entire body of a woman; very little skin is shown, if any at all.



So according to the statement of: "women get the type of man they dress for" and if this woman (who is completely covered) is raped, is that her fault??

This mentality doesn't change or stop just because a girl has become a woman. This mentality is carried for all woman of all ages. Young, old, married or unmarried. This is for all woman of all ages and situations.

 In prepping for my soap box post and yes I am standing on my soap box, I came across this great website: http://www.beautyredefined.net/  and a blog post about modesty.

When we judge girls and women for the skin they are or are not showing, we are minimizing them to their bodies and repeating the same lies that females are only bodies in need of judgment and fixing. We are even perpetuating the shame-inducing belief that female bodies are sinful and impure, and must be covered to protect boys and men who can’t be held responsible for their thoughts or actions.
 (http://www.beautyredefined.net/modest-is-hottest-the-revealing-truth/)

Are we teaching our sons that is okay to objectify woman and that it is okay to do so because he has no control or responsibility for his thoughts or actions?  What is being taught to our sons? What are we doing to our daughters self esteem when we place such a heavy burden upon them?

Without any doubt, modesty is important. I am not saying that it isn't.  Modesty is something that is individual and a choice we make for a ourselves and not others. We are all responsible to ourselves for our dress.... male and female. We can influence the thoughts of others but you are not responsible for someone else's thoughts or actions. Someone else can influence your thoughts, too. Ultimately, you are the one responsible for how you think, act and feel. How we dress can influence us individually in how we think, feel, act and carry ourselves. Let's face it, we feel more confident when we are dressed right.

So what am I teaching my daughter? I am teaching her that she has a body and that body is a beautiful, wonderful, amazing and sacred gift from God and should be treated as such. Miss May has dressed herself since she was 3 years old. I am not going to crush her creativity because I want her to find expression in what she wears. I want her to be able to be comfortable in her own skin. I don't want her to feel like she has to cover her shoulders because she will be in trouble or  think she is committing a sin if she doesn't. I want her to chose to cover her shoulders. I want her to make her own choices and be her own person. Ultimately, Hotstuff and I do have "Veto Power". If she has something that is not appropriate, we tell her that and explain why she can't wear it. And that explanation is not that what she wears makes her walking porn.

I am teaching my daughter, that we all have bodies and those beautiful, wonderful bodies deserve the same respect that she has for her own body. No matter the gender! I am teaching my daughter not to objectify men and as she get older and begins to understand, I will be teaching her the importance of controlling her thoughts.

So what I am teaching my son? The very same things. I am teaching him that he has a body and that body is a beautiful, wonderful, amazing and sacred gift from God and should be treated as such. I am allowing him to make his own choices in what he wears. I want him to make his own choices and be his own person. I want him to also find expression through what he wears. Our "Veto Power" extends to Bubba Jones also, along with an explanation.

I am teaching my son, that we all have bodies and those bodies are to be treated with respect; no matter the gender! I am teaching my son not to objectify women and as he get older and begins to understand, he too will be taught about the importance of controlling his thoughts.

 I want my children to be a greater good for this world and that greater good begins within in them. I want them to have confidence, to be fearless. And I never want my children to feel less than what they are because of they way they are [not] dressed. I want and I encourage good choices made by my children.

I've made my confession, I've stood on my soap box and shared my thoughts. I didn't have the body or the wardrobe growing up. I never had the self confidence I deserved and a lot of damage was done. I still don't have the body and I am working on the wardrobe. I hope to one day realize the full potential of my self confidence to undo a lot of the damage that has been done.