Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Summer, Summer, Summertime

As the summer comes to a close it's time to remember all the good times I've had. Sure there have been a few bumps along the way, but what's life if not a little bumpy every now and then. I watched my sister graduate from high school, had a wonderful vacation with my family.

I've gone boating with friends and been thwarted by the weather on other boating days. A tour of wineries to celebrate a birthday. A minor surgery to close out the summer and both my siblings moving into school for the semester. I've been added to the Goodreads Author Program, which is incredibly cool for me! Spent days upon days working on my writing/researching for a new book.

All in all the summer's been great! But as we move into fall I'm so excited for my favorite season to begin, time to bring back boots and scarves! Time for awesome jackets and hats! The crisp cool air, chilly nights, bonfires, pumpkin picking and the changing leaves. Summer's great but Fall will always be my favorite time of year!

A Summer in Pictures!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


St. Francis Hospital
Yes, you read that correctly: Post-Op ... as in I am currently living Post Operation or Post Surgery so this blog is most likely going to be short and sweet since I am still recovering.

This past Friday, August 15 I had to have urgent surgery and have my gallbladder removed. Don't worry though, a gallbladder is overrated anyway and you don't actually need one. Must be why mine decided to make a bunch of gallstones and give me issues, it wanted attention.  Well little organ you got your attention!

Let me just say that when I went to bed Thursday night and woke up Friday morning surgery was about the furthest thing from my mind. My mother is a nurse and when I complained of pains and discomfort, when I was getting sick a lot, she had an inkling that my gallbladder was in fact the issue. But still, when I was brought to the ER at St. Francis Hospital I was expecting treatments, antibiotics, instructions on how to prevent further issues.

Yeah that was wishful thinking on my part because any type of instructions they would give me, including lifestyle changes would only be temporary fixes. I would essentially be waiting for the other shoe to drop and just postponing the inevitable.

I chose the permanent fix and just had the surgery to get it over and done with. It helped that day that my mom was on duty at the hospital when I was brought in, she made sure I would receive the best care possible as any mother would. But I will say this since my mother works in the OR everyone that would be working on me were her friends.

I think this was a big help in easing my mind and allaying tension. It's a different atmosphere when that line between co-worker and friends gets blurred. The nurses weren't just business, they would joke around with me, visit with me and my parents. I'm glad I got such good people to help me through this and do the surgery.

So now I'm on the mend, get a little better each day minus a few bumps in the road. I really just can't wait until I start feeling like my normal self again. That day can't come fast

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dear Abby ...

Dear Abby

Dear Abby ...

I'm going to start out by saying I'm not really sure how I got into this, but it's just kind of become a little ritual of mine and every Sunday like reading PostSecret I've also taken to reading the Dear Abby column online. It usually consists of 2-3 letters from people ranging in age, gender, sexuality, etc. seeking advice from someone that is essentially an objective third party. Abby's column is, in my opinion, meant to be a place where one can receive nonbiased, objective advice without her words being clouded by the personal opinion of a loved one or friend with their own agenda to fulfill.

That being said I've read a few of her letters and while I haven't always agreed with the advice she gives I never found her words to be so off the mark as to be considered cruel/hurtful. However in this past Sunday's column she crossed that line! I read a letter from OFFENDED DAUGHTER IN CHICAGO, a 24-year-old woman that considers herself to be a plus-sized woman but is comfortable in her own skin. Not to go into too much detail about what was written or said but when I read this letter and saw that this woman is comfortable in her skin, quite confident in fact I really wanted to cheer for her!

Being a 24-year-old woman myself I can relate to her, especially as someone that has never and probably will never be a size 2 I can really relate to her. I've got through the periods in my life where all I want to do is hide in sweats and oversized t-shirts, I wasn't comfortable in my own skin in my early years of junior high and high school. I'm fully aware that I live in a society that sets a standard for body image, a standard that is considered beautiful above all others. Yeah, I've never fit that mold. But I'm at the point in my life where I don't care if I do fit that mold. I like me the way that I am and there's no one that can take that from me.

My own budding self-confidence I can give a big thanks to the people in my life that are supportive and loving towards me, my style gurus from What Not to Wear; Stacy & Clinton! I learned a lot about clothing that fit and how to dress my body type, which let me tell you goes a long way in feeling good. When clothes fit and fit well you carry yourself differently. But of course I wouldn't even have Stacy & Clinton to thank without my own loving, supportive, amazing mother! She introduced me to their show and everything kind of took on a life of it's won from there!

Now back to OFFENDED's letter; in her letter she expressed an altercation with her own mother who is clearly not as supportive of her daughter's self confidence as one would hope for. OFFENDED wrote to Abby asking for help on how to deal with the crushing blow delivered by her mother and how to broach the situation. Let me make this clear she was asking for advice on how the insult she felt had been delivered to her. OFFENDED was just that! This poor girl was offended by her mother's cruel words and was seeking a way to remedy the situation to prevent this kind of incident in the future!

This was a letter about relationships and harsh words and hurt feelings Abby, this was a not a girl that was asking if she should lose weight! Abby you do not know this girl's life beyond the letter she wrote you, telling her to seek a physician's help to deal with her "obesity" is cruel! In what way is that appropriate from you? In world filled with body shaming, photo shop, bullies, etc. for someone to be comfortable in their own skin it's something that should be commended.

But really this little gem is what really mad me angry, "I suspect that your mother would be prouder of you if you were less complacent and more willing to do something about your weight problem."

Dear Abby
I'm not even sorry to say this, but how dare you Abby! How dare you call self-confidence to be complacency! How dare you call her weight a problem! Regardless of your personal views on body image and what is considered beautiful or healthy or right, this girl was in no way asking you what she should do to please her mother or perhaps fit a more socially acceptable norm of beauty. She was asking advice on how to make amends with her mother so that such an incident would not reoccur.

Had it been me I would hope that my relationship with my mother were strong enough that I feel comfortable discussing things with her. As it stands my mother and I have a very strong relationship, if I felt something she said to me hurt my feelings my feelings to that extent I would feel comfortable bringing it to her attention. Maybe the rules had changed since I was a child? Maybe the mother's words weren't intended to be hurtful, but did not come across as constructive or helpful?

My words of wisdom to OFFENDED DAUGHTER IN CHICAGO, if you are comfortable and confident the way you are then let nobody belittle that or take that from you. But do not let another think they have the authority to speak to in such a manner that makes you feel bad about yourself. Your mother especially should be supportive of you and only want to help you grow an become a better person. I sincerely hope that was your mother's intent and her words merely came across the wrong way. The place where your mother is coming from may not be something you were anticipating.

*** I am apparently not the only one that felt Dear Abby crossed the line: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tony-posnanski/my-response-to-dear-abby-on-an-overweight-woman_b_5669305.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Would You Still ...

Photo Cred: purkkapallo
I you knew how is would end would you still ...?

I have literally been racking my brain all week and all day trying to figure out what I should make my post about today! And to be honest I have this problem most weeks, except for those aha moments where a lightbulb goes off and my train of thought veers dangerously towards a a perfect idea!

But today was a little difficult, until I saw this post on Tumblr. And here's my feeling on this matter, if you knew how any story would end, including your own, would you still read? Would you still make the same choices?

And I have to say regardless of the ending it doesn't tell me anything about the journey to get there. The journey is the important part in life, in reading, in anything! Knowing the ending is almost like cheating because you can alter your state of mind to ready yourself for it. If I could find out when I was going to die I'm not quite sure I would want to know. The journey to get there, the how, the choices I make are the fun parts.

So the question here remains: If you knew how it ends would you still read?

A BIG, resounding Y-E-S, yes! Because I don't want to know just how it ends, I want to about the journey to get there!