Speaking Up & Out

Perhaps in the shadow of Election Day, I’ve decided to exercise my right to free speech. Ironically, I’ve been struggling with what to write lately because I’ve gone through alot with the marriage, and life around the marriage, and work and home and social life and well, adjustment.

Adjustment to a new way of being. and I’m tired of being sorry. So for this post, I’m sorry for not being sorry. Instead, I’m proud to say I’m speaking up and out again.

I’m amazed sometimes how folks are quick to toss off “that hip hoppity rap jazz” because they think it’s beyond vulgar and or the listener just assumes that the music beats equate to lyrics involving drugs and T&A. Sometimes the message of these songs gets lost in the stereotyping of them. Give these guys a chance. Here’s a few of my personal list to start with. Aye-up for the younger generation, there’s still some positivity left.

Eminem – Lose Yourself https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJdtEjJE8OA

Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity, To seize everything you ever wanted. one moment, Would you capture it or just let it slip?

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime

Macklemore & Ryan Lews feat. Mary Lambert – Same Love – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlVBg7_08n0

And I can’t change, Even if I tried, Even if I wanted to

When I was in church,They taught me something else,If you preach hate at the service,Those words aren’t anointed,And that Holy Water
That you soak in,Has been poisoned,

When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen I might not be the same but that’s not important no freedom ’til we’re equal, damn right I support it

Fort Minor – Remember the Name – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDvr08sCPOc

This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!

Meghan Trainor – All About that Bass

Yeah, my mama she told me don’t worry about your size

You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along

Go ahead and tell them skinny b&$ches that
No, I’m just playing. I know you think you’re fat
But I’m here to tell ya
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top

I know some of this sounds silly. or contrived. Or just gets some parents ticked off because of language. But let’s stop and give a little credit to the younger generation for still coming up with a positive message amongst the drivel that also hits the air waves. I thought this was a pretty solid start to stop putting my dial on the 60s on 6…at least.

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, I’m grateful that messages like this are still out there, they give me hope that America still has an open mind…and something decent to dance to.

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WOTD: Silenced


Silenced: to find part of you gone, but not forgotten

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Dating as Newlyweds

Yep. You guessed it. We are newlyweds and we still have debates. (that’s a nice word for fights.)

Yep, I’m still a sugary sweet, ooey-gooey, schmoopy doopy, gross lovey sick newlywed. Sorry I’m not sorry. Granted it’s been awhile since I put on a dress and heels and hit the town without knowing about it minutes beforehand –  that’s what happens when you have a very full calendar and a very busy crazy fall – but nonetheless, I’m hoping that a few dates come my way now that things are hitting a normal pace again.

We’ve recently splurged on a few things that at least make attempts at not having to think about date night, dial down expenses and have fun all at the same time. Three of these include subscriptions to our local fine arts museum, zoo and natural science museum.

For one off date nights or date days, we’ve gone to soccer games, taken a cooking class on how to make pasta from scratch and attended our local baseball games here in town.

The point of all this being, while they aren’t crazy extravagant, these are ways that we can go out, have fun without ending up at a dinner with not too much to say because we’re exhausted, or have said it. We’re also, like many couples, always talking about work.

So in order to combat a few married-now date issues, I’ve considered a few of the following needs.

  1. I don’t always want to plan the date. So I need to provide my mister with places that I’d like to go, without being so blunt. Enter Pinterest. I’m really happy I can pin places I’d like to see and go to an easy spot and not have to specifically say it all. It’s like when he watches me shop and takes a mental note, but a little more virtual and a little more forward.
  2. He’s tired and doesn’t always want to leave our suburb. Easy peasy on this one. There are a million emails and newsletters about our town that have events, I suggest getting on their mailing list and makign sure you know what’s going on in your area. Date night isn’t about mountains of effort, it’s about stripping away work and laundry and being with your partner.
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RePost: November is for Couples | Relationship tip: Keeping the sparks flying – A Cup of Jo

I really love this idea. I know I have a few date nights coming up, what do you think of this? If I drive then sometimes I’m tired after the date and hate driving home. But I think that “whole ten minutes” may be worth it to give something that sends sparks flying a try.

We’ll see.


We meet at our apartment first. Toby’s running around, we’re getting dressed in front of each other, I pull on tights (or Spanx!), we share the bathroom and brush our teeth side-by-side, we ask each other Married People Questions: Can you pass me the deodorant? Is my shirt wrinkled? Will you buzz up the sitter? Wait, I need to pee…


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Dates with my Husband: Rewriting Romance for Dummies

First off, Sir LAA is far from dummy. FAR FROM. But I read this cute little gift book, since he mentioned it in a jokey way, and felt like I could come up with my own a little better.

Put out a dress – do not underestimate the thought put into walking into the door, and telling your woman “Put this on, we are going out.” This, I’m totally for. By the way, if you’re looking for a dress. This would do. Or this. Or these pieces even.

Bring home Chinese food – yep, this classic can work. Well, suffice it might take a call to say, “Don’t make dinner.” – then you can arrive home with that perfectly healthy meal of veggie stir fry and win her over with a night on the couch and a good movie.

Step out of your own box – yep. If you think she’ll like it but it’s not particularly your thing. Try it. Trust me, nothing will kill you and it scores huge points every time.

Write a love letter. Any paper. any length. any thing. Don’t ask her to pick up something at the grocery store or run you an errand, just tell her how you feel.

Take her photos – no girl feels prettier than when you need to remember the moment forever. snap. flash. done.

Post to facebook – never hurts to say something in front of the entirety of your friends. Means you aren’t afraid to show your feelings.

Flowers. Flowers always work. duh. Know the flowers from your wedding? or her favorite flower? or need to take her to a dance and get her a corsage. At the office (again, those public affirmations of affection…)

Get creative. Throw something into her work bag.

Breakfast. Something about the effort of dragging yourself out of bed to deliver something lovely (as easy as coffee, as complicated as eggs benedict or this…)

Dinner. Cook together. Cook for her. We don’t care. Sometimes life times spent planning dinner always needs a little ruffle in it and the effort taking it off our plate feels amazing. Even if I had something on the menu already, take the recipe out of my hands and tell me you’ll take care of it.

Pack a lunch. Admittedly, I eat the same thing for lunch and breakfast every day. Maybe once in a while, I could see what you’d design for me instead.

Pick up the phone. randomly. if I don’t pick up, leave a voicemail. I just want to hear your voice at a time I don’t expect it. it makes my day.

Photo texts. I love giggling at things that pop up on my phone unprompted. Whether it’s the latest meme joke, or a smile, or dare I say, video of singing, it truly brightens a girl’s day to look down and be loved.

Dance. Oh dear. the dancing. Yum.

The art of “I thought you’d like this.” – I’m always shopping for my partner. Whatever the next holiday is. Or the next “random day of love showing” is. I love having little gifts or things I pick up in the grocery store line. Star wars. You love it. Don’t lie. :)

Plan something. Anything. Make me an event.

Surprising me. At any time. with any thing. or any gesture. Random hugs, kisses and love. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Writing yourself the note to make sure you do any of this. It’s on my calendar. every day. Love my partner. Some how.

There. Romance for Dummies who are Smart.

The end.

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Bonfire: 15 Years

At approximately 2:42 a.m. on November 18, 1999, the 59-foot high stack, consisting of about 5000 logs, collapsed during construction. Of the 58 students and former students working on the stack, 12 were killed and 27 were injured. Left in the wake is my heart and soul, forever marred by the events of that morning and the days and weeks that followed.

That’s how this post started last year. While I still mourn for the family of those lost, I have spent much of this year adjusting to what life has blessed me with – a marriage, a partner, a new home, a new schedule, new friends, new everything. It’s been a transition.

Change and adjustment don’t always come easily – and less so for someone like me who truly wants to feel settled and at peace. To find quiet amongst the chaos of what our life has been over the past three months. To remember the simplicities of going shopping and cooking a meal and not being rushed to the next event or making sure I get to see my husband for more than five minutes of half awake conversation.

Then I stop and remember days like today. Where someone’s not doing these simple things not because they are too busy or overwhelmed, but because their life was cut short. How selfish I am to not consider my life blessed despite the unruly mess it’s in right now.

There have been a few periods this year, where for some reason or another, I challenged myself to be different. Because I felt I had to be to fit into my new life. I had to quiet my happiness. my character. my inner voice. my enthusiasm.

What I realized, in doing so, is that I struggled. I am me. And I’m the only me out there. and if I silence that, I’m only hurting myself. I’m cutting my own life short because I’m not living my life. I’m living the one that others strong arm me into. and that, my readers, is not okay.

So today, with heavy heart and full soul, I implore those of us still here to consider the following. Not because I’m trying to write some motivational speech, but because 12 students left this earth too soon, and in their honor, we need to live fuller to make up for where they left off.

Live Big. Without regret. You only get one chance. You never know when it’s all over. Do not lose energy or spirit in pursuit of your own happiness.

Dance. Dance and scream and jump and yell and enjoy the heck out of every moment you get a smidgen of a chance to experience. You will never get it back. To hide amongst the shadows in fear of judgment only gives someone else the control.

Do not ever forget: “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” You are. You own it. Every single day you get up and you own it.

You are not only young once. You are young every day. Never let the tradition of what you “should” be, get in the way of what you are.

Nothing is impossible if you are willing. NOTHING. No one. No thing. No entity. Get out of your own way and accomplish whatever you’d like. If you have a dream, achieve it, do it, go for it. You are as successful as you believe you are.

There are people in life who are going to tell you can’t. Turn around and tell them WATCH ME. Silence the voices of naysayers and surround yourself with the support that you need. Even if that means is only you.

One chance. Once. Only. That’s it. And we’re done. Leave your mark on the world so large, so full of good, so well-meant, be a good citizen, be service to the needy, step outside your boundaries to make the world a better place by your existence in it.

Goodness cannot be bought, it doesn’t come instantaneously. It is earned with time and effort. Put effort only into those things that better yourself and the world. Sinister acts only mar the great works of yourself and others. Pay no mind to them.

Be your own billboard. Speak out. Be spirited. Take action. Progress never came from apathy.

Making mistakes means you learned something, being perfect means you got it right. Both are completely acceptable outcomes at all times.

Remember every day that you are amazing. You start out that way. Keep it all day. all week. all year. forever. You control your happiness. Don’t give anyone else the helm.

I will never forget. I will never let it go. I will never forget that spirit.  We are the Aggies. The Aggies are we. Nov 18, 1999. You are missed, my heart is with you, Here.

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WOTD: Gracious


Gracious: to give in, and just get on.

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