Wednesday, August 29, 2012


a few weeks ago, my cousin haley jo recommended a book to me. the happiness project by gretchen rubin. so i finally picked it up the other day at target, because the last few days had been rough and my confidence has been very low. so i thought, "i'm hating myself. i definitely need some happiness in my life." so i threw it into the cart along with the toilet paper and paper towels and felt a little better. it was something to look forward to other than just eating cookie butter and watching the news, right?

the book details rubin's year of happiness searching, where she looks within herself to be happier and make changes in order to make her life happier overall...and uses serious research to back it up. yes, happiness is one of those seemingly mystical things that everyone strives for but not everyone seems to have, but you'll just have to read it, because it's really hard to explain what rubin is really doing and do it any justice at all. 

i started reading the book last night and i'm already about halfway finished. i think it might be one of those life-changing books, because i have already found myself thinking about things that rubin says about her happiness project and wanting to read more. it's made me stop and evaluate my own happiness.

in the book, rubin plans out goals for herself for each month, and each month is a certain topic. January was "Vitality," February was "Marriage," and so on. she talks about family and money and relationships and work — everything in life, basically. so in order to start my own "project," i have to figure out how i can be happier and what things in my life/about myself make me less happy. now this is not to say that my life doesn't make me happy, because it does. it's more about personal, internal happiness, and less about what you can do to change other people in your life.

i'm not saying that this will fix everything in everyone's lives, but it certainly has me thinking. 

i know i need to have more patience with kyle, and everyone for that matter.

i know if i tried to keep the house picked up a little better, kyle and i wouldn't have to spend time doing it on the weekends when we'd rather be napping or going for coffee.

i know that if i kept the cards and stationery better organized, i would be more likely to remember to send birthday/anniversary/thank you cards, which was one of my resolutions this year, and i haven't kept it very well.

these may seem trivial, and maybe they are, but they are my things, and they are things that would fit into some of rubin's categories and theories. she's done her research, so i buy what she's saying.

anyway, i guess the point of this rant is just to say that i'm trying to make my life happier, because we only get one. and i know that if i am happier, the closest people around me (kyle, my family, my future children, the cashier at Trader Joe's), will be happier, too. 


Thursday, August 9, 2012

happiness tastes a lot like buttercream frosting

while i'm sure many of you are planning your jaunts back to school, or have already started, i am still job searching and getting into some wedding planning. well, kinda.

if watching sappy/awkward wedding proposals on youtube this morning while i drank coffee and then even more awkwardly actually cried over these strangers counts as planning, then yes, i'm planning.

but i basically just look at pinterest and make lists and cut out things from magazines and paste them into my smash book that kristin and sarina gave me. thanks, ladies!

next weekend, kyle and i have plans with my uncle who knows some people with land, so we are going to go check out some possible locations. one of them sounds freaking amazing, but i'm trying not to get my hopes up just yet. once we figure out the place, everything else will more easily fall into place. i just feel that i can't do anything else until we have the location. 

one weird thing about this whole planning thing is that kyle and i totally know what we want it to look like, without really having to explain anything. i guess that happens when you've been together for almost 7 years. yikes!

a few weeks ago kyle said "I want it to be like part family reunion, part tent revival, part awesome party, part wedding, part love." and i know exactly what that means. 

i'm getting really excited about choosing music, too. i know, way early. there will be a ton more songs come out between now and then that i'll want to include. but there are some that i know for sure i want included somewhere, whether it's while people sit down or for the serious dancing later on. get excited, people. we mean business. 

it's all very exciting, but kyle and i have been equally occupied with figuring out our next step in this life we're trying to build and praying that god helps us figure it out soon. so there's a lot going on right now…as usual, it seems. life, right? yeah, people told me that would happen.

anyway, i'm sure i'll keep you updated on wedding shenanigans and the like. 


Monday, August 6, 2012


Okay. My turn.

When this whole Chick-fil-A debacle started, I wasn't really sure why everyone was getting so worked up. Yes, I can see both sides of this, (I'm not completely stupid or heartless), but I think this is one of those things that has blown up, and I wasn't really sure why anyone was that surprised by the stance Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy took on the matter of gay rights. Chick-fil-A has always been a conservative, Christian-based company, and on the other side of this, did the Christians of the world not already know that? Why was this particular statement what made them come out of the woodwork to "support" the chain? Is it because gay rights are so controversial and this is what makes them lay awake at night worrying about the world? I doubt it. Personally, I think people just like to say "Look at me! I know what's right!"

Anyway, since everyone and their freaking sister has been talking about this and posting about it on Facebook (which I think might be nearing its end for me because of stuff like this), I might as well post my thoughts, but mine can't fit there or into 140 characters. I'm not trying to be mean or hateful. It's actually the opposite. But I might make people mad. I might get mean comments, but oh well, here we go.

What I think
First of all, let's be clear about what exactly Cathy said. 

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."
Secondly, let's be clear about what I mean when I say "people posting things on Facebook or Twitter." I'm not just talking about a "Go Chick-fil-A!" or "I'll never eat their chicken again." I'm talking about serious hatred and anger and this weird "support" of Chick-fil-A as a business. One person I'm "friends" with on Facebook said he was sick of the "gays complainin'" about being treated differently and actually used the word "faggits" (yes. he spelled it that way.) If you haven't judged or been hateful, then fine. I think that as long as people are using tact and love is their opinions, then fine. It's the anger toward other people that truly bothers me.

Here's how I see this: I'm not gay. So why in the world would I try to judge someone who is? I can't. It's not my place to tell someone who to love, and not just because I'm straight, but because I'm a HUMAN.

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged." — Matthew 7:1

As far as I'm concerned, God said He is going to judge us all, so I'm not about to take on that job as my own.

I don't know if people are born gay or not, and I'm not going to spend my time here on earth condemning people who say that they are (or aren't), because it doesn't matter to me. I don't care if you're gay or straight or bisexual or asexual or whatever you are — I believe that God wants us to love all people, and I'm going to do that as best I can. Maybe some of the people who went to Chick-fil-A to show their "support" or post Facebook status updates about the whole thing think that they will be a good "witness" to others that way. But I think that that sort attitude pushes people away. I also saw a photo one of my friends had posted that was of the lines outside of Chick-fil-A and had this printed on it: "You'd never see that many Christians lined up to help at a food bank or homeless shelter. And that's something Jesus actually said to do." That's a problem, because honestly, it's probably true.

When I get to heaven I don't want God to say, "Way to be intolerant of those sinners and tell all your Facebook friends you're not going to stand for it with that Fox News link." That's just me, though.

Chicken or No Chicken?
Chick-fil-A isn't the one who will determine whether gay marriage is legal or whether gay couples receive the same basic rights as the rest of us, so in the big picture, it doesn't matter what they say or think or to whom they give their money, and no one can control what a company does with it's donations or where it places it's stances on issues of any kind. And just to put everything into perspective a little, here is where some popular companies stand.

Target launched a line of pro-gay t-shirts online this year in partnership with the Family Equality Council.

Save a Lot
According to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Save a Lot is one of their Corporate Sponsors, as well as FedEx, Burger King, Target, Capitol One and a slew of other companies. You can check it out here. LINK

Kellogg's is a sponsor of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). 

This past spring, JCPenny named Ellen DeGeneres, an openly gay woman, as their new spokesperson. 

And a quick list of a few more corporations that also support gay rights:
Ben & Jerry's
Best Buy
General Mills
General Motors
Home Depot
Kraft Foods
Olive Garden
Office Depot
Proctor and Gamble
Red Lobster
Rite Aid
State Farm Insurance
The Walt Disney Company

And for those of you who are boycotting Chick-fil-A, here are some more who don't support gay rights:
The Boy Scouts
The Salvation Army

Bit of a difference in lists.

People flocked to Chick-fil-a restaurants to support their stance on the gay community, but are they boycotting other companies and businesses that don't hold those same beliefs? Will you never purchase anything or go to any of these places ever again? Will you stop buying Rice Krispies or Cheerios now? Or never take your children to Disney World? 

Seeing my point here? 

The Problem
I'm a Christian. I pray to the same God every day and night that the rest of them pray to. But I think that Christians in this country have a big problem — some of them think that if their judgement and hatefulness is in the name of what is "righteous" then it's totally fine.

For example, one of my very best friends recently texted me and a few of our friends about something that had happened within his own family following this Chick-fil-A mess.

A member of his family posted some pretty radical words on Facebook about her support for what Chick-fil-A's CEO said and what they stand for as a company, knowing fully well that an openly gay family member would see it, who then posted how hurt he was by her words and basically denounced her as family because he was so devastated by what she'd said. 

One of our other friends said this about the situation:

"This is the problem: People think it's okay to be cruel when they think they're cruelty falls under the category of 'doing what's right.'" 

And another said this:

"I completely agree. People who spit out that venom help no one. It's selfish self-righteousness."

So. True. My friend is rather close with his cousin and feels horrible that someone in his family would be so hateful and that his cousin was so hurt, and for what? What good did her posting that do? Not much, from what I can see. 

Yes, there are mentions of homosexuality in the Bible, but the word "love" is mentioned hundreds of times. Hundreds.

"Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses." —Proverbs 10:12 

"Lay aside deceit, hypocrisy, and evil speaking. Again, hypocrisy is associated with deceit. Hypocrisy is deceit
because the hypocrite puts on a false front. He pretends to be better than he is." — I Peter 2:1

"Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law." — Romans 13:8

"Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness." — I John 2:9

Bottom Line

So, what happened to loving each other? Or just praying for people? I'm sure that we could try to blame all of this hate-spreading on social media like Facebook, but the truth of the matter is that people have been thinking this way since forever, and now they just have a convenient way to spread it. Chick-fil-A is just today's controversy and another way for the hateful and intolerant to show their true colors.

"Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister,
whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command:
Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister." — I John 4:20-21

No matter what we believe, we have to love God AND people. It says right there that you must love both. Is hatefulness and aggressive words the way to do that? And it doesn't just have to be about gay people. What about Muslims and other religions different than Christianity? People with tattoos? People with purple hair? The homeless? Drug addicts? People who are just different than you? It doesn't matter what you say online. What really matters is how you treat people and the good you do as a human being.

I think that's all that anyone ever wants — to be loved for who they are. And we should only be worried about whether or not we are loving and supporting and helping those around us, and if there's something they think someone is doing that's wrong, just pray about it and move on and for heaven's sake, keep it to yourself until God or a higher being tells you otherwise.

Call me a hippie, call me whatever you want. It's not my problem what you think of me (and I'm sure there are people judging me now even though I tried to discourage that throughout this entire, rambling post). All I can control is what I'm doing in my everyday life and whether or not I'm being a good person. That's it.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

the sweetest gift

kyle gave me my valentine's day gift last week. for last valentine's day, like ya know, 6 months ago. it took him a little longer to complete than he had anticipated. obviously. but, it was totally worth it.

it's a book. with all of my blog posts in it from the past two years. it's like my diary, but prettier! i love it so much, i've been showing everyone i see. 

"hey you over there with the groceries! look at this!" 

just kidding. but seriously, it's so special and thoughtful, and it really made me realize how much i've written on this little site. and makes me want to write more. 

so thank you, kjd. your surprises always make me smile.