What You Don’t Know

I’m pro choice.  This might upset some of you.  It might prevent you from reading further into this article, but so be it.

This needs to be said, because I’ve seen one upsetting Facebook post too many today.

Pro Choice does NOT EQUAL Pro Abortion

I am sick to death of people spewing such a disgusting statement around.  I promise you, that NO ONE.  I repeat, NO ONE is “Pro Abortion”.  There is no sane person on this planet that sits around thinking that they’d just love it if people could just abort more babies.

I’m Christian, but I am not going to bring the bible into this at all because in a country where we are free to choose our own religion, MY religion should have absolutely no impact on what you decide to do with your own uterus.

Can I just say that people these days LOVE and I mean loooooove to control people?    (Who can marry who, how many babies you can or can’t have, what you can do with your uterus, who you can and how many sexual partners you can have, etc…)

And can I also say that people these days THRIVE on fear tactics?  While I don’t like either candidate this election, I literally cringed when I saw the fear tactic based article on Facebook stating that “Hillary wants to rip apart babies.”

Image result for i can't even meme

Here’s some education on “partial birth” or “late term” abortions that you may not realize through no fault of your own.


  1. While they do happen, these types of abortions are rare. You cannot just go into a Planned Parenthood and say, “You know, I’m not really feeling like having this baby anymore.  I know I’m in the 2nd/3rd trimester but I decided I don’t want it.  Can you kill it please?  K thanks bye.”

NO!  You do not just do this.  No self respecting women’s clinic or even Planned Parenthood is going to sign off on this without a legitimate reason.  They don’t just take the baby out because you don’t want it anymore at that stage.  They are going to tell you to GTFO and probably refer you to some counseling.

In fact, there aren’t a whole lot of physicians in America that are even willing to perform this procedure, and only when it is necessary.  In most states, you can’t find anyone.

Part of my job involves reviewing medical records involving babies who have been born with birth defects.  In the five years that I’ve been reviewing these records, I have come across one case out of over a thousand where a mother sought to have this procedure performed because her baby was severely deformed and it was discovered too late.  No one would do it.  No one!  She desperately went from state to state, hospital to hospital, getting one “no” after another.  Her child was born with life long, debilitating conditions that will follow this mother until she dies.  He will never have a normal life.  He will live in constant pain.  He will never get married, speak, feed himself, walk or go to school.

  1. This type of abortion is traumatizing for the parents.  These women are not monsters.

The few and far between women who seek and are given this type of procedure are as follows

Scenario 1:          The pregnancy is going to kill the mother.  Example.  Mom gets pregnant, and halfway through the pregnancy finds out she has aggressive uterine cancer.  She needs treatment right away or she is going to die.  Removing the uterus will kill the baby, and chemo is poison.  She’s going to have to choose.  Keep the baby and risk the cancer killing her before the delivery, perhaps even killing the both of them.  OR, abort the child and receive a life saving treatment.

Do you think a woman makes that choice lightly?  Do you think she doesn’t live with that decision every day for the rest of her life?  That’s just ONE scenario among many that forces a mother to make that decision, and you’re going to prevent her that option?  You’d rather that both of them die?  Or just her and the child grows up without a mother?  Why is this YOUR choice?  Why isn’t this HER choice?

Scenario 2:          A later ultrasound reveals that the child has a severe or fatal condition.  Either the child is going to be a vegetable for the rest of his/her life, or the child will only live for minutes/days after birth only to suffer.  Could you say that if faced with this decision that you wouldn’t want to prevent your child from needlessly suffering?  I’ve never been in that situation so I’m not sure what I would do, and I hope I never ever have that experience.  But after becoming a mother and I look at my healthy baby girl I can’t say that I wouldn’t have made that choice knowing that she would suffer for the rest of her life.

If you’ve ever been pregnant, then you know what a joy it is to hear that heartbeat for the first time.  To feel that first kick, and know that soon you’ll be holding that tiny bundle.  Women in this position experience that just like you did, except their pregnancies are suddenly DESTROYED by forces beyond their control.  All hopes and dreams of becoming a mother to a healthy happy child are shattered, and meanwhile people all over the country are JUDGING them for the most terrifying and horrible situation they’ve ever been in.

You have no idea.

I have talked to these moms.  The ones that have chosen to keep their children, carry them and care for them for the rest of their lives.  Do they regret it?  Some of them, yes.  They look at their 8 year old who has never and will never be able to have the ability to communicate at all, who will get bedsores if they don’t turn them over several times a day, who are in obvious pain and on a slew of medications that are destroying their kidneys and liver.  Some of them have tearfully admitted in soft whispers over the phone to me that they wish they had known this would happen so that they could have made the choice to prevent their child’s birth, and I don’t judge them for a minute.  Neither should you.

If you haven’t thanked your lucky stars for your healthy child, then you need to and be so happy that you’ve never been faced with such a decision.  That while you had your baby shower, met your baby, gazed wearily at him/her in their crib and felt all that love in your heart expand, they felt a hole of darkness.  A gaping hole where that love should have been filled up.  They sold their brand new baby clothes, packed up the crib and shut down their registries.  I listen to these moms EVERY.  DAY.

Needless to say I was scared shitless when I became pregnant, and I breathed the longest sigh of relief when Lilly was born healthy.

And I know there are women out there who have lost their children to miscarriage, and women who are endlessly trying to conceive to no avail.  Women who are disgusted by abortions, and I understand the feeling.  When I was struggling to conceive my child, I was filled with anger at every abortion story I came across.  I wanted to scream “I’ll take your baby!  Don’t throw it away!”

But then I’d realize that it was not my body carrying that child.  It was not my circumstances pushing that decision.  I am in no place to control any other person, and neither are you.  You don’t have to like abortion.  You can be repulsed by them.  I understand.  Abortion is devastating, and I wish no one felt that they needed one but that’s not the world that we live in.  I am not, and will not ever presume to know what’s best for anyone else.  I would rather a safe option be available to women, than have them conducting these procedures in back alleys, or hotel rooms where they bleed out or die from infection.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about go watch that old movie with Cher in it called “If These Walls Could Talk” and tell me what you think after you watch that mom bleed out on a table.

I am heartbroken to read stories such as this one in Texas where a mother was forced to wait while her baby died, watch it slowly perish in fetal distress and deliver the stillborn baby, all because laws were preventing from them from hurrying the procedure along to prevent further suffering.  There was no saving that baby.  They did everything they could.  What would you have had her do?

But at least educate yourself before you start posting fear tactic filled statements about how Planned Parenthood “loves abortion” or that anyone wants to “rip babies apart”.  It just makes you look ignorant, and it saddens me every time I see it.

You can hate abortion, and despise its obvious necessity as women receive them every day, but don’t you dare try to decide that you know a woman better than she knows herself.

In Texas alone there are over 1,500 unwanted children in the foster care system.  1,500 children with no mother and father.  Who are being bounced between foster homes, feeling unloved, and neglected.  Just let that sink.

I don’t support abortion.  I support a woman’s right to know what is best for her life and her body.

You don’t have to like it.  But you also don’t have to judge.  Don’t you think these women have suffered enough?


Early Morning Ruminations

It’s 5:30 am, and I’m awake thinking.  My husband is feeding our daughter the milk I pumped at 5:00 and I’m supposed to be writing for NaNoWriMo, but I’m having a hard time concentrating.  I woke up to this.


I don’t have cable TV, so I didn’t see the news until I woke up.  As I sat there in the dark and began to scroll through my Facebook, I was overwhelmed by #pray4Paris posts, and as I learned about what I happened I was astounded once again by the capability we humans have to hate one another.  I don’t know why these terrorists killed so many people, and what the answer is to this crisis.  I see my friends demanding that the President take action.  But what exactly is he supposed to do?  The killers are dead or in hiding, and no official terrorist organization has claimed responsibility.

Sometimes I feel like Americans expect us to go busting into a country at the slightest sign of trouble like:



But it’s not that simple.

But another thing I noticed along my feed was the plethora of posts praying for people we don’t even know.  As appalled as I am by the amount of hate humans can express towards one another, I am always overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of love we shower over people in need.  I’m glad to see that America is offering aid to those who need it, and that we stand ready to help in any way that we can.  We don’t have to rush over there, guns blazing in a blind rage.  But we will be ready to stand beside them shoulder to shoulder if they need us.

And of course because we aren’t all in the military or part of an organization who has the means to “actually” go over there to help them, there are other ways that you can help.  How can you help?  Donate to the French Red Cross.  The American Red Cross is not accepting donations at this time for the Paris attacks, but the French Red Cross has already mobilized to help those in need.  They can certainly use our help.

Donate to the French Red Cross Here

That’s not the only thing on my mind though.  I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year, and it’s tougher than it’s ever been for me.  For those of you reading who don’t know what that is, NaNoWriMo is a writing competition that takes place during the month of November.  You have exactly one month to write 50,000 completely unique words in the form of a novel.   You can’t have pre-written anything either, although you can brainstorm.  I’ve successfully completed NaNoWriMo in 2011, 2012, and 2013.  Last year I was too pregnant and too tired to compete.  My brain was being sucked dry by my growing daughter.  So this year since my body is my own again, I decided to compete and I’ve been consistently a day behind.  It’s very hard to keep up with the writing quota when you’re caring for a baby.  🙂  I’m not complaining.  It’s just a fact.

I’ve noticed things that have changed about my life since Lilly was born.  I don’t write that often.  I don’t blog that often.  I rarely play video games anymore, and my house is always a mess.  (although my house was always a mess before, but now I can blame it on being a mom)

But none of those things bother me.  My daughter is the most exciting thing in my universe and I couldn’t be happier.  She is healthy, extremely happy, and just the most beautiful little girl that I have ever seen.  She fascinates me more than anything, and she is everything that I ever wanted.  I knew I wanted to be a mom, but it wasn’t until she was born that I understood just how much I could love someone, and it is overwhelming.  A friend of mine once told me that being a mother will make you feel more vulnerable than anything you will ever experience again, and she was right.

My daughter is 8 months old now if you can believe it.  She’s crawling (guh!), standing up with the aid of furniture and is saying “mama” when upset and “dadadadadada” 90% of the rest of the time.  My husband is pleased.  🙂

Here are some updated photos of everyone.


Who had a Harry Potter party?  Um…WE DID!  Yeah, we’re that cool.  Be jealous if you weren’t there.  Message me if you want to be next year.  🙂


Guys, I can’t even!  She’s going to be running all over my house at any second!


And some super sweet cuteness.  Finger painting in the bath tub.  Don’t worry, it was just yogurt and food coloring.  She ate most of it.

Let’s start today on a good note.  I’m going to say a prayer for Paris, send a donation to the French Red Cross, and try to get my word count in before I get distracted again.  Peace.

The Mythical Paternal Instinct

I have a bone to pick with society.

We are a society filled with women screaming for gender equality. Women want to be seen as equals to men in all aspects. We want to be seen as more than baby making factories and taken seriously. I understand this. I agree with this. Women want to be able to be a mom, a physician, an attorney or whatever they want to be. I have no problem with this. But it seems like through all of this a double standard has been created when it comes to birth/parenting.

It seems like women have decided that pregnancy/childbirth/infant parenting is for the mother alone. It’s like a right of passage reserved for only women. Yes, only a woman can give birth, but we shut the door in the faces of men who want to be involved. (No, this is not about my husband being banned from the baby shower. I agree he’d be bored out of his skull once he got there.)  This is about the one too many freakish statements I’ve been told over the last 7 or so months regarding my husband.  I’ve been unsettled too many times during my pregnancy by friends who make statements like,

“I mean it’s nice, but I find it unnerving when a husband is so involved in a pregnancy. It makes me wonder if he has some weird motive…”

“There’s something wrong with a man who is that excited about being a dad.”

Or blanket statements reflecting their own marriages like,

“Be prepared to do everything yourself.”

“Sure your husband says he wants to help now, but just wait until it’s 3am and the baby needs a diaper change. You’ll be the one doing it.”

These kind of statements have been usually followed up with a backtracking statement like,
“But no offense to Justin. I’m not talking about him.”

Really?  Then why did you say it? That’s like when you insult someone and follow it up with “No offense.” If you didn’t mean it as it was said, don’t freakin say it.  Let’s keep our insecurities to ourselves shall we?

When I hear these things, I tend to cock my head to one side in confusion. Why wouldn’t my husband be excited to be a dad? Why wouldn’t he be just as over the moon about this as I am? We both wanted this baby right? We both were devastated by every negative pregnancy test while we were trying right? This wasn’t a one sided thing. If it had been, I would have remained on birth control.

Why is it strange that he’s been to every single scheduled appointment, that he gushes over every tiny article of clothing we’ve been given, or that he touches my belly every day without fail to say hello to his unborn daughter?

Yes, I acknowledge that there are plenty of men out there who don’t take an active role in pregnancy/child rearing but there is nothing wrong with a man who does. It doesn’t make them less masculine. It doesn’t make them strange or unnatural. I don’t know if it’s a hormonal or genetic thing, but that is something to be celebrated not condemned.

Let’s look at from this aspect.  When a woman abandons her child (the way my husbands mother did), she’s a monster.  When a mother hurts her child intentionally or neglects her baby, she’s terrible.  I don’t disagree with this.  But when a father barely involves himself in bonding with his child, or leaves the family for the mother to raise the kid, we all tend to shake our heads but shrug as if it were to be expected.  That phenomenon is strange to me.  Those people have problems.

Whatever happened to paternal instinct?  It’s a real thing.  It’s supposed to happen.  Science says it’s normal.  So why do we brow beat men who are trying to let nature take its course into thinking that they’re less masculine, or weird for doing so?

When it comes to pregnancy everyone immediately flocks to the woman. Yes, that’s where the baby is located, and the mother is going through all of the physical/emotional symptoms, but don’t count out the dad! How nerve wracking it must be for the dad during a pregnancy. He’s completely helpless. He has literally no control over the entire situation. He has to rely on the mother to take care of herself, and wait patiently for close to a year hoping that everything will turn out fine. He doesn’t get to feel the baby moving until much later into the pregnancy, and he has to stand by watching during the birth, hoping that the mother’s body does it’s job getting the baby out alive. At least the mother has some form of control. We make the decisions on what to eat, what vitamins to take, and making sure we tell our doctor if something seems amiss.

I really liked hypedad’s blog post about being an expectant father. Why does society always count out the dad?  Why is it weird for a dad to be so involved.

I don’t even want to ask my friend what she meant about fathers having a “weird motive” when they’re excited about being a dad.  I’m glad she didn’t clarify.  What on Earth could she have meant?  I’ll just go out and say it.  If you think a dad who wants to be involved in his daughter’s life has intentions of a sexual nature, then there is something wrong with YOU, not him.  Has society really twisted our minds that much?  How disgusting.  What other possible weird motive could that statement insinuate?  Sure she backed it up with a “Of course I don’t mean that about Justin.” but still.  Just making that statement alone is insulting in itself.

Or to the other statements.  To automatically assume that he’s going to leave me to do all the work in the middle of the night.  Or that I’ll be the only one feeding her, changing her or snuggling her.  Just because you had an absent husband doesn’t mean that I will.  Maybe there’s something wrong with your man.  Not mine.  I know plenty of friends who have very involved husbands.  Their marriages are healthy and happy.  These men are football loving, beer drinking, video game playing, all American dudes.  So where is the problem?

Justin is excited to hold our baby girl.  He’s excited to have tea parties with her and he’s not afraid to admit it.  He wants her to be smart and love legos the way he did growing up so they can build castles or space ships together.  He wants to send her to science camp, watch her paint with mommy, and see her grow right before our eyes.

If you think there’s something wrong with that, then maybe you have problems.

End rant.

Grudge Glasses

I have a pair of grudge glasses tucked in my purse somewhere.  Their shiny black, thick rimmed glasses with high, sharp, cat-eye corners.  They make me look like a bitch.  Because that’s what I am when I wear my grudge glasses.  A bitch.  However, I don’t view myself that way when I wear them.  I’m vindicated.  I’m right.  Justified.

We all have a pair of grudge glasses tucked away somewhere.  Even us “good Christians”.  They’re out of sight until the moment comes when we need them.  When the old, ugly, office gossip that spread nasty rumors about your work ethic walks by, you slide them on with a smile.  She called you incompetent behind your back, and told everyone that she was having to do your job for you.  You either give her your customer service smile, or your don’t even look up at her as she passes you, yet you do look up when she’s not looking.  You look over her outfit with the eyes of an appraiser.  You scrutinize her tacky skirt like a dealer looks over an old model car he’s going to buy from you.  Just looking at this person brings up every awful thing she said about you.  It winds over and over in your mind like a broken record.  There is nothing nice you want to say to this person.

As soon as she’s gone, you can slip them back out of sight and move on with your business.

But it doesn’t stop there.  Some of us are forced to wear our grudge glasses for a long period of time.  When we’re surrounded by people who have done us wrong.  Family members who lie, friends who have hurt our reputations, or people who just piss us off in general on a daily basis.  Wearing grudge glasses makes it easier to deal with them.  It puts up a barrier between us and them.  They protect you from seeing the good in any of those people so that you won’t be fooled like last time.  They remind us of the wrongs that have been done, and help us to see what mistakes we’ve made by trusting those people so that we’ll never do it again.

Before you know it, you’re wearing your glasses 24/7.  You trust no one.  You begin to see life events in the same way.  Can’t go to a certain theater because of a bad experience, won’t go to a certain restaurant because of one time bad customer service, or even that you stop going to social gatherings all together because they’re full of people who piss you off!  You let these events define you until there’s nothing left but you and your grudge glasses.

Even a person you’ve forgiven can be a victim of your glasses.  You’ve forgiven, but not forgotten.  You watch them with wary eyes, unable to take off the frames, and the moment that person slips up in the slightest they’re on in full force.  It doesn’t matter if it’s days, months, or years after the fact.  Well no wonder they treated me this way!  It happened before!  How stupid of me to let my guard down and subject myself to this torture again.  The events flash before your eyes like movie reels.

I’m not going to say something sappy like “Take off your grudge glasses!”, because that would make me a hypocrite.  I don’t even know how to put mine away permanently.  I will ask however, that you slide them down to your nose or put them on less often.  I will at least try to do that.  If you only view a person from the eyes of an event(s) and not see anything but the bad times, then what do we have left?  When that person dies, you have but the dregs of a human.  The nasty, murky, clouded parts of that person are all that’s left and that to me, is sad.  It’s devastating.

Sometimes I wonder how many people are wearing their grudge glasses when talking to me?  Will I be someone’s bad memory when I die?

So what on Earth can we do?

If you’ve forgiven someone.  I mean really forgiven them, that also means putting the transgressions associated with them, in a box somewhere forever.  You don’t look back inside of that box ever again.  Burn it mentally if you need to.  Forgiveness includes forgetting.  Otherwise, you’re just waiting to dish out those glasses again.  How is that fair?  Would you want someone to treat you like that?

I don’t know what to tell you about people you don’t like, and will never like.  It’s sad, the only thing I can think of is to take the not caring approach.  You either pretend the person doesn’t exist, or move on.

And life.  This one life that we have.  Take them off for life.  Stop letting bad experiences, medical conditions, or the potential for something bad to happen set limitations for you.  Those things should not define you.  They only stand in your way if they do.  Greet each day as if it is brand new, without faults and try to start over.

Just some food for thought this morning, as I laid awake in my bed at 5:00 am.


Are You Helping Feed the Fear?

Ebola.  A deadly disease.  We’ve all seen it all over the news right now.  I don’t know about you, but my Facebook has blown up with it since they announced that a Dallas, TX resident came down with it.  Ever since then it seems that everyone, their mom, and their mom’s dog had allegedly come into contact with this guy and “potentially” have contracted the disease.  But nothing of course has been confirmed.

People are terrified.  And it’s driving me insane with how ridiculous is all is.

First, let me just explain a few facts about Ebola:

1.  It is NOT airborne – meaning that you cannot get it if someone is sneezing or coughing in your vicinity.  Unless they sneeze or cough directly into your open mouth.
2.  The virus is spread through bodily fluids – so unless you touched their vomit or copious amounts of diarrhea and then touched your mouth, you’re fine.  Or maybe if you french kissed them.
3.  The disease has about a 21 day life in which it can manifest into symptoms
4.  You are contagious ONLY  when symptoms begin to show

So after reading these facts, you might still be a little afraid.  I understand.  I’m a little freaked out by a disease that can shut down all my organs and lose all my blood through my anus too!  It’s a terrible disease.

But here’s something that I’m certain of.  I AM NOT going to get it.  You are NOT going to get it.

The people who seem to be freaking out most about this are Texans.  I too am a Texan.  Am I worried about getting it?  No!

The infected guy is in an isolated room, surrounded by nurses/doctors in hazmat suits, deep in a hospital, away from people, and is not being released until he is no longer contagious.  It’s like people think that because he’s in Texas, one of the particles in his bodily fluids might somehow escape the hospital, and make it all the way to our homes!  Mercy me!

Everyone wants to talk about all of the people he came into contact with when he returned to the US.  Let’s just go back to number 4 of the facts I listed.  He wasn’t showing any symptoms when he came into contact with other people.  So he didn’t spread the disease.

So far, no one who came into contact with him has come up positive for Ebola.  So why are people still freaking out like an epidemic is about to spread into the US?  There are reasons why an epidemic has happened in Africa, but will not happen here.  The most prominent reason being the control we have over people going in and out of our country.  Even a TSA Pre-Check won’t get you out of submitting to a thermometer checking your temperature for a fever at the airport if you’ve come from an Ebola present location.

Here’s what you can do to stop spreading the fear:

DON’T POST about Ebola in the news.  This does nothing for the situation, and just spreads the panic.   We don’t need to know that some homeless guy might have taken some quarters from the infected dude.  Ebola quarters!  Oh no!

Shut down those who spread the news verbally, trying to convince others that we are on the brink of the next big epidemic.  Politely tell them the facts, or simply walk away from the conversation.

Tell those who won’t listen that they will be fine as long as they follow basic hygiene principals.

Do you know who is benefiting financially from your fear?  News shows broadcasting a constant stream of updates over Ebola.  You’re helping them get ratings through your worries.  Grocery chains and pharmacies selling masks (that won’t help you!), hand sanitizer, soap and Lysol.

I’m going to go ahead and quote a paragraph in World War Z by Max Brooks that really gave me an aha moment:

““Fear,” he used to say, “fear is the most valuable commodity in the universe.” That blew me away. “Turn on the TV,” he’d say. “What are you seeing? People selling their products? No. People selling the fear of you having to live without their products.” Fuckin’A was he right. Fear of aging, fear of loneliness, fear of poverty, fear of failure. Fear is the most basic emotion we have. Fear is primal. Fear sells. That was my mantra. “Fear sells”.”

It’s true.  Fear does sell.  We’re all so busy freaking out over a disease that has no effect on us that we’re not even focusing on important diseases/virus’ in our own damn backyard!

Do you know what you SHOULD be worried about?  The percentage of unvaccinated children has been rapidly increasing every year because some idiot claimed that vaccines could cause autism.  Even after that theory was fully shot down, there are STILL parents who are doing this.  Meaning that children are spreading it to other children.  Meaning that adults who were not vaccinated are at risk too.  I personally know people who have suffered from this insanity.  A friend gets an illness, who gives it to an infant, who almost dies, but who also spreads it to other unvaccinated adults.  A whole group of people are now sick with a serious virus/disease.  Because of this, the following diseases are thriving in our children when they should be long dead.  All of these have the potential to kill you and your kids if not, cause permanent damage to them:

Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Even more so, you don’t see people freaking out over the fact that HIV and AIDS are still running rampant!  While there is no vaccine for AIDS or HIV, it’s easily preventable, yet people still can’t seem to put on that condom.  Undiagnosed HIV and AIDS will kill you, yet we don’t hear about it on the news.

Stop feeding the fear.  If you’ve done it unintentionally, just stop!  Be cautious of yourself, and your hygiene and you will be fine.  Wash your hands.  Don’t touch surfaces and then touch your mouth.  Stay away from people who appear to be ill.

Don’t these sound like just…normal instructions for I dunno…illness in general?  Shouldn’t you do the same with the flu?  Or a cold?

Calm down people.  You’re not gonna die of Ebola.

Also, enjoy the art created by my little sister Emily Howard depicting the Ebola Virus through clay.  I think it’s pretty.  🙂


Depression the “Invisible Illness”

People are so quick to judge Robin Williams for his suicide, and others who have done the same.  Calling them cowards, or selfish.

Depression is very hard to understand if you have never been depressed.  Some people have had  days where they find themselves at a crossroads in their lives, unsure of what to do next in order to excel.  It feels a little overwhelming, and can easily bring you down.  There have been times when a loved one dies, and you are drowning in sadness.  You feel like there is nothing that will ever ease that pain.

I won’t stomp on those feelings, but they are not depression.  People like to say that they’re depressed.  Depression is easily confused with grief or frustration.  They both make you feel bad/sad.  Unless you’ve suffered from it first hand, then you realize that they are nothing alike at all.  Depression is an illness.  It’s a problem that won’t just “go away”.  Not even over time.

Depression is when you’re walking into work on a sunny day, and you’re observing the beautiful blue sky, but you feel nothing.  In fact you feel a little resentful.  You begin to realize that you are going to be sitting in at your desk for the next 8 hours, on sunny days like this for the next 10-20 years at some job or another.  A heavy weight pushes down inside you, realizing this thought.  What is the point?  What is the point of all of this?  Why do we spend all of our time here on this Earth doing things that we don’t want to do, just so that we can spend a few hours in our apartment/home or eat at a nice restaurant?  And in thinking those thoughts, you realize that there is no point.  That you might as well be dead.

Depression is remembering that you used to love going to the park on the weekend.  That you used to love to paint.  But now, you see nothing on a happy, sunny day.  The canvas is blank, and no images form in your mind.  Your brain is an empty space of nothingness that wants to do nothing.

Depression is being a famous actor, known for bringing comedy gold into our households.  Making everyone smile, but having no one really know your secret demons.  Depression is facing addiction, and struggling to escape its gnarled grasp.

Depression is feeling unloved, or unwanted by your family.  Depression is feeling like a failure over and over again.  Depression is watching a car drive by yours on your commute home from work, and internally wishing that they might crash into you.

Depression is hoping that you don’t wake up tomorrow morning, and when you do, barely having the strength to pull yourself out of bed.

Depression is painful, not only mentally but physically.  Your entire body aches, and you are overcome with fatigue.

I’ve suffered from depression my entire life since I was a teen.  For some of us, it’s ingrained in our genes.  For others, its brought on by an event that just won’t let us be.

Depression makes other people feel uncomfortable.  People like to pretend that depression is something that you can overpower if you have the determination.  That if you pretend that it isn’t there, then it will just go away.  Or that if you’ll just “try” and be happy, then you eventually will be.

Depression is a series of physical/psychological problems within a persons body.


Some choose to treat their depression with medication.  Some choose therapy.  Some need that medication in order to even handle therapy.

I am of the personal belief that medication only masks the symptoms, and that in order to help you cope with (notice I didn’t say overcome) your depression, you need to take part in therapy as well.  I feel like therapy is really the only way to get to the root of the problems that you’re dealing with.  A therapist will tell you how to manage your symptoms, and how to recognize them when they appear.  They will give you the tools to help you pull yourself from that deep hole, and find a way to eventually be happy.

Anytime someone knocks therapy, saying something along these lines, I want to smack them upside the head for their ignorance:

“I don’t need anyone to pscyho-analyze me!”

“I am NOT going to see a shrink!”

“I just need to be left alone.  I don’t need any help!”

Sorry folks, but depression is something you just CAN’T do alone.  The only reason I am alive today is because of my therapist and my network of people who care about me.  I can say with honesty that had I not had friends and family push me into therapy during college, I would be dead.

That might sound dramatic, but it is the honest truth and I am not ashamed to admit it.  I am smart enough to know now that I have a disease, and that I will deal with it my entire life.  I can be happy today because I went to therapy, and learned the tools I desperately needed to survive.  I know how to handle my symptoms without the use of medication because I know what is causing them now.  I know now what brings on my depression, and I also have close family and friends who refuse to let me wallow.  But sometimes, even with family and friends it doesn’t help.

Don’t be so quick to judge those who choose the suicide route.  Yes, you have every right to be furious with them.  Yes, you have every right to be sad.

But you weren’t living their life.  You didn’t know the thoughts they were thinking.  You didn’t have to deal with their personal struggles every day.  Don’t call them cowards.  It is their life.  They are the only ones who have to live that life.  Not you.  Don’t get me wrong, I do not condone suicide.  I am just not so quick to judge having been through depression myself.

I like to say that everyone has a different breaking point.  Some people crumble at the smallest things, and others take enormous loads of stress before they finally crack.  Everyone is different.  What might seem like the end of the world to you, might be a “been there, done that” situation for someone else.  Over time, your breaking point with grow with experience.

When you are in that place, everything around you is like a creeping black void of nothing.  It is like you’re on the edge of a cliff, and a dark monster is grabbing you by the heels, dragging you down.  It would be much easier to just let go and free fall straight into the bottom.

If you’re reading this, and don’t understand it, then try to realize now that you cannot fathom what depression feels like.  And thus, have no place to judge those that do.  Make a conscious effort to be kind and compassionate for the suffering of others.  BE that person who will try and make a difference in a persons life who you know is suffering.

If you know someone who is suffering from depression, I ask you to do the following things.

1.  Talk to them.  Let them know that you are there to listen if they need you.

2.  Offer to help them get help.

3.  Actually listen if they offer up their feelings.

4.  Be attentive, and take any threats they make against themselves seriously.  Even if it sounds like they are joking.

5.  If your friend is threatening suicide, call the police to intervene.  Or talk to their family to have an intervention before anything drastic happens.

6.  NEVER try to play down their feelings, act like they’re crazy, or that they can just get through this on their own.

Keep in mind that those who are depressed enough to hurt themselves will not likely tell you.  Those that cut themselves or do things that seem to beg for attention are crying out for your help.  Take this just as seriously.

Depression isn’t a disease that just “goes away”, but you can help someone suffering know that they’re not alone.

Will you be that person?  Or will you choose to be the jerk that judges those that are truly suffering.  If you suffer from depression, I seriously hope you aren’t judgmental.  Just because you survived, doesn’t mean that everyone is as strong as you.

Depression isn’t weakness.  Eventually people will realize that.

Robin Williams, rest in peace.  I’m going to miss the laughs.




I’m so cranky this morning.  Like extra super crank.  I’m sure we can chalk it up to hormones right?  🙂

A little while back I posted a fundraiser for a woman who was trying to raise money to pay for a fertility treatment.  I checked it out again just now; curious to see how much money she raised.  It’s been a little while so I expected to see quite a bit of money there.

(And yes, I did donate.  🙂  I donated under my legal name.  Not my pen name.)

She raised a whopping $190.00 out of $4,000.


Here’s what I don’t understand.  Why is it that we find it more important to donate our hard earned cash to a guy who wants to make potato salad, but no one cares about a woman wanting to become a mother in the only way available to her?

The potato salad guy on Kickstarter wrote “I’m making potato salad.”

He was donated over 50k towards his potato salad making venture.  WHAT?!


And yet, this girl who has a legitimate medical problem can’t get funding to become a mother?

Know why?  It’s obvious.

Having infertility isn’t funny.  The vast percentage of humanity doesn’t care about something unless it’s funny or morbid.

People come in droves towards terrible tragedies, and to things that are hilarious.


Apparently, Ms. Jones in the fundraiser needs to figure out how to make her infertility hilarious, or bring up the gore a notch right?  I mean, maybe we could make t-shirts of angry cartoon clams with signs that say,

“Help fix my angry clam!”  or maybe she could film an in depth drama of her ovaries  depicted as people and their terrible fights with her body.  I think I’m onto something!  That would get funding right?  She should just suck up her pride, sadness, and humility for the sake of her future children right?  That’s what people want right?  We should give people what they want so we can get what we want…right?

No.  Wrong.  So wrong.

It’s people that need to sort out their priorities.

I don’t know how to change cynical people.  Or people who think that potato salad is more important.

All I know is that behavior like this makes me cranky.


Slow Down

I find myself rushing through each day, trying to teleport into another part of the year where the waiting will stop.  I try to will the days to go faster, and don’t pay attention to anything that’s good.  When there’s a goal in mind, nothing really matters.  Food doesn’t taste as great, movies aren’t that interesting, and other life events get a mere shrug.

Right now I want a house.  There are things in my life that could happen if I only had a house.  I tell myself that if I could get out of this one bedroom apartment, then everything else that I want would flow a little easier.  I’d have more space, I could set aside a baby room, I could get a dog or two, and I could devote a workspace to the crafts that I love instead of sitting at my dining room table only to have to move everything before I’m done so we can use it to eat.

We have a plan in mind.  A “saving up until January” kind of plan.  We’d be able to move in March.  So right now, I really want it to be January so I can start looking at houses.  I don’t even want to look at them until then, because I won’t be able to afford them.  I want time to move forward.

With all of my fast forwarding habits, I never stop and notice at the things in life that are beautiful.  And then all of a sudden, they’re there.  On my Facebook.  Out in my tiny garden, or just in my face in general.  Perhaps when I’m in these bitter, upset at life moods, God is extending his hand to show me something that will cheer me up.

Like this.  I found this on Facebook this morning.  Someone took the trunk of a tree and shaved it thin so that a record player could play what its rings sound like.  Apparently trees have voices too.

Months ago I found this.  Not only are the trees singing, but so are the crickets.  What things am I missing while rushing through this one life that I have?  This video is an audio clip of crickets slowed down.  It sounds like angels.

Or the beauty of bioluminescent waves, which look like they’re glowing blue.  (It’s really phytoplankton by still.  Holy crap it’s pretty)


Or real snow flakes under a microscope:


Or soapy bubbles popping in slow motion:

Or even just my adorable, loving cats who won’t be around forever:


Maybe I should stop doing this fast forward thing.

I think I’ll go to the park this morning.

Facebook Intervention

Facebook is a huge part of our lives.  But sometimes, too much of a good thing can piss off all of your Facebook friends.

Do you need a Facebook intervention?  If you meet ANY of these signs, then yes.  Yes, you do.  I promise.  It’s not me.  It’s you.  And I’ve found some delightfully snarky SomeEcards to help me illustrate my point!

1.  You are the Mayor of every place you frequent.  You check in to every single location that you pass, because heaven forbid your Facebook friends not know where you are every second of the day!  We do not need to know when you are picking up your inhaler at Walgreens.  I miss that time before cell phones where you just had to wonder where people were!

Clarification:  occasionally checking into a place is fine!  Moderation people.              Moderation…


2.  Your posts are extremely predictable.  If I can list on one hand a range of topics your post is about to cover before I even look at it, then it’s a sign that you post too damn much.  If your going to cover my entire news feed, at least make it interesting.


3.  You’re that person who is constantly posting about drinking wine.

Posting that you’re drinking wine again multiple times a week doesn’t make you look chill or relaxed.  It makes you look like an alcoholic.  Go ahead and swap out the word wine with vodka.  Or Jack.  Or even beer.  Now your posts make you look like a lush!

Disclaimer:  If you drink wine as a hobby this does not apply.  (What qualifies as drinking wine as a hobby:  Going to a wine tasting facility.  Purposefully buying wine to pair it with certain foods.)  If you’re drinking copious amounts wine every day JUST to drink wine…then yeah…


4.  You air your dirty laundry on Facebook.  If we’re not close enough in person for me to know what’s going on in your personal life, then I don’t need to know about it.  The following topics are inappropriate to post in a public forum:

-The fight you’re having with your significant other
-The details of your nasty divorce
-How much you hate your in-laws
-The fight you’re having with your friend
-Or any drama in general regarding anyone else who also has aFacebook

If you want to talk about those things, send that person a private message PLEASE!   Posting that your husband is an arrogant asshole on your Facebook wall, knowing full well that he has a Facebook too, is the same as screaming it at him from down the street!  It looks equally as tacky and turns your Facebook wall into an episode of Jerry Springer.


5.  When you go on vacation, and so do all of your Facebook friends because you can’t stop posting about it on Facebook.  We’re happy for you that you got to get away, but posting a photo every hour only serves to piss off your friends.  Take it from our perspective.  Here are the reactions I’ve gone through during such a scenario (Names have been changed of course):

Reaction to post number 1:  “Oh how nice that Mary got to go to Italy!  I hear it’s beautiful there.”
Reaction to post number 2:  “Lucky, Mary’s getting to drink wine in Italy.”
Reaction to post number 3:  “I wish I could go to Italy…”
Reaction to post number 4:  “Geez Mary!  Why don’t you actually take some time to, I dunno…ENJOY your vacation instead of telling me about it.”
Reaction to post number 5:  “Mary is a bitch.  She needs to stop rubbing it in our faces that she’s in Italy and we’re not.”
Reaction to post number 6:  “Where the hell is that hide posts from this person option…”

See?  We could have just stopped at post number 2, and Mary could have created a nice little album instead of covering my ENTIRE NEWS FEED with freakin Italy.

Also, to point out another important issue regarding vacations.  It’s not a great idea to tell the Facebook world that you’re not going to be in your house for the next several days.  Just sayin.  It’s like you’re asking to be robbed.


6.  You post so much about your child that it’s like we live with you.  Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m ALL about posting photos of the little ones.  I don’t have any kids yet but I get it.  If I made a life, I would be like “OMG!  I made this!  Look how adorable it is!”  For real.  I totally understand proud parents showing the Facebook world their offspring.  For some people it’s the only way grandparents or other relatives get to see the kiddos.  I UNDERSTAND THIS.  Please don’t shoot me lots of angry emails, defensive mother friends of mine.

That’s not what I’m talking about.

You need a Facebook intervention if you’re posting multiple photos of your child, several times a week, making various, only slightly different faces.  I have literally come home to just endless photos of the same baby all down my news feed, and no matter how long I scroll, it won’t go away…  Sometimes there are so many of the same kid that it’s like watching a stop motion video.  It’s like I’m THERE!

Again with the albums.  Much easier to take lots of photos, pick the ones you want, upload them to an album, and then post the album.  That way, the people who actually want to see your baby photos have the opportunity to view them.  Otherwise it’s like you’re literally shoving your baby’s face into all of our faces.

So I’m all for your pumpkin patch photo!  I want to see those Christmas and Easter dresses!  You’re kid did something adorable?  Show me!  Bring it on!  No, I don’t want to see 10 consecutive pictures of your baby with spit up on his chin.  Sorry…


7.   You gym braggers.  I get it.  You work hard for your body and you’re pretty proud of it.  Just like mommies are proud of their babies!  I get this.  But at some point, sharing your Fitbit info for the 50th day in a row, or how many minutes you tracked on the treadmill every single day gets old.  It’s not that we don’t care.  Okay fine.  We don’t actually care.  That’s something that your calorie tracker and fitnesspal cares about.  If you need to tell an actual person, tell your gym instructor!  Or your personal trainer.  Tell a friend that you work out with.  When you track your health it’s call SELF awareness.  Not “all of Facebook awareness”.

Clarification.  If you post occasionally to show some progress, no problem.  Some people are on a weight loss journey, and I’m here to root you on!  But some of you were born hot, with the metabolism of a cheetah and just work out to be hotter.  I don’t wanna see your washboard abs every single week.  At that point, you’re just boasting to boast.  You’re not encouraging other girls to get skinny.  If they’re anything like me, you’re making them go hunt down their secret “period-stash” of chocolate.


8.  You like to post attention seeking status’.  The kind where you don’t actually say what’s going on, but imply that there’s obviously something going on.  The kind where you’re just ASKING people to comment wanting to know an answer.  Examples:

“Worst.  Day.  Ever.”
“I just got great news!”
“So excited!”
“So pissed.”
“Just pray for me.”
“Some people are assholes.”

Listen, if you’re having a bad day and you want to talk about it, just SAY what happened!  If it’s something you can’t say out loud, then DON’T say anything at all.

When you post something like that, you OBVIOUSLY want someone to ask “What’s wrong?”  “What happened?”  “What’s the news?”  “Are you okay?”   Stop acting like you don’t want attention.  You’re not fooling anybody.


9.  You political opinion shouters.  It’s bad enough that I have to suffer through heated debates all over my news feed during election year, but when you bring it on for the rest of the year every year until the next election is gets really old.  There are some of you who freak the f*ck out!


You want gun control?  Fine!  Wanna hoard guns in your house?  I don’t care!  Want the government out of your life?  Cool.  Want more regulations?  Whatevs!

Know what I want?  I just want to scroll some Facebook and stalk my friends in peace.   😉

Yes, we have free speech and you are so free to say whatever you want because…well…MURICA.  But that doesn’t mean any of us want to hear about it for the millionth time.

If you really feel strongly about these issues, find a group that supports you and join it.  There are plenty on Facebook.  Go discuss your worries or ideals with like-minded people.   Stop covering my news feed with fear and anger.  Let’s chill out people.  Screaming out your rage in all caps isn’t going to change anything.  That’s what petitions and protests are for.


10.  And lastly, you people who post while at work, post about your work, or post inappropriate things on your wall.  Don’t be an idiot!  You do realize that most jobs can see your Facebook too right?

If you get sick, don’t post all over Facebook, liking people’s statuses or playing Facebook games.  They have time stamps on them.  It’s a great way to get fired.  At least wait until the end of the day.

Same goes for posting about how much you hate your job.  Don’t talk crap about your boss, or brag how you’re not working either.

And getting seriously smashed and drunk Facebooking isn’t a great idea either.  When your next potential employer goes online to check you out, I’m pretty sure you’re not going to want them to see that photo where you took your top off because those fifteen shots of Yeager made you barf all over yourself.

Be smart people.  With the way technology is today, it’s more in your favor to take the “less is better” approach.


If you see any of these signs and think it might be directed at you.  It probably is.  There are an awful lot of you.  I’d say I’m sorry if any of this offends you, but I’m not.

If you know you’re an offender, I’m not saying to stop Facebooking altogether.  I’m telling you to be more conscious about how often and what you post.  It’s like trying to filter your speech.  Think before you say anything.  Same deal.  Thinking before you type.  And if you thought about it, maybe read the text before you press the post button.  Try to be mindful and ask yourself the following questions:

“How many times have I posted today?”
“Am I at work?”
“Is this offensive?”
“Is this going to cause drama?”

Lastly, I will provide my intervention note to those of you who know this applies to you.

Dear Facebook Friend,

I remember when we were all just normal friends.  Everything was so simple.  You were so cool that I wanted us to become Facebook friends.

Now, I see your status updates and I don’t recognize you anymore.  I’m here today to tell you that I love you, but you have a problem.  Please get help.  I hope you will accept the help that is being offered today.  You can get treatment.  Just turn off your phone, walk away from your computer for a while and go outside!  Read a book or watch a movie.  Detox from Facebook, and things will get better.  I’ll be here for you, but if you can’t change your ways, then I can’t stay in this friendship.  I don’t want to, but I might just have to unfriend you.  I hope you get help.


Your Facebook Friend




Why I Don’t WebMD

The vast majority of people with an internet connection are familiar with WebMD.com; a health website that covers a variety of health related issues. It also has a nifty “Symptom Checker” that you can use to self diagnose yourself with all kinds of fun diseases.

I used to be obsessed with this website. At times when I’ve done “research” on health related topics, I’m often brought back to this website. When I find articles on WebMD, my first thought is,

“Oh! It’s on WebMD! It must be legitimate.”

Not always the case. Plenty of studies that I’ve found on WebMD are just one time studies done without any other kind of follow up study to prove the results.

Here’s why I don’t WebMD for my health anymore.


It makes me crazy.


End of story. It literally turns me into a hypochondriac lunatic who apparently has cancer no matter what is going on with me.

This brings me to the subject of a new illness that I call “Information Induced Hypochondria”. Lots of people suffer from this problem, and I guess it’s not technically anyone’s fault.

We have this ability to Google to our hearts content about literally everything. Want to know how far it is to the moon?   How many weeks in a trimester? Why my poop is green? Is there really such a thing as German Dungeon Porn? (Cards Against Humanity certainly thinks so.)

We have flown headlong into an illness that most don’t even realize we’ve developed with our ability to instantly self gratify at the click of a button.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to the internet with my medical troubles. All varying reasons. Potential pregnancy symptoms, medication combinations and whether they were safe, side effects of medications, etc…

And don’t get me started on WebMD. One time I had terrible gas for days. I mean like…rank. Frequent. Clear the room bad. (Everybody farts.  Everybody also poops if you’re in denial ladies.) But needless to say I was just a wee bit concerned that I had some terrible parasite or intestinal bug thing. So I went to WebMD. It didn’t ask me things like “What have you eaten lately?” Or “When was the last time you pooped?” Or “How much fiber have you been consuming?”

No it went straight to CANCER. I had colon cancer. Somehow at the ripe old age of 26 I’d developed a serious case of colon cancer, and I knew then that I was going to die of an ass related disease. (Not making light of colon cancer) but I most certainly did not have it.

Several people I know have used the symptom checker to try and self diagnose a problem, only to find out that they too have cancer.

Have hot flashes? Ovarian cancer. Diarrhea? Colon Cancer. Joint pain? Bone cancer. Persistent cough? Lung cancer. Just to name a few.

And sometimes it mixes it up. The symptom checker will give you a variety of things that could possibly be wrong with you, varying from normal issues to serious ones that frighten the crap out of you. Here, let’s test it.

I’ve been trying to go up 22 floors of stairs (technically 44 flights) a least twice a week starting last week for the first time. Also, my right ankle is still kind of sore from tearing a ligament in January so I’ve been putting some weight on my left foot without realizing it. This morning I woke up with a wicked cramp in my left foot, right in the arch. Hurts like hell!

Now, you know and I know that it’s from climbing stairs (and probably not wearing the correct shoes while doing so) but let’s just assume that I’m stupid and have no clue that I should make the connection. Instead of thinking back to what it could be related to, I’ll go ahead and see what the Symptom Checker on WebMD thinks it is.


Okay so I’ll start off with putting in my basic information. I censored it for you people at work. 😉 Scandalous!


So now it’s going to take me to the next step where I’ll tell them what part exactly is bothering me. Easy enough. My foot!



After that I’m going to tell them what is wrong with my foot. Pain obviously.


Damn, this must be super legit! They’re getting really detailed about this foot pain I’m having.


And the verdict? What do I have Dr. Internet?




What?! What the hell is Sciatica? Peripheral Neuropathy? I’m not even diabetic! How did this happen? My foot might be broken?! I had no idea that I could have broken my foot and not known it! Metatarsablahblah-wha?! WHAT? Holy crap, I’m dying of FOOT. Why did no one tell me I could have such terrible things happen to my feet for not reason at all? What is this world coming to?!!!  Even Multiple Sclerosis is on this list!

Well, maybe it’s not that bad. Let’s see what some of those things are.


Okay, not too bad. Except that it now thinks that I have some other spine related problem if I have this…


Nerve problems because of the wrong shoes? That could be it. You know, my husband tells me all the time that my pinky toe looks a little weird because my shoes are pretty tight. That’s probably what it is.  Wait.  Surgery? I might need surgery?


WHAAAAAAT?! I’ve developed MS?! I’ve watched House, and it never ends well when it’s MS.  Holy crap, this awful disease is going to start in my foot, but eventually I’m going to be all kinds of messed up? I won’t be able to balance or talk right?

I’m doomed. I’m literally doomed.

I might as well not even go see a doctor because, well…I’m doomed.

🙂  We all know I don’t have any of those problems.  The truth is, I have a cramp in my foot.  Just a cramp.  It will be gone in a few days, and maybe even less if I get the hubby to rub my feet.  But if I didn’t know any better?  I might just be freaking the hell out.  And with freaking out comes more Googling to try and self medicate without the aid of a physician.  Just as dangerous.

SERIOUSLY FOLKS. Stop using internet self diagnosing tools. Moral of the story. If you’re not feeling well, and it’s persistent, go to the freaking doctor!

Stop Googling, hoping that someone on Yahoo Answers will tell you what’s wrong with you, or that WebMD will know. The internet is NO substitution for a doctor. And if you don’t have insurance? Walgreens Take Care Clinics are $75 with no insurance. And I’m sure there are other clinics that are free. What are they called?   Oh yeah, Free Clinics.

The body is a mystery. Which is why thousands of medical professionals study the body in order to tell you how it works. They are called physicians.


I will quote my Gynecologist who called me out on it long ago when I Googled an Endometriosis related issue instead of just asking her.

“Go ahead and confess Katie. You’ll feel better. You weren’t “researching”, you were Googling. Tell me, what medical school did Google go to?”

I know, I know. It’s really hard when you’re feeling like crap and you have to wait until the appointment to find out what the hell is wrong with you.  It’s even worse if you have to wait on test results, but Googling, or self diagnosing via the internet will not make that problem go away any faster. 9 times out of 10 you’re going to need some kind of a prescription anyway that you can’t get from the internet. (Well you could, but probably not legally)

If you think you’re pregnant, you’re not going to be any more or less pregnant if you have to wait a few days to pee in a cup at the doctor’s office. (Or on a stick at home) If you think you broke your foot? You should probably already be IN the doctor’s office getting an x-ray instead of icing your foot at your home computer.

Have I made my point? I think I’ll be staying off of medical websites from now on, or any other self diagnosing websites.

Feel free to continue “researching” via the internet if you want. But I’m probably going to assume that you’re a hypochondriac when you choose a website over a physician.  Or I’ll give you my sympathies on your diagnosis of internet cancer.


End rant.  😉

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