Family Values

I’ve become such a bleeding heart when it comes to children. I believe they deserve so much better than what they are given at times, and I wish I could help them all! My maternal insticts are so strong and kick in so hard whenever a situation includes children. 

My husband and I were watching a movie the other day, and the child was treated poorly. It literally broke my heart! If you know me, you know I’m not much of a crier, but I bawled like a baby! Silly hormones! They are just so innocent, and if given a chance, they could accomplish so much.

People are so concerned with the adults in any given situation. Like, oh, Tom and June are getting divorced, or Mark and Mary are going through a hard time. If there are children involved, I think the conversation should look more like: are Timmy and Julie doing well with the divorce? Are Mikey and Missy getting enough to eat?

When did family values start to exclude the well-being of the child? And when did Hollywood start exploiting the subtraction of the total members of the family until? When did we stop noticing, or stop caring?

I hope true family values come back in style. These children are the future, and they deserve the best chance at making this world a better place.

Ben Brainard – Comedian

I know we have all suffered in some form during this pandemic. No matter what the impact, I hate how it is effecting all of our lives. From the elderly to the infants, it seems this virus has touched us all. And, while most of the impact of Coronavirus is horrible, there have been a few silver linings in this storm.

When COVID first started, we went into lock down. We stayed home for two weeks straight and started only leaving the house if we really had to. We tried to find ways to pass the time, and one of those ways was nightly dance parties with DJ Kopec! It was a fun relief to a continuous relive of the same day, over and over. I truly appreciate his work and getting us through those first few months!

After this virus stuck around for a while, we felt a bit more safe going out into the world with masks and social distance and enhanced cleaning. We’d go to parks, home improvement stores, box stores. We felt safer, but were still cautious to maintain the safe guards we knew could help protect us. Even though we tried to keep going with life, the weight of COVID still hung heavy. Finding new ways to keep our minds off it, we took to YouTube.

Enter Ben Brainard!

I stumbled upon Ben as I was traversing the internet, looking for anything remotely entertaining to watch after literally depleting our streaming services of content. One of his videos popped up, and honestly, with all the politics that were going around at the time, I really wasn’t interested in more. I’m pretty sure I scrolled over his videos the first time. When I found it again, I read the description and went all in.

Maryland Joins the Table – with a title like that I just couldn’t ignore it! Living in the DC metro area, I had to hear his take on Maryland. I was NOT disappointed! From the way he pronounces the state name, to his attire, even the mention of a Natty Boh. I had tears! From that moment forward, I have watched each of his videos for Joins the Table, and have started to move on to his Mail Time and Stand Up shows. I absolutely love his laugh!

Thank you Ben for the comedic relief I didn’t know I needed. Hearing the craziness from all the different parts of the country makes me feel as if my little square of the world isn’t so messed up. I’ve learned so much about other states from your videos I never knew. Thanks again Ben! And keep on going!

Netflix: Julie and the Phantoms

You know those television shows that used to be good, family centric, wholesome entertainment? Whatever happened to those? The shows that left you feeling good from start to end. The shows that have conflict enough to feel like real life, but never too much to actually wear you down like life can. I MISS THOSE SHOWS!

There’s enough drama and chaos in my life without adding to it with real or fictional characters from a television show. Honestly, one of the reasons I was happy to cut the cord from cable television was the lack of anything wholesome and the abundance of DRAMA.

But, every now and then, you run into a familiar feeling in a show, like a memory from years ago. The show is happy, but gently tainted with conflict. The climax isn’t overbearing and burdensome, but it’s more than enough to keep you hooked.

That’s Julie and the Phantoms!

An original Nickelodeon show in Brazil, Netflix bought the rights to the Julie e os Phantasmos series. They have taken some liberties with the show, changing some details from the original story, but it is a great adaptation! The whole family will enjoy it!

Melissa Reyes (Julie) has an amazing voice. She’s only sixteen! I can’t wait to see how she develops as she ages. She reminds me of a youthful Alicia Keys with her piano skills and voice range.

Charlie Gillespie is another surprise! He’s phenomenal in the show! Did I mention cute? Oh, major crush over here. His sound also reminds me of my punk music days. Man, whatever happened to Yellowcard?

The music is fantastic in this show! My entire family will break out into song with this soundtrack at any minute throughout the day. The three of us have really enjoyed the show.

Unfortunately, Netflix hasn’t renewed the show as of yet, but I am beyond hopeful they will soon! It’s just too good not to give them another season. We could all use a good, lighthearted family series right about now.

Grow, Little Girl – a poem

My daughter, you are growing.

You aren’t a baby anymore.

And while I long for those days,

Holding you in my arms,

Staring into your wondering eyes,

I have never felt so connected to you.

You are growing, my sweet,

Into a beautiful little girl

Full of life, love, and happiness.

You amaze me with your smart mind

And strong heart.

I have no doubt you will do big things.

Promise me, my brave girl,

That you will not be afraid to become

The woman I know you can be.

I will always be here.

I will always stretch my arms wide

And protect you from the world,

But it is the world who needs you now.

When you are ready,

I hope you grow, little girl,

And take on this world,

For your determined heart and strong mind

Will be the strength it needs to

Grow.

Thankful, Humble, and Kind

No matter what has happened this year, we can all agree on two things: 2020 SUCKS, and Carole Baskin killed her husband. However, on this most giving of days, I am trying to remember the meaning of this holiday season. With COVID ramping up again and restrictions on how to spend your holiday, it’s easy to forget the true meaning of this supposed wonderful time of the year. Instead of dwelling on the negative, which has been in abundance this year, I am determined for even just this one day in this horrible year to take a moment and be thankful for all I have.

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Going Zero-Waste – Ethique

Continuing on our zero-waste journey after discussing two of the areas in which we wanted to cut back our single use plastic, toothpaste and cleaning products, we now find ourselves at shampoo and body soap, or shower essentials. It still amazes me how many of these companies are up and coming in the zero-waste space. I want to badly to support them all, but when it comes to researching their true goals, we have quickly found which organizations align with our goals.

Ethique drew us in with their zero-waste products, but they don’t stop at just providing products without single use plastic. Their products go so far as being packed in compost-able material! Why is this a big deal? Because it means their waste, their packaging, their products end of life has no negative impact on the environment! AMAZING! Did I also mention they plant a tree for every order made?

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Going Zero-Waste – Bite

Research ways to become zero-waste, and you will be amazed at how many small businesses are popping up everywhere! There are so many new organizations being born in this space, it took quite a while to decide which company to go with. On a broader scale, it became a focus as to what products to start with on this journey. After some serious thought, cleaning supplies, shampoo and soap, and toothpaste are where we decided to focus first.

In the toothpaste race, there are so many choices to choose from! There’s Unpaste, Chomp, Georganics, and so many, many more, all with the promise of zero-waste. For my family, it truly came down to a composition race.

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Going Zero-Waste – Blueland

Blueland’s amazing cleaning products!

If you haven’t seen the advertisements on your social media for Blueland yet, get ready to start seeing it pop up! The moment you read this article, the tiny gremlin in your phone tells Facebook, Instagram, etc., that you looked at something related to Blueland! Now every ad will be about the zero-waste company. (Insert maniacal laugh.)

Our household decided to go zero-waste for a number of reasons, but single use plastic is one of the largest drivers. Once we were done with a detergent bottle or a toothpaste tube, it was dropped in recycling, and hopefully, it is handled properly. Too many times now, I have seen that recycling isn’t dealt with appropriately, so instead of throwing it away, we looked at alternatives.

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Married, Year 7

It is the 7th wedding anniversary for my husband and me. Seven years married, and a lifetime to go. It’s interesting now to think back on the advice we have been given throughout our years together.

“Never go to bed angry.”

“Share the load.”

“Oh, you won’t be doing that for much longer!”

All of it was taken with a grain of salt because not a single person knows what goes on in some other couple’s relationship. Regardless of how close the outsider might be to the couple, they will never understand what it is like to be in your relationship with your significant other.

However, there is some sound advise out there. Not all of it should fall on deaf ears.

But, does advise ever grow old? Is there a time limit for the value of the advice? Does it grow stale over years, or lose its potency? Does it keep forever regardless of when it was given?

The best marriage advice I have ever read can be found in an article from a writer in 1886 named Jane Wells.

“Let your love be stronger than your hate and anger.”

Man, of they entire world doesn’t need that lesson right now, no matter the marital status. Letting hate and anger fester does nothing but foster more hate and anger. Only love can heal. True for life and marriage.

“Learn the wisdom of comprise…”

Another life lesson, but I feel this so truly for marriage as well. No one agrees with another individual completely on every topic known to man. And, if they do, they may need to take a journey to discover themselves. Find what really matters to them, and understand their own mind.

“Believe the best…”

Because the worst is sometimes an imagined doubt rather than truth. Give the benefit of the doubt. Innocent until proven guilty.

“…living up or down to opinions.”

Set the bar high. Demand what you want, but be ready to compromise and be surprised.

“…true friendship…”

The basis of any marriage should be friendship. The couple should have a foundational bond of fondness toward each other, which will serve to keep them from falling apart. Friendships may be tested, but it is the connection between the two people that will endure.

“…hand this down to your children..”

Because the more things change, the more they become the “new norm”.

Finally, I leave you with this.

I have loved a man with my entire heart for over 15 years, and dedicated the rest of my life to loving him 7 years ago. It has been hard, full of compromises, times of anger, but the love we share is worth it. The relationship we have is everything to me because we keep surprising each other.

Happy anniversary, babe!