Category Archives: Life

Thoughts after the Michael Brown verdict


Below is something written by an acquaintance of mine, Donna Simone Johnson. I felt it was compelling and wanted to share. As a white, middle class woman living in Orange County, it is very easy for me to simply not think the Michael Brown case. But I believe the case and the events that are unfolding have major implications for the future of our country. It’s an issue we should all be thinking about, praying about, talking about, doing something about.

“”Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
This is about all of us, no matter where you live or who you are. We all have dogs in this fight, and it’s really as simple as being for us or against us. I still cannot fathom how some of you have stayed silent these last 3 1/2 months. What a luxury. What privilege. Faith without works is dead. Love without action is meaningless. I stand, scream and rage because it’s the RIGHTeous thing to do. No Justice, No Peace.”

I really don’t know what I can do about this issue except to use it as a teaching tool for the Teen and the Tot. I can’t change laws, put camera’s on cops, stop the violence in Ferguson, speak at a rally, or hold the hand of Michael Brown’s mother*. But if I can help raise two more decent people, people who will stand for the oppressed and fight for what’s right and, most importantly, follow the except of Jesus Christ, then Michael Brown’s death has not been in vain.

Remind them to be respectful of everyone they come in contact with. This doesn’t mean they have to be friends with everyone, or that they have to agree with everyone, or that they have to like everyone. But they must be respectful. That means no name calling, no violation of property, no bodily harm. It also means speaking out when you see someone disrespecting someone else. This one is hard for me, I hate confrontation. But the Teen is so good about this, she isn’t afraid to vocally and physically stick up for the oppressed. I hope the Tot learns from her.

Challenge their prejudices.  Everyone has prejudices. It’s how we learn. We put things into categories so that we can make sense of the world. Right now, my tot thinks all four legged creatures are dogs. But soon he will learn that there are also cats, rabbits, iguanas, wolves, lions, etc. As we grow older, our prejudices should become weaker. As we visit more places, talk to more people and experience new things those boxes that we put people into should start to crumble. So as the teen and the tot grow, I will constantly challenge those prejudices and show them people instead of categories.

Work with them against prejudice. I read something the other day, I think it was a quote, that said being prejudice, specifically racially prejudice, was easy. It’s the easiest thing in the world to judge another human simply by their skin color. And it’s true. But it’s not okay. So as I continue to work against my own prejudices, I will help the teen and the tot work against theirs. I will challenge them to ask questions, listen to people’s stories, extend grace, reserve judgement.

Continuously point them to Jesus. He’s the only constant, the only truth, the only example of true goodness and justice.

*If you know of others ways I can be involved in fighting for this issue, let me know!


A Letter to Babies R Us


Dear Babies R Us,

This is a formal complaint about your use of 1 ply toilet paper. You are a company that caters almost exclusively to mothers, a people group known for frequent urination and hemorrhoids. Your use of 1 ply is disappointing and painful. I appreciate you trying to keep costs down so that we can afford hundreds of unnecessary baby items, but honestly, I would gladly pay an extra 20 cents for every item if that meant a healthy supply of 2 ply in the restrooms. Just sayin’,



Well Hello There


So for the past few weeks people have been assuring me that I’m not showing yet. I felt like I was, but since I’m the only person who has spend the past 20 ish years meticulously analyzing my stomach everyday, it made sense that I was the only one who had noticed. Even though I could tell I was getting bigger, it still just looked like I ate a large Thanksgiving meal…everyday…for 14 weeks.

But today, something changed. I looked in the mirror and was like “oh hello there, belly.” What had once looked like a flabby inter tube keeping me a float on the crazy Life River, now looks distinctly like a round, child holding melon. I definitely look pregnant. Which, of course, calls for a freak out! My first thought was:

“It seems way to early to be this big. Damn you, Joe! Your mammoth seed is going to make me HUGE! I’ll be like one of those big Russian dolls where tons of smaller dolls keep popping out of it.”

And then I was like

“Holy Crap, its real. This baby is real. I’ve known for a while it was real. But now its really making its presence known. This is happening. O gosh. I need to sit down.”

As I recovered from my mini breakdown, I suddenly sympathized with every pregnant woman who has ever walked the earth. I never understood why pregnant women worried about their weight or felt bad about being “fat.” I always thought “Hey, your growing a kid in there. Everybody knows it and nobody is judging you, so cheer up.” And of course, I vowed never to be like those women. But today I realized that isn’t really about the size, and it isn’t about what other people are thinking. Its about the fact that your body is no longer your own and no matter what you do that stomach is going to continue to bulge to sizes you have never seen in your life. It’s about the fact every day you have a very physical reminder of what has, and will continue, to change your life forever. And, lets be real, a little bit of the worry really is about your actual size. Society has embedded those skinny girl dreams pretty deep in our minds, and two pink lines on a pregnancy test won’t instantly flush them out.

My freak out is now over, and its time to look at the bright side. First, I get some new clothes which, maternity or not, is always exciting. Second, I have a Dr. appt next week and when she confirms that my uterus is a normal size I can stop having horrific visions of Russian dolls. Third, it a few more weeks it will become obvious to everyone that I am pregnant and the Thanksgiving dinner phase will officially be over. And lastly, I am thankful that I’m this big because of a baby and not because of an actual Thanksgiving dinner. Because that would be gross.

PS I hate baby bump pictures but since I’m talking about it, I figured I show you. The one in the white shirt was taking on Monday. The one in the pink shirt was taken today. Do you see what I mean? It has definitely rounded out in the past few days.

baby bump

I never know what face to make in these pictures. Gah, so awkward

mom blog

I think I need to start wearing make up for these bump photo shoots.

Yelling, Loosing and Other Reasons I Don’t Like Sports


I’m not a huge fan of sports. Yes, I do love the Angels and as soon as Kobe retires my mild interest in the Lakers will be rekindled. And it’s not that I think sports are bad. On the contrary, I think it’s a great way for the hyper competitive people of this world to get out all their crazy so their road rage doesn’t interfere with my morning commute. Sports are great. I just don’t like them.

First off is the yelling. When I was a kid attempting to play sports, my best (and only) asset was my attitude. I was all smiles and cheers from the dugout, but the second my coach yelled it was all over. Most of the time he wasn’t even yelling at me, but the mere act of raising his voice a few octaves caused a dramatic meltdown.

In addition to the yelling, there is the loosing. In real sports, there is a winner and a loser. Some modern parents are trying to take that away and make everyone a winner with atrocious participation ribbons. That’s crap. Remember what I said about the hyper competitive people? They can’t get out the crazy if there isn’t a winner or a looser. So I support the existence of winners and loosers, I just don’t want any part of it. If I loose I feel like crap, if I win someone else feels like crap. i support smiling, not crap. At the end of the game we all get a snack anyways, so what’s the point?

Third is the hand eye coordination. If you have it, sports come easy to you. If you don’t have it, you end up with a giant black eye right before your singing debut as spy #12 in the church musical. But don’t worry, you power through because while you may not be competitive, you are an attention whore and not only do you sing your 11-year-old heart out but you also milk that black eye for all the sympathy it’s worth.

And lastly is the physical effort. If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you know that my tolerance for physical activity has grown over the past year. But still I don’t have near enough motivation to bust my butt multiple times a week on a court or field. I’d rather just strap on some ankle weights, walk through the mall and call it a day.

So for those of you who play and/or enjoy sports, kudos to you! While I may never understand it, I appreciate your passion and when my future children express some inexplicable interest in competitive game participation, I will send them your way. Meanwhile I’ll stick to artsy crap like writing. Because when I write, I’m happy, you’re happy, my boss is happy, my husband is happy because I’m his sugar momma and writing pays the bills, and everyone is a winner.

Now isn’t that nice?

30 in 30

health and fitness

This has GOT to go.

I’ve decided to begin a new fitness challenge for myself. The challenge has three parts. First, I’m going to exercise for at least 3o minutes everyday for the next 30 days. Not every other day, not every Tuesday, but every single day. I’ll spice up the workouts so I don’t strain anything but I think that its important for me to do it every single day this month. Don’t experts say it takes 30 days to create a habit? Here’s hoping by the end of the month I’ve gotten into the habit of exercising on a regular basis.

The other part of this fitness goal is eating 30 fruits and veggies every week. That means that for 6 days out of the week I have to be sure to eat the recommended 5 servings of fruits and veggies. The 7th day I can just eat whatever. I thought about adding other rules to this, such as eliminating sugar those six days, but I think that’s too many goals and rules for one time period. Plus, my sister recently gave up desserts and she has been a little more grumpy than usual. She’s much nicer than me to begin with, so if no dessert is making her cranky we don’t want to know what it will do to me.

The last part of this challenge is to blog about my progress everyday. I won’t bore you with long, detailed descriptions of my mundane workouts. I’ll just quickly tell you how I exercised and how I crammed all those veggies down my gullet. If I find a particularly good recipe or helpful work out I’ll share that too. And of course, I’ll continue blogging all my anecdotal life stories you all pretend to love.

Hopefully, by the end of this challenge I’ll be healthier, my stomach will be a little flatter and I’ll be a better blogger.

Wish me luck!

26 Thoughts on the Eve of my 26th Birthday


Why, thank you!

I have 59 minutes to write this post. If I don’t, then I have to change the title. Here it goes.

  1. My mom is the best. We have a tradition that on every birthday, my mom makes the birthday person’s favorite meal from scratch. This was much easier when she was a stay at home mom, but has proven much more challenging in the years since she has gone back to work. Nevertheless, she does it cheerfully and for the past 2.5 hours has been slaving away in the kitchen making me delicious enchiladas.
  2. Why is neither teleportation nor vehicular flight a thing right now? It’s 2012 and Google knows exactly what ads to show me based on emails I write, my phone talks to me, and we have people living in space. Why the heck do I still have to sit in traffic every day?
  3. Green is my favorite color. The more neon the better.
  4. I’m horribly disappointed in the Angels performance this year. While I still wear my jersey with pride, and hold out a little bit of hope that they’ll turn things around in the last month of the season, I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the fact that despite the atrocious amount of money we paid for Puljos, this just isn’t our year.
  5. If I could only eat one meal for the rest of my life, it would be pizza, salad and ice cream.
  6. Target and Old Navy have magical powers that suck my money.
  7. I really really want Justin Timberlake to put out a new album.
  8. I miss spring break. I’m okay with the adult world not getting an entire summer off, but I really wish we still got to celebrate spring break.
  9. I really really really want to meet Mark Trumbo and Tom Hanks before I die, or they die. If anyone can make this happen for me you will be my favorite forever.
  10. It’s ridiculous that I still have acne at the age of 26. I used to judge people who got cosmetic surgery, but every day I think more and more seriously about lazering these little buggers off.
  11. Ignorance truly is bliss.
  12. After a year and 8 months, I’m STILL not done reading through the Old Testament. On one hand this is discouraging, on the other hand I’m impressed that I haven’t completely given up yet. I’m still plugging away, currently through the book of Isaiah. God has gotten me this far, I’m sure He’ll see me through till the end.
  13. I want to one day visit all the Hawaiian Islands. So far I’ve been to two.
  14. Today I asked my husband if 18 year old Joe every imagined he would have such a hott wife in the future. To which Joe replied “18-year-old Joe was doing just fine for himself.” Oh that guy. But it got me thinking, and 16 year old Brianna did not imagine she would have as awesome, selfless, funny and talented a husband as she does now. I’m glad God had bigger plans than I did.
  15. I really like being a girl. I feel people don’t take pride in their gender enough. Being a girl is awesome. Sure, the periods suck, and I’ve heard child bearing is a bitch, and the media puts an outlandish number of unrealistic expectations on us,  but being a woman also got a lot of perks. We can work in the home, out of the home, or both. We get to choose our fashion sense. We get to be partners with our husbands and not merely servants. We can vote. We are able to get a good education. While we shouldn’t give up on fighting for equality, we should be teaching our daughters, sisters, and nieces to be proud of their femininity.
  16. The beach is by far the most relaxing place. It doesn’t matter how stressed I am, a walk on the sand, a dip in the waves or a nap under a palm tree will take it all away.
  17. I miss my Disneyland pass 😦
  18. If I could switch professions to be anything I wanted, without going to more school, I would be a marine biologists. Or an astronaut who inherits billions of dollars from an oil tycoon uncle and then single handedly revives the space program. Or an actress. Or maybe I should just finally buckle down and be a writer.
  19. Dancing is my favorite.
  20. Is 26 considered late twenties?
  21. I’m reading “Honeymoon with my Brother” and in it the author makes a statement somewhere along the lines of “every country does family better than America.” Its so true. This next year I’m going to make a conscious effort to spend more time with all my family, close and extended, because they are the ones that have always been there for me no matter what.
  22. I have an embarrassing love for pop music.
  23. This year I discovered that the fitness gurus were right: exercise really does make you feel better. Doing simple things like walking the dog, going for a swim or riding my bike reduce my stress level, give me more energy and even help reduce my stomach aches. I’ve learned that when I exercise to be healthy, its a lot more enjoyable and productive then when I exercise to loose weight.
  24. Although I don’t do it as much as I would like to, I love blogging and I think I’ll keep it up until I’m at least 80. Hopefully by then I’ll be able to teleport.
  25. I feel like all the things I know about God, are things I’m finally experiencing. And things that I know make a strong Christian are things I’m finally putting into practice.
  26. Overall, I’m pretty happy with this life of mine. Its nothing like I expected it to be, some parts are worse and some parts are better. But I feel I’m moving in the right direction.

Photo taken from


January’s Pinterest Challenge


So at the beginning of the year, I set some goals for 2012. One of them was to do at least one thing from Pinterest every month. The purpose of this was 1) for me to try new things and 2) for me to justify the massive amount hours spent pinning crap.

For January, I choose to do one of the many exercise routines floating from pin board to pin board.

exercise at home

*originally taken from

I choose this work out plan mostly because it allows me to use the spiffy green jump rope my sister got me for Christmas. Plus, its a great cardio work out and since I hate running but have the cholesterol of a 65 year old who has eaten bacon every day of her life, I really needed to find a creative way to pump up my heart.

Admittedly, I have only tried this three times so far and I have yet to make it through the entire routine. In my defense, I just started it last week and I’ve been sick this entire week, so I’ve had to stick to yoga and intense ice cream eating routines. (I put a little weight on my spoon to give my muscles a workout…just kidding I didn’t, but thats a good idea. PATENT PENDING! Don’t steal it).  But even though I’ve only done this routine thrice, I’ve enjoyed it. It’s really hard, and my calves hurt like hell afterwards, but it got me to work up a sweat and get my heart rate up without having to leave my house. For all you “to do” list lovers out there, this routine is awesome because during your 30 second break you can mark off the activity you just did. Fun times!

A few tips:

  • Get as far as you can the first time and make a note of how many activities you did. The next time, try to to do one or two more activities. Keep it up till you can get through the whole routine.
  • Create an LMFAO station on Pandora. Although these guys are arguably the most immature, vile, disgusting bands in current existence, their music, and music like theirs, has a beat thats perfect for cardio workouts. Plus, what better motivation to exercise than to to be sexy and know it?
  • If you don’t know what an activity is, just look it up on YouTube. There were quite a few that I hadn’t heard of before, so I just typed their name into YouTube and up popped tons of videos from exercise instructors.
  • Do as many of the exercises as you can, but if there is one you really don’t like (for me that would be Burpees) substitute it with an exercise you do like (for me that would be skaters).

Let me know if you try this routine and how you like it. Or tell me about any other things you’ve tried from Pinterest!