Posted in Word Therapy

Thank You

In January of 2009 I was living in a three bedroom house that had seen better days. “Well worn” would be putting it kindly. It smelled weird when we moved in and it never went away for the 16 months that my family and I lived there. I was two months pregnant with my son Red. And on January 20, 2009, I watched President Obama be sworn into office with my 17 month old daughter and my mom.

In January of 2010 my family and I were renting two bedrooms in a four bedroom house owned by my husband’s best friend in Avondale, Arizona. We had moved to Arizona for a temp job for my husband because jobs were scarce. Red was 5 months old and Curls was 2 years old. We didn’t have insurance. The next 10 months of our lives would be the hardest we had ever faced.

On March 23, 2010 President Obama signed The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (more commonly known as Obamacare) into law. He also would sign the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 into law.
January of 2011 had my family and I back home in California. We were struggling financially but we didn’t care because we were back in our home state. My husband had a new job and we were renting a place that was just ours. I remember unpacking my toiletries in the master bathroom and feeling giddy that I had my own shelf to store them. Both Curls and Red had health insurance.

In 2011 President Obama and his administration repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The man responsible for 9/11, Osama Bin Laden, was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs. I will never forget the swagger my President had as he walked down that red carpet to announce to the world that Bin Laden was no longer a threat.

2012 brought our first purchased home as a family. And not just a home but a dream home. The kids each had their own room and a playroom for their toys. It had a kitchen that was open with an island. My husband had been promoted at his job. And I started to do preschool stuff with Curls as I was still able to be home with the kids.

President Obama won his second term in 2012. Curls told me she wished she could have voted for him, putting the cherry on top of already a great year.
In January 2015 my husband was afforded the luxury of starting his own business. It had always been a dream of his and I was so proud and happy that he was able to do that. I became his accountant and customer service contact while working from home. Curls was in second grade and Red was a kindergartner. My husband and I both had health insurance at an affordable rate thanks to Obamacare.

The unemployment rate at the end of 2015 was 5%. And on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court declared that same sex marriage was legal in all 50 states.

It is now January of 2017. There is 8 days until the new President will be sworn in. President Obama gave his last speech this week. I cried. My President is a good and kind man (notice I didn’t say perfect). Flotus herself, Michelle Obama, is a goddess (she IS perfect). Their two daughters seem to be normal and responsible girls. The Obamas are what define America for me. They have brought so much progress to this country in the 8 years they have been in the White House. I can only hope that will continue.

Posted in Pop Culture, Word Therapy

Friday Favorites (aka Where I blabber about things I love): Good things coming to 2017

Positive, positive, positive. Move towards the good. Have something to look forward to. These all could be my mantras for 2017. I love to make lists of upcoming books, movies, and television shows. Every time I get a calendar of upcoming movies from Entertainment Weekly, it’s always placed on my bulletin board right next to my bed (I know, my husband is a lucky man). The following are a handful I can’t wait for:

 
Fargo (television show): The first two seasons of this show based on the Coen brothers’ 1996 movie were phenomenal. Season three has Ewan McGregor as twin brothers (be still my heart) with Carrie Coon (The Leftovers), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane), and Thomas Mann (Me and the Earl and the Dying Girl) also in the cast. It premieres on FX in the Spring, giving those of you who have been foolish enough to miss the first two time to catch up.

 
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (movie): The sequel to the 2015 hit will be here in May and I am just going to watch the trailer on repeat until then. It’s a trailer that brings all the funny and baby Groot. And you know it will be one of those films where they don’t put all the good parts in the trailers.

 

 

A Dog’s Purpose (movie): January is a barren time for good movies (excluding those that are in limited release in December and then go nationwide). Then there is A Dog’s Purpose. Josh Gad is the voice of many dogs in this film about how they impact us humans’ lives. The trailer is emotionally manipulative and I bawl like a baby. Sure, the story won’t be great. But again, DOGS.

 

Update: I have discovered that Lasse Hallstrom is the director of A Dog’s Purpose.  He also directed Chocolat, which is the last time I liked Johnny Depp.  So there is hope after all…

 

 

Star Wars Episode VIII (movie): If you’ve read my blog before, you know that Star Wars made me the pop culture nerd that I am. If this is your first time here, Welcome! Now go watch all the Star Wars movies.

 
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth (book): The Divergent series by Roth was one of my favorites when I started the young adult genre. The films unfortunately didn’t live up to the hype but I am still excited for this new series that comes out 1/17.

 
Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2) by Cassandra Clare (book): Cassandra Clare brought us The Mortal Instruments series with spinoffs The Bane Chronicles and The Infernal Devices series. The Dark Artifices is a continuation of The Mortal Instruments. Her books are fantasy with descriptions that I aspire to do as a writer. I become completely engrossed whenever I read one of her novels and can finish an 800+ page book in a week (while negelecting everything else-sorry family). Her newest one comes out in May, giving me about two weeks to read it before the purgatory that is my kids’ summer off from school.

 
I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!

Posted in Word Therapy

New Year’s Resolutions 2017: Less reality, more writing

It is the new year. For the most part I hate resolutions because that is the most direct route for me to fail. I already exercise. I watch what I eat (mostly). Every year I say I am going to write more. This year I went so far as to say I was going to watch my language but that lasted about a millisecond. I thought I had my anxiety in check. Every day I look at my phone when I wake up (a bad habit that needs to be broken) and check social media for the news. My head starts to hurt and my heart starts to race.

 
My husband and I are unapologetic when it comes to our fears and what 2017 has in store for us. We have been told to give the president elect a chance. No.  We have been told that our fears are unfounded and everything will be fine. Nope again.  I haven’t gone so far as to say that I am a doomsdayer but holy shit it’s hard to wade through the toxic waters and find fresh air. I know we are not alone. We live in California which Curls loves to refer to as “the blue state!” When I am told I need to call my state representatives, I know they are doing their jobs (on almost a daily basis I read how they are ramping up for a fight with the new administration). We are marching the day after the inauguration in Los Angeles. And I will continue to follow organizations that will be threatened (Planned Parenthood, The Trevor Project, etc.)

 
Every minute of my day is a concerted effort to keep my anxiety in check. So instead of unrealistic goals this year, I am going to be kind to myself. Do things that will improve the quality of life not just for myself but for my family. I am going to start with:

 
⦁ Check news once a day instead of multiple times
⦁ Write, write, write, and write some more
⦁ More music and reading, less Facebook
⦁ Be patient with myself and others
⦁ Focus on what I love
⦁ Remember this: “If somebody tells you you’re too much for them, they’re right. Next!”
⦁ Drink water: my skin has started its descent from grape to raisin and it isn’t pretty
⦁ Meditate
⦁ Do more 5Ks and maybe a 10K (but fun ones-mama’s not winning any races)
⦁ More Glennon Doyle Melton, Luvvie, and Brene Brown
⦁ Pet as many dogs as I can

 
One day at a time is what I can do. Breathe and take my time. And hope that 2017 won’t suck as much as 2016 (not a challenge 2017).