Monday, March 29, 2010

Quote of the Day

"The big government, the big debt, Obama-Pelosi-Reid spending spree is over. You're fired!" - Sarah Palin

#23 Learn World Geography

Sometimes when I hear about something happening somewhere in the world, it feels so far away, so remote and apart from my life. It is hard for me to really picture it. I'm embarrassed to admit that just a month ago I was unable to differentiate between, say, Iraq and Iran on a map. (Considering what is going on in the world today, that's really embarrassing). That is why one of my goals this year has been to brush up on world geography.


I haven't been in school for almost three years (wow- time flies) but I work best by memorization. So, I found a few good maps (if you're interested, the ones I used can be found here, here, here, here and here), and studied them. Then, as a "test" to my studying, I went to Geosense and Free Rice (the Geography section).

I can't think of a way to prove it to the blog that I should consider this thing accomplished, so let me just say that if you are interested in going head-to-head in a geography test, search for KJMaloney on that site and let's face off.

Check!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

14 months from today....

.... I get to marry one of the two people in the picture below.

The other one? She turns eight today.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Book Review: Why I Stayed

A month or so ago I was watching the Today Show, and a woman named Gayle Haggard was being interviewed about her new book, Why I Stayed. In a nutshell, it is the story of a wife moving on from her husbands public infidelity, and her struggle to rebuild their trust and marriage.

I had only heard of Gayle and Ted Haggard when news of his scandal became fodder in the news, and I didn't really know about them until reading this book: A little background for those of you aren't familiar: Gayle and Ted are from Colorado Springs. They have been married for 30+ years and they have 5 children. They founded the New Life Church in Colorado, which eventually had a congregation of 14,000 people. Ted was the senior pastor, and was also a past president of the National Association of Evangelicals. (This information is summarized from page 353 of Gayle's book). In 2006, it was revealed that Ted Haggard had engaged in a series of gay liasons, at least one of which involved purchasing drugs. (Ted admits purchasing Meth, but denies consuming any). The book describes Gayle and Ted's journey, from the first days of their courtship through the sex scandal and beyond.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I will admit that I intended only to skim through this book, as I didn't know how much I would have in common with this particular story or because these particular people (they are very conservative). That said, I ended up reading every page. There were certainly parts that incensed me (see below) and bored me (nearly every page contained passages from the Bible), but I was ultimately intrigued by the things that Gayle said, even if I don't agree with her.

The crux of Gayle's story is one question: to forgive, or to move on. She writes, "I kept asking myself the crucial question: Who am I going to be in our story? Will I be the woman who washes her hands of the situation and walks awak from Ted, or will I be the woman who loves him and shows him forgiveness? The choice was mine". As I've documented on this blog before, I love strong women, strong wives, and I like to think that I have more in common with a woman who walks away from her adulterous husband, but this book made me realize that walking away isn't the only admirable path. I respect Gayle's ability to forgive her husband, there are pages upon pages in the book walking through how difficult of a decision it was for her. Ultimately, my issue with Gayle wasn't in her decision to stay committed to her marriage, but rather, she states that her two choices were to walk away or to forgive, and I just don't see it as so black and white. Aren't there shades of gray here? Couldn't she stay but not forgive? Leave but still forgive? I just don't see those two choices (leave or forgive) as mutually exclusive, or the only two options.

Gayle writes that she knew that saving her marriage "would be the best thing for all the Haggards, not just for Ted and me. Many betrayed women view their children as their first priority, but unless the marriage puts the children at risk of injury, that kind of thinking is backward. If you focus on your spouse, your children will reap the benefits of a restored marriage and a two-parent family" (p 124). Look, I get what she is saying: fix the marriage, and your kids will benefit from your relationship being restored. I get that, but, again, I don't think that is the only way for your child to benefit. I think that the children will "reap the benefits" of parents who focus on their well-being, regardless of what they decide is best for their marriage. (I think that Gayle's list of priorities is too limited- can't you put your children AND spouse at the top of the list?)

My other predominate issue with the book is the ongoing discussion of sexuality, specifically "same-sex attraction" (p167). The Haggards believe that homosexuality is an affliction- something kind of like a disease - something to be overcome, outfoxed if you must. Gayle frequently discuss homosexuality as being "compulsions" to be endured, with white-knuckles if necessary and says that "researchers are trying to learn why same-sex attractions is such a powerful force" (167). Ted describes himself as a "heterosexual with issues" (166). What is never said, but simmers under the surface, is the idea that copping to being gay is a terrible sin, and is much worse then being a straight man who just dabbled (for anyone, not just Ted Haggard).

I didn't have issues with everything in the book. Frankly, I found some of it kind of compelling, thought provoking. In a session with a counselor, Gayle was told to draw a series of concentric circles on a sheet of paper. "See the inner circle, the smallest one? That is where you and God are. Put yourself with God in the center of you rlife. The circle just outside that one should contain your spouse. The next circle should contain your children. The following circles can contain your friends and work relationships. You can't have a healthy life if you have these circles out of order". Now, personally, I don't know that it is that cut and dry. To say that you can't have a healthy life with priorities out of that particular order ignores the fact that not all families, not all people are so simplified, so standardized. But I can appreciate the point that she was making - that ultimately your inner circle should contain just your primary people, and I like that. It makes sense to me.

Overall, I thought the book was interesting. Lots of religious talk, tons of Bible quotes, and while I was sympathetic towards the narrator's struggle, I had a hard time relating to it. I recommend it for someone who wants to read something unusual, unlike the other books in their queue.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Flashback Friday

Me, in all my brunette college sophomore glory.


One word comes to mind: oye.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Book Review: The Politician

You have all heard of the John Edward's baby-mama drama, right? It's been all over the news lately, and it is a really compelling (and sad) political scandal.

I was a John and Elizabeth Edwards fan for the past few years (although I was an ardent Obama supporter, John Edwards was a close second for me!) and my interest in them was only strengthened when Elizabeth was diagnosed with cancer. The strength that she showed, putting her country ahead of herself. Well, I thought it was admirable. They seemed to be a family who was just so normal - priveledged, yet suffering from the same misfortunes as other families (cancer, tragedy, etc). I was a BIG fan of John and Elizabeth Edwards.

After the details of John Edwards affair became news fodder, I was surprised. He just doesn't seem like the type, I thought. His wife was suffering from terminal cancer. His family seemed so close, so happy, so adjusted, so normal.

And yet.

He cheated on his wife, and fathered a baby by another woman.

The story sort of ends there, kind of like his political career (not being snarky, just a fact) because he is no longer an inspirational figure to be adored, revered, but rather a hypocrite, a punchline. It's really sad. Wasted potential, wasted possibilities.

When I heard about "The Politician" book, I knew I had to read it. And read it I did. I started it on a flight on Friday night, and finished it on Sunday. I couldn't put it down! It combined elements from many of my hobbies - politics, scandal, behind-the-scenes insider information, and celebrity. It was so good. I soaked it in.

The book tells the story of John Edwards meteoric rise to political fame, with details about the hypocritical and conniving ways that he achieved the success. The story is written by Andrew Young, his aide and close friend of 10 years. Initially, I was displeased by Young. I thought that he was a sell-out, and thought "What kind of friend would betray him at the lowest time of his life?".

Strikingly, Young addresses this on the first pages, acknowledging that yes, he was being viewed as an opportunist, and in some ways he was being one. He felt like his hand was dealt to him BY Edwards, and therefore he was just playing the cards that Edwards dealt. As a 10-year aide to Edwards, his future and income was tied to Edwards career, and since that has flailed, so too has Young's.

(Young was so loyal to the Edwards, that he actually issued a public statement claiming to be the father of Edwards love-child... talk about dedication to your boss!)

It's hard to explain all of the ways that the book made me think. It discusses the conversations that were had behind the scenes regarding every aspect of Edwards public persona. From what color shirt, to what setting, to what he should be holding in his hands during a speech, every detail was orchestrated, was perfected - for every single setting. It makes me really question the way that all politicians are molded - what is genuine, and what is fake?

The book paints Elizabeth in an unfavorable light, as well, but with sympathy for her health. Young shows her to be a cold ambitious woman, as concerned with John's political career as he was, perhaps more so. It is so at odds with the way that I thought of her before this, that it is just striking.

I already returned the book to the library (hence the lack of direct quotes) but I really enjoyed it. I read it mostly with skepticism in mind, but frankly John Edwards hasn't proven to be the kind of man that I should have faith in, that I should give the benefit of the doubt to. I highly recommend it!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

On God

Do you believe in God?

(I realize that's a personal question, but it's also a rhetorical one... you're in cyberspace, it's not like I'm expecting an answer!)

I do.

(It's that simple, and that complicated).

I've never had a spiritual encounter. God has never spoken to me. And yet, I believe.

I have been reading a few books lately where faith is a central theme, almost even a main character, and it's been making me think a lot about religion. I would like to synthesize why I believe, and what I believe in. I don't know. It's hard to pinpoint. After years of Catholic school, and even more years of attending Catholic mass, I certainly know what I'm supposed to believe in.

Among many other things, I am supposed to believe that Catholics are the only ones that go to Heaven. (That all Jews, Muslims, Lutherans, etc... everyone else goes to Hell). I'm supposed to believe in going to Church every Sunday, in being completely, totally, always against abortion, homosexuals, and birth control.

But what you are supposed to believe in, and what you do believe in are two very different things.

I believe in God (but in the spirit of honesty, when I am being completely honest I will say that it is hard for me to wrap my head around this being who decided in 7 days to create a world like we know it. I want to believe in all of the details surrounding believing in God, but I do struggle to accept it all). I believe that going to Church is great... and I do go, when I want to. I believe that Heaven is full of good people, good Catholics, good Jews, good Muslims, and (OMG) even good Lutherans. I believe in birth control, and a woman's right to choose, and, well, I think you know where I stand on "the gays".

But more then all of that? I believe in loving each other. In treating each other the way we want to be treated. In seeing the good, and trying as hard as you can in forgiving the bad. I know it isn't easy, and I definitely struggle every. single. day. (Just ask Scott when I've snapped at him for the 3rd time 6 hours). But I believe that these are the things that really matter.

To me, that is enough. And I like to think that my God agrees.


Unless you assume a God, the question of life's purpose is meaningless.

Friday, March 19, 2010

#11 Find a Favorite Poem

I love a good quote or song lyric. I am always sending my mom a new quote, and I even have a file in my email inbox full of them. I don't know why- but they strike me and they make me think and, frankly, I am a sucker for a profound few words.

My brother Joe posted a link to the below poem a few days ago on his Facebook page, and I haven't gotten it out of my head since. (I'm embarrased to admit I had never read this before then). I certainly haven't exhausted the genre of poetry, but I have done a small bit of research (and I even took a Poetry class at Iowa!) and I am officially declaring this as my favorite poem.

(I highlighted the first paragraph - I think it's so profound).

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream- and not make dreams your master;
If you can think- and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triump and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop to build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything in it,
And -w hcih is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

-Rudyard Kipling

Thursday, March 18, 2010

CER

Have I ever told you about my cousin Christine?

No?

I'll summarize: She is one of my all-time favorite people (and one of my maids of honor!), she is a grad student at UCLA, and she's 95% of the reason that I looked forward to family reunions as a child (harsh but TRUE). I digress.

Christine and I have never lived in the same state. In fact, we have normally lived in different parts of the country (she grew up on the East Coast, now lives on the West Coast, and I am a lifelong Midwesterner).

We have always clicked though.


Why do we get along so well? I really can't put a finger on it, but it must have something to do with how smart she is (she goes to UCLA, remember). Just kidding. Really, we have just always gotten along. While not geography, we have so much else in common (politics, gin, a shared love of Bradley Cooper). I adore her. I'm lucky to have her as a cousin-friend, a maid-of-honor, and a soul sista.

Christine: Congrats on the end of your second-to-last set of finals... ever!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Green River. Green Beer. Green Friends. Green World.

St. Patricks Day, 2010


There are only two kinds of people in this world,
The Irish, and those who wish they were!
-Irish Saying

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ode to the CousinFriend

Ever heard of a CousinFriend? It's a word that I made up (with, um, my CousinFriends). There are several of us that are both cousins, and friends, and really no word really did our relationship justice. Thus, the CousinFriend was born.

Some photos that show how much I love my CousinFriends (and how gorgeous they are, oohlala):

Love & miss you all!

Monday, March 15, 2010

On being an adult

It has recently come to my attention that I am, by probably every defition, an adult.

Afterall, I haven't lived with my parents for seven years, and I pay all of my own bills. I'm also closer to 30 then 20 (!), and about to become a wife(!!).

Even still, I don't feel like an adult. I feel like I'm practically a college kid.

That begs the question: When are you officially an adult?

Here is my (very unofficial & slightly in jest) barometer:

- When you have no one to split the cable bill with
- When you stop getting carded at the liquor store
- When you have a washer and dryer... in UNIT
- When you are able to keep plants alive
- When you make your own dental appointments... and keep them
- When dinner preparation requires more then pushing the timer on the microwave

Am I missing any?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

#2 Start & Maintain A Blog

When I started this blog, I envisioned it as primarily a place to hold myself accountable. There are SO many things that I want to do, to accomplish, and without putting them out there, I didn't trust myself to get them done. So I thought of the idea of getting these 26 ideas crossed from my list by blogging about it and picked my 26th birthday as the due date. Initially that was all that I planned to blog about.

Obviously my vision has changed.

I like blogging. I like writing, and thinking up ideas about what to write about. I have words inside me, and this is the perfect place to get them out. I didn't really think that anyone would actually read this, that someone would bookmark my little blog and come back to read it. But apparently I have a few readers (I'll admit: mostly family) and it has recently been brought to my attention that:

I have lurkers. (Or, um, lurker).

Ladies and gentlemen, I have made it. This blog is officially a success.

Therefore, I am considering this a fulfillment of #2 on the ol' list, "Start & Maintain A Blog". Check!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

March 13

Mike Maloney (one of my fathers) was in the Vietnam War. He was a veteran. He went to war at age 17, just a boy, and returned before his 21st birthday. To say that he was changed forever would be stating the obvious, turning the whole thing in to something kind of silly, because really? How could you leave the US for the first time, as a child with a gun, headed to a foreign land to hunt other humans, and return the same as before?

Mike was a veteran, and when I describe him to someone new, that's usually the word I use to describe him, identify him. It is an important word, so closely aligned with who he was to me, that it's practically impossible to separate the two. I never try to separate them. The one depends on the other.

Why do I say this? I only knew him as a veteran, I never knew him in the time before, but I truly believed that he was who he was, how he was as a husband, a father, a human, because of the things that he saw and heard and did over there. I won't pretend to know what war is like... you can't be an expert on something just because you read about it. But what I have read... Well, I understand war to be hell. Is it any wonder that several years of it would change the course of a person's life?

Mike died in 2000, and while I choose not to speak ill of the deceased, it is a fact to say that he was not the best father, and a truly lousy husband. (And this is, certainly, an understatement). I know that he loved us - I truly and deeply believe it and feel it, even today. But love doesn't buy groceries, it doesn't kiss scraped knees when you're six, and it doesn't raise a twelve year old in to a contributing, adjusted adult. I am no psychologist, but I truly believe that the course of the latter years of his life (including the type of parent and husband that he was) were influenced, and perhaps dictated, by his time in Vietnam. Thinking this way is hard - because it brings up questions that will never have answers. I wonder what his life would have amounted to had he never gone in the service. I wonder what kind of marriage my parents would have had. I wonder what he would think of me today, what kind of a relationship we would have, how he would have shaped the lives of my brothers.

These questions are hard - they hurt - because no matter how long I wonder, how much I ask, they will never be answered.

Sometimes, when I'm really dark or a song lyric speaks to me, I get jealous. If I believe that the war contributed to the course of Mike's life, to his demise (excuse the dramatics), then it leads me to wonder why Vietnam effected MY dad this way, and not the thousands of other Vietnam Vets out there - the ones that are approaching retirement age, excited to walk their daughters down the aisle and seeing their children graduate college. Sometimes it is easiest just to blame his life and death on the war, and while I truly believe it was the primary cause, I know he could have risen above, with therapy, or medication or something, and I certainly wish it. So yes, sometimes I go there.

I realize that "why me" is a very unattractive sentiment. I know that it is childish, and immature, and foolish. But this is my blog, and sometimes I am all of those things - no shame.

Here's the thing. The "why me" usually lasts only a minute or two. Because then I catch myself, and look around my apartment, look out to Lake Michigan, and am reminded of real life, MY life, and it is a good place to be. Earlier in this post I referenced the fact that I have two dads, which if you're reading this, should be obvious (since we must be friends if I gave you this link!).

And yes, most kids only get one dad, but I have two (I'm lucky like that). As my grandmother said in my mom's 50th birthday scrapbook, my mother "met and married her soulmate, Shawn Joseph Steil, teammates forever" when I was 12. He was not instantly my dad. No, he earned that title slowly, deliberately, daily over the course of years. (Only a dad knows how heavy your green leather couches are, or how to delicately tell you which wedding dress is unflattering, or why you need to change your tax withholdings).

Today would have been Mike Maloney's 62nd birthday. And I am sad, so sad, for us both. He missed out on watching my brothers and me grow up, and so many other important things. It's easy to be sad, and today especially, I am. But normally? Normally I am thankful for the silver lining of how my life has turned out, and so thankful for the way the past has shaped my present.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring in to Spring

Signs of spring:
"Spring is natures way of saying 'Let's Party!'" - Robin Williams

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

#1 Become A Volunteer

"To do good, you actually have to do something" - American Express Commercial

A couple months ago, I applied to be a part of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Organization. I put down my 5 (!) references, submitted the three page document, consented to a background search, and off it went. Having heard nothing for the past six or eight weeks, I had kind of put it out of my mind. Today I got the call. I have been approved as a Big Sister.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

When you least expect it

Something happened today, out of the blue. Something good, yet... private, which I am not going to discuss on my public blog. Suffice it to say that this something happened close to 20 years ago, and I just found out about it this morning.

This thing that happened is a testament to the strength, the perserverence and the foresight of my mother. I don't want to revert to cliches, so let me just say that she is a quiet force to be reckoned with, and I am so very, very lucky to have her in my life.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Quote of the Day

"To the moms, who take care of the babies, no matter where they come from. Thank you" - Sandra Bullock, Academy Award Best Actress Acceptance Speech

This was my favorite line during last night's Oscars. I could so identify with it, in large part because like the family in The Blind Side, I, too come from a non-traditional family, where my father (the guy I call my Dad) and I do not share a gene pool, but we are a family and we love each other despite that.

It also made me think of my paternal Grandmother, who loved my mother like a daughter, and who died 16 years ago today. We love you, and we will never forget you.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sandra, call me

I am a big fan of celebrities. Big. Huge. (Name that movie).

Anyways, watching the coverage of tonight's Academy Awards and the Oscar Red Carpet has led me to a few conclusions:

1) Angelenos need to lay of the Botox. Seriously. Aren't they actors? Don't they NEED their faces to function in order to show emotion on screen?

2) I really need to watch Crazy Heart. And The Hurt Locker. (For the record, I also haven't seen Avatar. And that is one that I'll be skipping).

3) I would like to be Sandra Bullock's best friend.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

On being a democrat

In high school, I had this amazing teacher. He was our football coach, but was also an educated lawyer who taught Government and Economics at my Catholic high school.

He was everyone's favorite teacher, including mine. I took his class initially because he was the coolest teacher, and being as though I didn't play football, I really wanted to meet him. After a few days of his classes, I realized I was really interested in the subject matter.

Back then, I didn't know what I believed and I didn't know what there was to believe in. When I was offered free tickets to see then President George Bush speak at a rally in Cedar Rapids, I gladly accepted them. After waiting in a security line for hours (outdoors, in November, in Iowa!) I joined the throngs of people at the Four Seasons center who were shouting "Hey hey, ho ho, the G-O-P is on a roll!" (Obviously you can see how... out of character that would be now!)

Later that year, in a government class, the Coach, who's wife had recently had a baby, talked about how awful he thought abortion to be, saying that it was crazy to him that his new little daughter could have been legally "killed" just a few months before. "The older I get, the more Republican I get" he said. I don't know why this quote has stuck with me for all these years, but I can't minimize the impact that the Coach had on my early politics. After graduating from his classes and high school, I went on to get my degree in Political Science.

I mentioned that I went to a Catholic high school, and I think that is important to reiterate. The Coach was doing nothing wrong by sharing his views with the class - in fact, in the Church sponsored high school, this was probably encouraged. (It was certainly not the only class in which things like this were common conversation within lesson plans). That said, I do think that his influence, and knowing what he categorized himself as (a Republican) certainly made me think that perhaps I was one, too.

As I grew in to my own knowledge, and learned more about the tenants of each party, I realized that it was unlikely that I was, in reality, a Republican. I won't pretend to be an expert; even with a degree in Political Science, I feel like I am just a novice. If you ask what I think about taxes, or details on the economy, you will likely be met with a blank stare. Here are the three issues that are most important to me:

- Gay rights. It's well documented on this blog that gay rights are important to me. I believe that sexual orientation is innate, not a choice. As such, I think that my gay stepsister should have just as much right to marry her girlfriend, as I have to marry Scott. (Thankfully, in Iowa, she does and her girlfriend is actually her wife!)

- Women's Rights. I believe that abortion is a women's issue, a personal issue, a moral issue, a reproductive issue, and in no way a government issue. I trust women to make this choice for ourselves. As I've learned more about this issue, I've learned that what the Coach was talking about (how terrible it was that in our country his newborn daughter could have been killed, legally in utero just a few months before) would be categorized as a late term abortion. I've also learned that actually those are not legal in most places (unless the mother's life is in danger).

- Helping those less fortunate. I believe in being kind to the poor, and helping our neighbors that need help. I know that social programs like welfare are flawed. I know they are abused, and taken advantage of. But they also help people that need help, and I believe these programs should be supported, not eradicated. I am a product of a community that offered assistance when it was needed, and I am proud of where my family is today.

I still appreciate the Coach for introducing me to the world of politics. But today, if I was in his class again, perhaps I would have the voice to offer a dissenting opinion

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Bachelor

It's embarrassing to admit, but I watch The Bachelor, and have for years. I'm not sure what it is, but something sucks me in every season.

The finale was last night and (spoiler, kind of) The Bachelor Jake chose Vienna.

There are several things that I loathe about the show, and I think that spelling them out here might allow me to unburden my conscience.

1) Reread the second paragraph. Jake chose Vienna. Unlike dating in real life, on TV, the Bachelor gets his choice of 25 gorgeous, coiffed women. In real life, there is a mutual selection process, but in the show, (at least in this current season) all of the women fall for Jake, giving him all the power in the relationship. He decides who gets to stay in their luxurious accomodations in St. Lucia, and who is crying (literally) on the next flight home. He weilds absolute power.

2) The show films in two months. These couples go from being perfect strangers to being madly in love in eight measly weeks. I have been in love with Scott for four years and we have just recently committed to a life together. After four years I am STILL learning new things about him (who knew that breakfast is his favorite meal of the day?) After eight weeks you barely know each other, let alone how you are going to fit in to each other's worlds.

3) The Bachelor Jake literally wakes up one day, and is so torn about what he should do. He is moaning to the camera about the two amazing, wonderful women that he needs to choose from and how "this is the hardest decision of my life" and how both women are so amazing and he'd be so happy with either of them. Later THAT SAME DAY, he proposes to Vienna saying that every part of him loves her.

4) That leads me to #4. I have never been married, so I won't pretend to be an expert on the topic. All I know is that I believe marriage to be sacred and important and kind of... on a pedestal. It strikes me as sad that it is being taken so lightly as a commitment*. We don't allow gay's to get married yet we allow people who were strangers 8 weeks ago? There is something wrong with this! (*I will be the first to admit that Jake & Vienna could be perfectly suited for one another, and that they could go on to have a long and happy marriage. I hope they do. I only know what I was shown on the TV, and to me, it didn't seem like a commitment that they were taking as importantly as they should have, especially in light of the fact that even ONE DAY EARLIER they were not monogomous!).

Here's to you, Jake & Vienna. I hope you have a long & wonderful marriage. But, if I was a betting woman, I would bet you will no longer be together by the time my wedding rolls around.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Marching Spring In

I love March. It makes me think that Spring is right around the corner, and that maybe (MAYBE?!) snow and freezing temps and:




... all this Winter-ness is behind us. Maybe? MAYBE? (Do you hear me pleading with Mother Nature?)
Photos were taken on a recent walk to work.