Day 2 (ish) – The Garden of Eden, behave royals, and the main man – Jesus

Well isn’t this appropriate – I misbehaved and just plum ran out of time.

Let’s get to it because it’s 8:45 PM and I have grumpy kids ready to go to bed but I promised you my beloved readers a post a day and I’ve failed much like the first couple of humanity – Adam and Eve. This is where we are today in what I’ve read (Genesis 2, Psalm 2, and Matthew 1: 18 – 25).

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Genesis 2 – God created *the* garden, not just any garden but the one that began it all for humanity. I’ve always had a bit of a love for this story because it shows our humanity in that we have literally been messing things up since Day well, 8 because He (God) rested on Day 7. So day 8 he does this amazing thing where he sees the water welling up and divides up the lands into parts from four rivers that still exist today. Y’all, this is God being wild. I got my degree with a focus on Arab History and this story sparked it all. It’s literally a “story” so chill. In my Bible it’s titled “The Story of Nations” and begins on 2:4 with “This is the story.”

I love to read footnotes from biblical scholars because I love history and context and we weren’t there at this beginning but we can read tiny letters at night to strain our eyes and believe that we were. God separates up the four branches of this initial spring and names the first river Pishon (there’s gold in the land of Havilah which is where this feeds in to – if you know anything about Arab history or history period gold is king), then there’s Gihon (feeds into Cush – yes that Cush/Kush that you probably heard about), just the Tigris, and maybe you’ve heard of the last one that is mentioned but the Euphrates (I’m being sarcastic here I hope you’ve heard of this river along with the Tigris). This is where I just geek out. I’m married to a Syrian and I love this part of his heritage, the land of the cradle of civilization (I would drop a Chappelle Show .gif here but it’s super inappropriate with cuss words).

This. is. it. I mean yes. This is also where man was formed and woman came from his rib. Cool story but *newsflash* I’m a super big believer in evolution and I love this story because it makes me feel better about myself for losing my ever loving mind every day. We ate from that dang tree and now I lose my s*** on my kids. Thanks Eve. Thanks.

I also noticed a footnote with that man was never meant to have dominion over the garden of Eden. Its intent was a playground for God. This is something I’ve never really thought of and for me being the ultra conservationist realized we are literally destroying His playground every single day and it makes me angry y’all.

Last little bit about this chapter because I could write here all day, “The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.” That’s love y’all. I don’t know about y’all but I feel shame a lot and it’s beautiful to think of the union between God and Mother Mary – she felt no shame with God. She was spiritually naked and gave her all to Him.

Psalm 2 My favorite part of this Psalm is that it lyrically smacks misbehaving royals in the face. And many MANY royals misbehave *cough*HENRY 8TH*cough*. I dive in and realize it does not matter what earthly kings say and do to conspire against God for his law is the only one that covers all the bases. I’m a recovering politico – I used to get real fired up, and still do for things that I really care about, over things to the point that they would ruin relationships with me. Now, like Beyonce says the best revenge is your paper and I use that paper (my voice) to channel that inner fierceness.

Psalm 2:8 “Ask it of me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, and , as your possessions, the ends of the earth.” So let’s look at that first part – ask it of me. When’s the last time that you just put things in God’s hands? Like literally just left it at His feet? For me it was today because my daughter is stressing the ever living daylights out of me. Work has me all sorts of stressed. Life has me all sorts of bonkers. But I leave it to me. And – “Accept correction.” Babe, you have to be open to when things just don’t go the way you wanted. It HAPPENS.

Matthew 1: 18-25

(sidenote: husband just got home and is giving me the “why are you still up” look so this will be FAST)

It’s your BIRTH STORY JESUS!!! Matthew, you just cut to the dang chase don’t you? Real quick – Mary was with this dude named Joseph and she was going to get married to him but she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph wasn’t down with that so he debated on leaving her. An angel came to him in his sleep and said, “nah baby it ain’t even like that. Marry Mary. She’s good. Just name the boy Jesus because he will save his followers one day.” and boom – he woke up and he took Mary into his home. My bible points out that “He had no relations with her until she bore a son and he named him Jesus” and in the footnotes recalled “until she bore a son” which does not imply normal marital conduct after Jesus’ birth, nor does it exclude it. Mind freaking blown y’all and you can debate this because I’m still shook – I was told my whole life they never had marital relations and I went to Catholic School.

So there you go. I’ll be back tomorrow at like noon hopefully because tomorrow is my CRAZY day. It’s 9:13 PM here in San Antonio. I hope you enjoyed this. Until tomorrow and the Magi be visiting y’all – BRING ON THE ROSCA DE REYES!

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You either know or you don’t…

Baby baby baby, ohhhh (Baby Registry Loves)

This is for the mamas (and the papas… and anyone raising little humans). I am oddly around newborns or friends that are preparing for baby showers as they see their bodies growing. Before you start with that fun barcode scanning gun and having a field day with your registry at a fine retailer – hold on! There are things that you just will not need (I see you wipe warmer) and some that you may cringe at but trust me, you will be so grateful for. After having two kids, I’m obviously an expert, right? Yes. Because I had a lot of c-r-a-p and I truly could not get rid of some stuff because it was given by family members or I thought I needed it and registered for it. I’m an “expert” because I’ve gone through two newborns within 24-months of one another and things that I could reuse and save you headaches.

Top 5 Baby Things That I Loved

  1. Just a Fitted Sheet – Seriously, simple fitted cotton sheet. Do not, I repeat, do not drive yourself crazy with sheets and bedding. You will have other things to deal with. Remember, bumpers are not ok (SIDS is a real f’in thing). You will be changing sheets out often, kids spit up, leak out of their diapers, bodily functions you never thought possible out of your precious cherub. We liked this one from Burt’s Bees (the lipchap people).
  2. A simple backpack aka your lifesaver aka your new purse/diaper bag. I’m not going to put a link here because you know what a backpack is. I will post which one I used because of the compartments. But I can recall receiving a beautiful diaper bag from a wonderful family member. It was great, designer brand, pockets (moms love pockets) but it was heavy. My shoulder was already dying from holding a child but the diaper bag was insane. A simple JanSport will do and it’s so simple to just throw everything you need in one bag.
  3. Baby Kangaroo Maker – This is the only expensive item that I will post. Find a good baby carrier you LOVE. We had the stroller but after baby #2 came along and my daughter was 2, she was occupying said stroller. We loved loved loved our Ergobaby. Living in Texas, the Moby just wouldn’t work where it’s like a sauna every step you make. If you’re a nursing mom, you will love your baby carrier because your babes is literally at your chest and has no where else to go to eat, fast food.
  4. Bottles – Surprise… we didn’t nurse. Maybe for a week we did but neither kid wanted anything to do with my boobs. Sad, yes. Guilt trip, some. But guess what? This is real life and your kid needs to eat. So if you choose not to nurse or if it doesn’t work for you, that’s where the beauty of technology and science come in with bottles. Invest in some good ones. You may hear a lot about glass bottles for babies, do what you want. We loved Tommee Tippee Get a few sized nipples, maybe just 3 each but be prepared for the hand washing.
  5. Snot Sucker (featured image) – My favorite one to talk about and why I left it last. The NoseFriday from Fridababy. Straight up the grossest thing (opinion) but it is beyond the best thing on the market and you cannot live life without the NoseFrida. Yes, there are the aspirators with the bulb, but I’m that mom who enjoys seeing just how much comes out of my prodigies. I enjoy being able to suck out giant globs of things and get a sense of satisfaction when my kids can breathe again. You will too, because a breathing baby is a happy baby – a happy baby is a relieved mommy.

So, there you have it. My Top 5, take it for what it’s worth. If you are that mom that wants to coordinate your daily outfits with your child, you may think I’m crazy. But when you’re on 2 hours of sleep and need to take kid to mommy and me, last thing you’ll want to do is lug a baby diaper around with your coordinating look.

“So, what are you giving up for Lent?”

Oh that question… again. Is it Lent already? But we just celebrated Christmas. I know, it’s crazy to believe that in less than 24 hours, we will have people walking around and where our marks on our forehead will be the tell-tale sign of “I haven’t gone to Mass yet, people will know!”

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#AshTag2017 – Theme: We Got This   40 Days

I remember as a kid growing up in and out of Catholic School the distinct honor of having those ashes spread across my forehead like I was going into war. In a way, we kind of are. But not picking up the ammo and running with it hoping for high hell that we are equipped with the necessary weaponry. Our weapons are just a bit different and the enemy is mostly of the soul. Everyone has their own battles to fight and crosses to bear, sometimes we are lucky to go at them with a tribe and others we must go at solitarily.

I recently published an article in the bingo publication that we produce along with our team of wonderful writers & designer that hits this entire topic at its core. To me, Lent is like a Spring Cleaning –

Clean Up Your Relationships

If your 2016 looked anything like mine, you came out looking like a forgotten piece of meat on the grill. Relationships are a living, breathing thing – if you don’t tend to your friendship garden, things will rot and spoil; this is ok. If you think this relationship is just hitting a rough patch and is willing to go through the steps of talking things through with your partner/friend, go for it. Go with an open heart though, this cannot be a one-sided item. But, if your relationship has been making you stressed out to no end, it may just be time to focus on those who bring out the goodness in you.

Work on You

That class or skill that you’ve been neglecting to take, now is the time to take the leap to learn the skill. As we get older, we let go of the hobbies and interests we used to love and have replaced them with chores and obligations (the adult life). Take charge and add some fun back into your life. You’re bound to find a hobby that you love.

Do not see this as a “giving up” and sacrifice time, see it as an opportunity to declutter your heart and leave room for the Holy Spirit (like 8th grade dances).

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And if you must know:

  • Prayer: 1 hour per day with meditation/Scripture/Mass coupled with journaling/blogging
  • Fasting: Going vegan y’all – Eastern Rite style.
  • Almsgiving: donating bags of clothes & toys

 

〉Melanie

 

 

“Stupid’s a Bad Word”

Well kid, sometimes things just are stupid.
img_4079This morning my sweet, darling, hilarious daughter (up there) chirped in to a conversation I believed was adults only. Conversation topic: how stupid it is that people are bent out of shape over a presidential candidate’s diagnosis with a lung disease. Said lung ailment I had when I was 21 and it put me out of work for an entire week; yet here goes this candidate taking 24 hours off. My God, she’s not fit for the job. (Please sense the sarcasm or just discontinue reading.)
So yes, sweet kids – stupid is a bad word but let me tell you what else is not pleasant –

  1. Hunger – Did you know that 1 in 6 people in America face hunger? That’s 20.6% of families in America… FAMILIES y’all. This month, the Junior League of San Antonio (plugged that in and you can head over to http://www.jlsa.org for more information) and the San Antonio Food Bank are teaming up to combat this epidemic by raising jars of peanut butter for families in our local community. You don’t need to be a member of any Junior League to take part in any of this though, nor do you have to be a voter, pick a party line, have an ID. You simply need to call up your local food bank and ask, “How can I volunteer/contribute?”
  2. (Lack of) Voting – You know what’s pathetic? People don’t vote when thousands upon millions of people have fought, battled, died for your right to stand in line for 5 minutes – 5 hours to vote and you have in some cases a total of thirteen days to vote. Did you know that in 2012 only 54.9% of people of voting age actually exercised their right to vote? We can’t anymore, not now, not this time.
  3. Illiteracy – According to a U.S. Department of Education and National Institute of Literacy study in April 2013, 14 percent of our population can’t read. A whopping 21 percent of adults have a 5th grade reading level and a whopping 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read. Let that sink in for a moment. 14% of people can’t read Dr. Seuss, Spot books, Hemingway, J.K. Rowling, Kim Kardashian West’s hit books.
  4. Wage Gap – I shouldn’t have to explain to myself or my daughter one day  ever that should she and her brother get the same job, he will be paid more than she is. I’m a recovering politico and I’ve been there, done that with the good ol’ boy system; it’s just stupid. But for numbers sake – In 2013, the median woman working full time earned 78 % less than what the median man working full-time did. #ThatAintRight (Read it Chris Rock style).
  5. Health Insurance Increases – Look, I’m not one to ever complain about the necessity of health care. I’m a card carrying member of we all need adequate health care. That also means that health insurance companies know darn well we need this fun thing called insurance too and they’re not afraid to bump up that price of insurance at all. It’s called business, it’s called knowing they have a commodity that we need, that means they can do whatever they want. It’s not me I’m complaining for though, it’s 21 year old Melanie that was kicked off her insurance when she got hit with the aforementioned pneumonia. It’s for the families that have to make the difficult decision whether to purchase groceries for their families or get health insurance and/or subsequent care.

So you may think that my list is a bit left of communism (which it’s not so learn your terms), but it’s reality. So yes kid, stupid is a bad word but sometimes there just isn’t any other way to describe what is going on.