When You Secretly Drive To Nashville With Your Whole Family to Surprise Your Baby Brother on His 30th Birthday.

posted on: Monday, February 13, 2017

And you rent an Airbnb for the weekend bringing along all the necessary party supplies including  but not limited to; balloons, an apple pie and your brother's favorite kind of birthday cake  (made with half homemade frosting and half canned).

and his amazing girlfriend helps you pull off the best surprise. 

 and your kids who are back home with your husband FaceTime your brother to wish him happy birthday and when it's over he he says his face hurts from smiling so much. 

and then, of course, you feast.

Then you wander around Nashville for the day buying souvenirs for the kiddos, a new guitar for Jeff, and just generally enjoying each other's company. Also marveling at the 70 degree weather and really wishing you could stay longer than a weekend. (Like, maybe until June?) Finally, you end the night with reservations at Nashville's very best restaurant and it does NOT disappoint.

Happy 30th birthday to my favorite brother! I am so lucky to have you. We love you, Ben!!!!

The Women's March on Washington

posted on: Monday, January 23, 2017

On Saturday January 21st 2017, the day after the new administration took office, nearly half a million women, men and children descended on the capitol to participate in the Women's March on Washington. In every state in America and on every continent world wide sister marches were held in solidarity, adding millions more to that number. 

We marched to send a clear and powerful message to the new administration that we will not tolerate lies and hate. We respect, support and are ready to defend the most marginalized along us. We are watching and listening to everything our new president says and does and when he fails our brothers and sisters we will make our voices heard. 

We do not consent to a ban on an entire religious group of people from entering our country. A country that was founded on the principle of religious freedom. We do not believe a person who mocks someone with a disability in a public forum has any business being the voice of our country. We marched for the sexual assault survivor who, betrayed, watched as her country knowingly elected a man who has bragged about violating women. We marched so she knows she is not in this alone. We marched because in this country white women make only 79 cents for every dollar a white man earns. Only 60 cents on the dollar for black women, and only 55 cents on the dollar for hispanic women. We marched because black lives matter, because love is love, because climate change is real. Because facts matter. We marched because we don't want walls that keeps us from one another. 

It was moving, and empowering and healing. I cried many, many happy tears. But it also left me more energized than ever to keep fighting, keep resisting and to call others to action. When my sisters rise, I rise. I implore you to use your voices to speak out. Call your senator and let them know that the cabinet members asking to be appointed are wildly unqualified and inappropriate nominees. Use your dollars to donate to causes you believe in. A few of my recommendations would be Planned Parenthood, The Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU and Earthjustice.org. Use your vote in not just major elections but also in mid term and local elections in your own community. Educate yourself about the systemic racism inherent in this country. Read books by minorities and those whose lives and experiences are vastly different from your own. Hone your empathy. Acknowledge your privilege. Keep seeking the truth even when it is unpleasant and uncomfortable. Open your eyes. Use your time, use your talents and use your rage to make a difference. Do not sit idly by. If you have been sleeping, this is your wake up call. Silence is compliance. 

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