Saturday, December 29, 2012

Looking Back At 2012

The end of the year is always a time that we round up the year with a top ten list of some kind. We tabulate the things that rocked our world or biggest villains of the last twelve months and then shake our heads in wonder that so much stuff happened in one year. Well this year I am deeply resisting doing another simple list of events. First, because you can't swing a stick on the internet without hitting one...and second, because the years events as they have effected our family were far more than just blurbs on the news. Lots of things happened to our kids and to us, new friends were made and old ones returned, we took Portland by storm, I turned 40, and then took a bite out of the big apple....and that's what you missed on Glee GFV!(hahaha just kidding). This time I want to take a minute not just to list what happened but to reflect on a year that many called a game changer. Lets see if I can even remember everything that happened....

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas To All!...2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you who have been with me throughout the year. Thank you so much for for following my blog and for being patient with my ramblings. All of you are a special part of our lives, and on this holiday season we wish you all the very best!


Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Dads Thoughts On Raising A Strong Girl

Today's post is exactly as the title dads thoughts(me) on what it means to raise a strong and confident daughter. I know that whatever I write here today, it can only be my own opinion. Every dad is different and would probably have very different things to say about this subject, but....this isn't their blog, it's mine. So, there you go.

To be honest, when I first started out on the road to fatherhood I kind of expected that parenting a girl would be much the same as parenting a boy. Just to clarify...I knew that girls and boys have some fundamental differences that would make what they needed from me different. But on the whole, kids in general need the same kinds of things to thrive: love in large amounts, three square meals and lots of snacks, a safe warm home, someone to make them wash their hands, take baths, eat their vegetables, and do their homework....Someone to take them to playdates and karate and girl scouts and fencing...Someone to be there to guide, set limits, tickle and squeeze the heck out of them, and help them be their best selves. These are things that all kids need and I didn't expect that raising my daughter would alter this formula much. but its funny sometimes, that you can go along your merry way thinking everything is all good, and then something comes along that makes you realize that raising a little human being is deeper than skinned knees and homework. For me that moment came this summer when I took my daughter to see the Disney/Pixar film, Brave...a film that made me ask myself if I was giving my daughter all she really needed. (Come on...what parent doesn't think those thoughts?....)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hearts In Newtown


That is the single word that headlines the Huffington post this morning and as I sit here this morning struggling to try to find the words to talk about this tragedy, I can not think of a better one than "shattered". Yesterdays events in Newtown, Connecticut seemed to emerge as if from a fog...first the initial horrific news that shocked us all and then the conflicting reports that trickled continue to trickle out as the world stands by hands over our hearts and holding back tears as we struggle with one question that no one can seem to answer.....why? How can anyone do this?!

What possible pain,...grievance,....mental, or emotional disturbance could have ever led someone to target children in this way. They could not have done any conceivable harm to the man who burst into their school with an intent to harm as many people as possible. I can't even type his name on the page....I won't. Doing so feels like humanizing him more than I am able to do right now. 20 children are not at home for Christmas this year and those families are missing their children because of him. And for those families, my husband and well as parents everywhere...ache for the pain they are experiencing and wishing for the life of us that we could do help. But what can anyone do in the wake of something so horrible but hold each other tightly and try to understand why this happened. Would understanding even help?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Going For The Ride...Scotus Takes Marriage Equality

As probably everyone has already heard, the United States Supreme Court finally announced which marriage equality cases it will hear and their choices where interesting ones. When the Scotus Blog yesterday finally updated that the high court had decided to take the cased of Eddie Windsor and Prop 8 I had to step back and take a double take. Really?....the Prop 8 case? Nearly everyone had expected that one to be kicked back out of hand. But there is was, in digital print staring me in the face. After months of waiting, watching federal circuit court battles...and more waiting, we finally had an answer.  Immediately the internet lit up like a storm as word spread from blog and news outlets, to facebook and beyond. I even woke to find it the headline of my local newspaper this morning. It seemed everyone was pleased with the outcome.

And to be fair...I know it's important that this happens but as I absorbed the news, more questions began to present themselves and the reality set in that this could have a major impact not only on the rights of the gay community as a whole...but also on my marriage. I began to have that feeling in my stomach that you get while cresting a hill on a rollercoaster....that slow ratcheting ascent until that awefull pause at the top before you drop. As I sit here, feeling the subtle tilt of gravity beneath me, I cant help but have a few questions and wonder where all this will end up.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

World AIDS Day, Truvada...And Why We Can't Ignore HIV

Today is December 1st, and that makes today World AIDS Day. On this day we take a moment to educate people on the current reality of the HIV/AIDS and to reflect on it's history and those we have lost...and those we are still losing. I sometimes can't believe it, but here we are over thirty years after I first ever heard about HIV, still fighting this disease. And...we are not only fighting the disease itself but also still battling to educate the world about who gets HIV and how. For me, coming up in the 90's, the conversation about HIV and AIDS was pretty unavoidable. It was everywhere. There were commercials aimed at teens and young adults, movies and t.v. shows with HIV/AIDS themes, and of course...the news. Now, to be honest, I am not the most media aware person...but I grew up with a crystal clear idea of what HIV/AIDS it was transmitted...and how to avoid it. I understood that a condom was an important thing to have even before I had any idea what sex really was.

But here we are in a whole different millennium and still needing to have the same conversations. Many still consider HIV to be primarily a gay disease as opposed to a disease that ravages the lives of heterosexual men, women and children around the world...worst in nations that still refuse to acknowledge it's existence and who can often not afford treatment. Over time, new medications changed what a diagnosis of HIV meant such that what used to be an automatic death sentence now holds a ray of hope...if not an end to the disease.

But that thirty years has taken a toll on our perceptions of HIV/AIDS. What used to be a terrifying killer to nearly everyone has become something to be managed and in some cases ignored...for example, for World AIDS Day the online hook up sight Manhunt is sending out emails to its members promoting Truvada...a recently approved pill that can reduce the chances of being infected with a solution when "condoms get in the way".

Really?......I was shocked when I read this and had to stop and take a deeper look at it. After thirty plus years of living with HIV as an ever present possibility...and that sex still comes with risk, I questioned how this was helping people stay healthy?....  and was it sending completely the wrong message?