bon weekend

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Happy Friday friends! I’m trying to be productive from bed, as I battle the flu – it hit our household hard and fast this week. I took this photo not long ago, at Valley Forge National Park (a few minutes from where we live), and it reminds me to look to nature when feeling overwhelmed. It’s been quiet here on the blog, as I’ve been contemplating these wise words, and struggling to share anything that feels “fluffy”. Many bloggers are struggling to find words and share their regular content right now, and some are debating whether or not to use their social media presence to speak out. I applaud those who have chosen to do so, despite the very real possibility of losing readers, sponsors, or followers. I’ll say it again – this isn’t about politics–it’s about humanity. I will continue to use this space to share ALL that I am passionate about, and I will never stop contributing my voice to the resistance, and fighting for what is right. If I lose followers or readers, so be it.  I’m sharing a few of my favorite posts on this topic…I hope you’ll weigh in and show them some love.

BON WEEKEND

love trumps hate

on politics + social media

what will I tell my children?

fighting for what’s right is worth it

how to be an ally for refugees + immigrants

bloggers speaking out against the current administration

why i marched

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I traveled to Washington D.C. on Saturday to participate in the Women’s March, and it was one of the most moving experiences of my life. I attended with my friends Jennifer + Dave Cooper (who took so many amazing images, including this one). I have a confession to make: I was afraid. I have terrible anxiety and avoid crowds and chaos whenever possible. I had a massive panic attack mid-way through and had to retreat from the heart of the gathering. But I was there–I had to be. The issues at stake are too significant, threatening too many of our freedoms as women, as Americans, and as humans. This weekend gave me so much hope for the future – we will not be silenced, and we will continue to take action. I’ll be processing this experience for some time, but I feel more determined and empowered than ever. This is not a moment, but a movement, and I’m honored to join the fight. Here are some (not all) of the reasons I marched, in no specific order:

 

I marched because I’m a woman.

I marched because I’m a mother.

I marched because I made a pledge.

I marched because I’m a feminist.

I marched because I believe in equal rights for all.

I marched because I am pro-choice.

I marched because love is love is love.

I marched because he’s not my president.

I marched because we deserve better.

I marched because I believe in democracy.

I marched because immigrants are welcome.

I marched because I’m outraged.

I marched because climate change is real.

I marched because I’m privileged.

I marched because I have a voice.

I marched because dissent is patriotic.

I marched because I am indebted to all the women who came before me.

hello 2017

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“Are you feeling a bit shaken, maybe stirred, maybe fearful and doubtful and completely, utterly, wildly terrified? Good. Keep going.”

Victoria Erickson

 

I have a new mantra for 2017. I read an article last week written by a man who can’t move anything but his face. He shares seven incredible life lessons, and the one that stood out to me most is: fear = fuel. Take what scares you most and turn it into positive energy, motivation. I’ll be honest – there is a lot scaring me, both at home, and in a broader sense, like the (broken) state of our country. Personally, I’m facing finding a more suitable home for my family, recovering financially after my husband was unemployed for five months last year, dealing with a recent diagnosis of adenomyosis (first time I’m disclosing those two facts publicly), deciding on an educational path for the kids, and strengthening my marriage after four years of survival mode with twins. These fears and concerns didn’t disappear at the stroke of midnight.

I’m not suggesting that I live in constant fear, but these issues have been a bit paralyzing recently. Instead of letting these fears continue to fester and frighten me, I’m facing them head on in 2017. Fear is incredibly powerful – I’m going to harness the energy and channel it, letting it propel me forward. My actions and decisions will be motivated by, but not made in, fear. I’m going to light a match (or two, or three) and set my fears on fire. So let the internal inferno begin, and hopefully the flames will light the way to a brighter future. I can already feel a difference – just changing my mindset has boosted my courage and lit a fire. Burn, baby, burn. Do you have fears you’d like to set ablaze, or a new mantra to share?

giving tuesday

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Today I’m sharing some links to my favorite charities and organizations, in the spirit of Giving Tuesday. Entering it’s fifth year, this is a global day of giving, fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. I love this movement, and believe in it’s power – please help spread the word! As promised in this post, some of these links are in support of those who need help now more than ever post-election, and some are just long-time favorites. And of course, money is only one way to be charitable – I highly recommend this charitable giving primer, rich with ideas, suggestions and links. Please share your favorite ways to give, or specific nonprofits in the comments below…I would love for this to be an ongoing resource.

in no specific order:

The New York Times | Center for Constitutional RightsPlanned Parenthood | The Center for Reproductive Rights | The National Resources Defense Council | The International Refugee Assistance Project | The NAACP Legal Defense Fund | The Trevor Project for LGBTQ youth | The Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund | ASPSCA | Wounded Warrior Project | Heifer International | International Rescue Commitee | Red Cross | Children International |

it’s not enough.

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My husband took this photo of my daughter and I, both very purposefully wearing white, right before heading to the polls to vote for the first female Presidential candidate. I am very aware that sentence alone speaks volumes about how far women have come in history. It’s not enough. Despite always being a feminist, I never truly understood or embraced it’s importance–until now. My heart is broken for my daughter, for women worldwide, and for our country as a whole. I went to bed crying on Tuesday, and woke up crying on Wednesday, feeling dread and uncertainty of how to explain the election results to my children. A strong percentage of America voted for a racist, xenophobic, misogynist. That can’t be sugarcoated. Let me be clear – this isn’t about our candidate losing – it’s about hate winning. This is so much bigger than politics. It’s about humanity. My tears have dried, I’m angry, and I’m taking action, starting…now.

Fighting for justice and freedom is in my blood. My father dedicated twenty years of his life to serving our great country, as did many other men – and women – in my family tree. Without their bravery I wouldn’t be writing this post. I’ve always gotten the feeling that my father wished I would have followed in his footsteps, and served. Well, your wish has finally been granted Dad, because I’m joining the ranks. I will fight with words, I will fight with love, but I will fight. I’ve always been an activist – ever since first grade, when I wrote, directed, and starred in a play about Martin Luther King, Jr. and his accomplishments (I insisted on playing the role of Coretta Scott King). I’ve actively stood up for what is right many times in my life, but unfortunately, I feel like I’ve never done enough. That feeling ends here.

In addition to the battles I will fight, I will raise children who refuse to tolerate anything less than equality and freedom, for ALL. I will raise a daughter who knows she is enough, that she is worthy, and I will be her voice until hers can be heard loud enough. The battle cries of women, and men, who demand better for our country, and for our children, can be heard loud and clear now. Thank you, Mr. Trump, for turning up the volume. I’ll conclude with a quote from an inspirational woman, Chimananda Ngozi Adichie – “Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change; but in addition to being angry, I’m also hopeful. Because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to make and remake themselves for the better.” It’s not enough that we’re broken hearted. It’s not enough that we’re angry. I am pledging to do more, to be more…until it IS enough. If you’re with me, let me know below. Community has never been more important.