First up, I went to see Donald Trump in Cleveland. Beth and I got last minute credentials for the final evening of the Republican National Committee's Convention and decided to make the trip. Wednesday night I left Paducah late hoping to arrive at Beth's house in Cincinnati by 9pm and then wake up early to drive the rest of the way to Cleveland.
As I recently shared I've become incredibly interested in the Enneagram Personality Types, there are lots of ways to figure out your Enneagram from short quizzes to books to hiring Enneagram coaches.
However, this week I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts - The Lively Show - and the host Jess Lively was interviewing Leigh Kramer, an Enneagram expert. Leigh was listing the basic types and the healing attitudes that are helpful for each type. Much of what she was sharing I'd heard before but when she shared the healing attitudes it really connected me.
As in, she read the healing attitudes for my number and I started to cry.
I've come around on watches. For a long time, I thought I didn't need one. Then, I found a watch I loved and decided I needed ONE good watch. Then, I branched out even further and found watches can serve all types of functions from productivity to style.
Even once I started wearing stylish watches, it took me far too long to figure out that I couldn't just like the way the watch looked I had to like the way the watch felt.
Enter JORD Wood Watches.
JORD reached out for collaboration I was immediately excited. First, the watches are gorgeous. Even more important than that, it's HOT and something about a wooden watch seemed preferable to metal in the heat of a Kentucky summer.
I was right. This watch is gorgeous and lightweight and just feels like it breathes.
I also really like the size of the women's watch which feels stylish but not clunky. They also have men's watches if you're still without a Father's Day present!
JORD Wood Watches provided me with a watch in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.
I don't feel mad. I don't feel shocked. The numbers don't even affect me anymore 3, 16, 32, 50.
The numbers increase. Nothing changes.
I consider myself an optimistic person. I consider myself a hopeful person. I give people the benefit of the doubt. I find the lessons to be learned. I count two steps forward and one step back as a success.
But I was 16 when I experienced gun violence firsthand and now every year brings another tragedy. Columbine. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook. Now a new deadliest shooting in American history. Orlando.
I feel helpless - even worse - I feel hopeless.
I have to believe we care. I have to believe we want better but nothing ever changes and I'm beginning to believe nothing ever will.
Let me ask you this. What have swimsuits ever done for you?
You know what they've done for me? A hot mess of nothing. Even the best ones are ill-fitting, expensive, and downright uncomfortable.
So, you know what?
I'm through. Swimsuits and I are parting ways. A few years ago I adopted a rashguard and it was LIFE. CHANGING. Do you know how much mental energy I spent preventing (often unsuccessfully) sunburns? A lot. Getting the right sunscreen. Applying the right amount of sunscreen. Wearing the sunscreen for the right amount of time. RE-applying sunscreen. Constantly seeking out shade no matter how much sunscreen I had on.
Let's not even talk about the new study that says many sunscreens are a downright lie.
Often, it was all for naught anyway.
There is no sunscreen on God's green earth that can keep me protected in the water for longer than about 15 minutes so snorkeling, swim lessons, or just plain old enjoying the pool were out.
Add in keeping my three children protected and FORGET IT.
Throwing a rashguard on my kids was amazing and it took me far too long to realize that I could wear one as well.
Still, there were my legs to worry about. I would often just throw a beach towel over my legs if shade couldn't be found but that's hot and uncomfortable.
Speaking of uncomfortable, wearing basically underwear (even if it has a cute skirt) while trying to keep up with three boys is a fool's errand. Add sand in any form or getting in and out boats and let's just say I was constantly pulling and tugging and making sure everything was in its proper place.
ALSO, not to put too fine of a point on it, I am about to turn 35 years old and I am never going to get another bikini wax as long as I live.
Because I am a grown-ass woman and if that means anything it should mean being able to opt out of someone pouring hot wax on the most sensitive part of your body.
So, I have purchased myself a pair of swim leggings. They are adorable. They are lightweight and comfortable. Paired with one of my rashguards they offer coverage and comfort and sun protection for as long as I want to be outside.
I am IN LOVE and I am through with swimsuits forever.
This is what it looks like outside my house right now. It's raining cats and dogs which isn't exactly prime DIY weather. See that playground in the background being soaked to the core? It really needs to be restained but between waiting for it to be completely dry and then remain completely dry for 16 hours afterwards... well, there's a reason it's never getting done.
Last night, I laid in my hotel room and cried. I let Donald Trump’s ugly words wash over me and the stress I’ve been feeling for months as this race stretches on and on and I cried.
I cried for every friend I’ve had tearfully confess that she had a secret and then share the heart-wrenching details of her sexual assault. I cried over the fear I’ve felt every time I’ve had a man yell sexually explicit things at me on the street. I cried for the people I know – people I believe to be well-meaning good people – who defended Trump’s words and used words like “boys will be boys” and “that’s how it is.”
I cried for Daisy and Audrie, whose stories I had watched a few nights before. I cried for every girl and woman out there witnessing this national discussion and having their own wounds re-opened and exposed.
I cried for my boys. I cried because being their mother can seem like such a daunting task sometimes that I wonder if I have the strength.
You see I realized something as I watched people defend this man’s vile heinous language. I realized why I had been passionately fighting with my own family about rape culture over the past few months.
Because when you say “boys will be boys”, you mean my boys.
You’re implying there is something dark and carnal lurking deep inside my little boys. The ones I cuddle and hold tight. The ones who hold my heart in their grubby little hands as they run and jump and smile wildly up at me. “I love you, Mommy.”
You’re saying that they will grow up and become men and become capable of taking something that does not belong to them, of breaking it, of destroying it.
I am capable of accepting a lot of things about motherhood. I am capable of facing the vulnerability inherent in this endeavor. I can face the lack of control. I can face the frustration and the bittersweet grief. I can even face the inherent risk of losing them forever.
But I cannot and will not accept that deep in their core lurks a rapist.
Of course, there is another underlying presumption when people say “boys will be boys” – when you blame the victim for the fact that she was drinking or flirting or being sexual.
It’s that the boys aren’t dark and sinister for taking because you can’t take what already belongs to you.
I’ve seen it a million times in men who look at me and comment on how I look or how I walk or how I act. You can hear it dripping in every word Donald Trump says on that tape.
You are here for my enjoyment. You have no value outside of what I assign to you.
I laid in my bed and wept because these are the impossible choices available to me as a mother of three young boys in 2016. Believe that my children are capable of rape based solely on their sex OR believe that I have no value because of mine.
There is something dark and cruel lurking deep within but it's not deep within my boys. It's deep within all of us if we continue to support a culture that assumes men are driven to terrible things because they are men or that women deserve terrible things because they are women.
Culture always wins, but culture can change.
We can change.