Thursday, June 30, 2011

So...when am I supposed to get divorced?

As some of you have probably heard, New York just became the 7th state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

One of the republican senators who voted in favor of the proposal explained that, while he was raised Catholic and believed that same-sex marriage was wrong biblically, he did not see any reason why it should be prohibited legally.

This is something I can completely agree with.  There are lots of things that I don't do because I'm a Christian.  However, I don't feel it's my right, in a country that was supposed to have been founded on freedom of religion and separation of church and state, to impose my beliefs on non-believers via legislation.

So, for me at least, that knocks out one of the major arguments that opponents of gay marriage use.  However, that still leaves the other big argument, one I've always found amusing...

Allowing gays and lesbians to marry will destroy the sanctity of marriage and lead to an increase in divorce!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

These were real people.

I've gotten to the part of my Bible reading where you start getting into all those little short New Testament books, like Titus and Philemon.  There are many little chapters and verses which have some standalone recognition in that part of the Bible.  (There are probably a few thousand women's Bible studies on Titus 2, alone.)  But there was a few simple little verse at the end of II Timothy, in chapter 4, that caught my attention:

13The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.

The beautiful simplicity of this verse struck me for the first time with the fact that Paul was a real man, who lived and walked on the earth, and this is the actual words he wrote to his fellow believers.  In between all the beautiful poetry and doctrine of the scriptures, is a guy asking his friends to bring some of his stuff with them when they come to see him.  (And as a fellow lover of the written word, I can greatly relate to his urging, "especially the parchments".)

This would be like if, a thousand years from now, Christians studying our church in this age were reading the e-mails our LifeGroup sends out to each other.  "Please pray for X's job interview, and will the Y family still be able to provide dinner next week?"

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Toddlers anthropomorphize everything.

Editor's Note:  This post was written on Saturday, detailing events of that day.  It was originally scheduled to be posted yesterday, but unforeseen events delayed its posting until today.

Went with my hubby, son, and my dad (my son's "Papa") out to dinner tonight.  There's a place near our neighborhood that's like a slightly more family-friendly, large sports bar.  (If you've ever been to Playmakers, picture that, but with better lighting and high chairs.)

Now, my son, by virtue of being 23 months old, is sometimes difficult to take to restaurants.  This was made worse by a ridiculous wait time.  (I know restaurants are busy on Saturday nights.  I only call it ridiculous because of the larger parties that were sat before us...at a place that supposedly doesn't take call-ahead seating.)

But, all throughout the wait, my son was very sweet, and in a great mood.  Then we got to our table and got settled in.

And I do mean "settled in".  Our waitress was really, really bad.  On the rare occasions when we saw her, she was very friendly.  Too friendly.  As in, "Hey lady, if you stopped rambling about your nephew, you could have my kid's milk here by now."  We went for a long stretch without drinks, and by the time she finally came back, we just ordered everything, appetizers, entrees, next round of drinks, at once, to cut down on our wait time.

Then, my son saw the balloon.  The poor, sad, lone yellow balloon, floating up at the ceiling near our table.  He started crying and stretching his hands out towards it.  "Bloon!  Bloon!"

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Letter to a grieving loved one.

I'm not going to try to say anything to make it better.  There is nothing I can say that can make it better.  There is nothing anyone can say that will make it better.

That doesn't mean people won't try.  People are going to tell you some trite, meaningless, and downright dumb things in an attempt to console you.  Try to forgive them for this, and understand that they feel the need to fill the air with words because, in the silence, is the crushing truth that nothing but time can heal this.

I know you're in pain, that you're grieving.  I want you to know that there is no one right way to grieve.  However you are grieving, that is the right way for you.  If you need to lie in bed and cry for days, then you should do that.  If you would rather to go out with your friends and try to take your mind off things, that's fine, too.  It doesn't matter how other people think you should respond.  Whatever helps you right now, that is the right thing to do.

Though it may be hard to believe now, soon, probably sooner than you think, there will be a moment where you feel happy.  You may be surprised to find that you can feel this way so soon, and will probably even feel guilty.  That's okay.

It's also okay to be a little angry with God, and hurt, and confused.  It's unfair, and you have a right to feel anger at the injustice of it.  Though He may feel far away right now, God feels your hurt, and grieves with you.

Know that the people who care about you are grieving with you right now, too.  We may be keeping our distance because we're afraid of saying the wrong thing, or feel like you probably don't want to be around a lot of people right now.  But we hope you know that if you need anything at all, even if it seems silly or unimportant, we are here for you.

I love you very much, and I am in constant prayer for you.  If there is anything you need from me, I'm here.

Friday, June 24, 2011

What a long, strange trip it's been...

This officially marks 8PP's 200th post!  It's crazy to think of all the varied, bizarre topics that have been covered in this blog.

Like...identifying a gay toddler...

...and anthropomorphized cartoon tumors.

In March, I covered disgusting things people do with their placenta...

...But in April, I switched it up with an appeal to my fellow Christians to stop acting like jerks in front of nonbelievers.

I became obsessed with couponing last month and started blogging more openly about mine and my husband's difficulties conceiving a second child.

And at some point this month, I just got really sarcastic.

So thanks for sticking with me this past half a year or so, and reading my rambling rants on everything from politics to bad doctors to why IT IS SERIOUSLY PERFECTLY FINE IF MY SON WANTS HIS TOENAILS PAINTED.

And if you feel like celebrating, may I recommend a hilarious t-shirt, or maybe mug, from the 8PP Store?  All proceeds go to a good cause, namely, paying off my ridiculous stack of medical bills.

As always, thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Oversimplifying the Book of Job

The book of Job is fascinating to me because there's very little in the way of story and a whole lot in the way of theological arguments.  Proving that people have been missing the point for millenia.

Let me summarize the story part:

Job is an awesome guy with lots going for him.  Rich, righteous, and with 10 kids who all get along (evidenced by the fact that they often meet at each others' places for dinner).

God and the Devil are having a chat.  They do that in this book.

God says, "Look at how awesome my servant Job is."  He was rubbing it in the Devil's face a little.

The Devil counters that Job's only a good guy because he has so much going for him.  He asks God to let him make things tough on Job, and God agrees, with the stipulation that the Devil can't hurt him personally.

The Devil takes away all of Job's wealth and kills all 10 of his kids at once.  Job still praises God.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Walgreen's Brand Health & Wellness Products

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Walgreens for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

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It's been 6 weeks already?

Apparently it's already been 6 weeks since I joined the gallon-donor club, because I'm scheduled to give blood again.  Wednesday morning post will be absent and/or delayed.

Don't forget to call 1-800-RED-CROSS to schedule your blood donation!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Christian Confessions: I don't know how to pray big.

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give to those who ask him!”  ~  Luke 11:11-13

Being a person who likes to pretend she's in charge of her own destiny means that I sometimes suffer unexpected consequences for my pride.  My tendency to want to rely on myself results in an inability to trust God.

Let's face it.  Flawed and arrogant as I am, even I realize that there are certain things I have to leave up to Him.  Those are the things that I pray about.

But, because I am so used to trying to do it all myself, I never manage to pray big.  I ask God for minor things, for lucky breaks, for concessions, I try to bargain.  Poor as I am on my own, I always have this urge to try to offer God something in return for my request being granted.

I was thinking of this when I was teaching the story of Daniel in the lions' den to my preschool kids the other day.  I thought to myself, "Though it seemed impossible, Daniel prayed to God to save him.  I'd be the one praying to God to make it not hurt too much when the lions crunched on my bones."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Adaptation is my primary survival skill.

After having the prior week off, I was so happy to get to spend time with my children's church preschoolers again this Sunday.  I was especially excited when I saw the lesson plan:  Daniel in the lions' den.

When trying to keep the attentions of multiple 2 to 5-year-olds, stories involving animals are a big help.  Especially fun and/or scary animals like lions.  (Little kids love roaring and growling.  Of course, so do I.)

I asked one of the other volunteers if she would be comfortable reading the part of Daniel for me.  She admitted she hadn't read the lesson, but reluctantly agreed.  So far, so good.

Waiting for class to start, I was very excited to see some kids who hadn't come in a while, some real sweethearts I'd been missing.  We even had extra volunteers, including two older-kid assistants.  Still so far, so good.

We played with toys for a while, then it was time to clean-up and listen to our Bible story.  That was when I realized the problem.

No lesson materials.  No props, no game materials, no stickers.

And no coloring sheets.

Friday, June 17, 2011

My kid is David Abernathy

Remember that Cars.com spot from a couple of years back?  It was a voiceover describing the early life of David Abernathy, "the most confident man in the world".  It described him shaking his doctor's hand at birth, in junior high, asking out the most popular 8th-grade girl with just a note that said "Call me", and various other exploits, like successfully performing open-heart surgery on a collapsed opera patron.

Well, my kid is kind of like that.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Father's Day is in 3 days! Crap!

So, long story short, I have no idea what to get my dad OR my husband for Father's Day.  My husband will probably be relatively easy.  Cook him breakfast in bed and help my son do some sort of art project for him.  Maybe go out for a nice lunch somewhere.

My dad is a bit more difficult.  It's not that he's a difficult person to give presents to...not in the least.  He's almost too easy.  Everything makes him happy.

And, he's on a bit of a health kick, so I can't just make him a cake like I did for my moms on Mother's Day.

Okay...I admit it.  I also can't summon up the will to do any more baking, especially if I'm going to already be cooking for my husband.  Cooking is hard, and I'm not very good at it.

So, what can I get my dad?  He already has three daughters and four grandkids.  That's seven people who all take after him in some way.  After awhile, isn't genetic immortality a gift in and of itself?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Cute

I know posts have been short and less frequent lately.  I've not been feeling well, and I've just been exhausted.  Really and truly wiped out.  But, since I like to keep a connection with my (dozen or so) readers, here's the quick rundown of my last few days:

The Good.  I had an awesome birthday, and my family spoiled me rotten.  I got some really nice clothes for work, some new books (some of which I've already finished), and a "Glee Presents:  The Warblers" cd which, between my husband and I, has already been played almost to death.  (One of the songs is Darren Criss singing "Do You Think I'm Sexy?", the answer to which should be obvious.  Why, yes Blaine, yes I do.)

Monday, June 13, 2011

My plea to Forever21: Either leave Rachel Kane alone, or get the Bible verses off your shopping bags.

As you may have noticed on this site before, I really hate hypocrisyJump-up-and-down and hate it.

So, for those of you who follow the events of the blogosphere, it should come as no surprise that the most recent group to draw my ire is Forever21.

Yes, Forever21, the cheap and trendy clothes store.  They're mostly known for selling flimsy clothes at rock-bottom prices, normally in styles they ripped off from smaller, lesser-known designers.

Some of their clothes are cute, some are hideous, and some are perfect for child prostitutes in-training.

Oh, and they print John 3:16 on the bottom of all their shopping bags.  Because they're a Christian company.

Friday, June 10, 2011

It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to.

As an early birthday present to myself, and in honor of how depressed I am to be turning 26 on Sunday, I'm just going to vent about a couple of things that have made me really mad in the last couple of days.

I saw an absolutely horrible case of "parenting fail" live last night.  I was coming back from grocery shopping, driving into my neighborhood around 10:30.  (I shop late because it's too difficult to take my son with me, but I don't want to leave him and miss time with him when he's awake.)

Now, my subdivision has this beautiful, ginormous gazebo with an elaborate fountain in the traffic circle near our clubhouse/pool/gym/main entrance.  It is tall, too; if you fell off the top edge of the fountain, it's a good three-foot drop to the next tier, and even farther than that to the ground.

Which is why I was surprised to see four kids in bathing suits playing in it, jumping around on the wall.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Accidental versus Intentional

Because I'm a masochist, I often find myself watching that stupid MTV show, "16 & Pregnant".  I'm always amazed at the stories of "accidental" pregnancy, which normally translate to "my boyfriend is too cheap and lazy to buy condoms".

A pregnant friend of mine was telling me about a patient who goes to the same obstetrician as her.  Though pregnant, the girl is so young that she has to bring her mom with her to sign all her medical forms.

It's just baffling to me because I know so many women who want to get pregnant and can't, but these young girls don't (at least they say they don't) want to get pregnant, and they seem to do so SO easily.

Look at the contradictory advice for preventing and achieving pregnancy:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

8PP's Guide to Lazy Fashion

As I've mentioned before, I've been someone distressed by my apparent (to me) increasing rate of hair loss.

Since I was tired of wearing my hair in a bun every day, and since it's been almost 2 years since I've had one, I went and got my hair cut yesterday, into a style that stylists call an "inverted bob".  Since it's short in the back and long in front, I call it a "reverse mullet".

It only took me about 50 minutes in the chair and 50,000 assurances to the stylist that, yes, I knew it was going to be very short, it's fine if she wanted to use the clippers, I've had it this short before, no, I'm not going to sue you if you chop all my hair off.

Because I had a coupon, my haircut was only $10.  (I tipped an extra $5.)

Afterwards I dyed it bright red again because, hey, with coupons I can get L'Oreal Feria (the most awesome, well-conditioning brand of color out there) for five bucks.

So, hair-wise at least, I look a bit like Rihanna in the picture above.  Just with blue eyes.  And a lot less make-up.  And melanin.

The best part?  With these trendy little short styles, especially with an unnatural color, it looks like I'm putting all this thought and effort into my appearance, when actually, I just run pomade through it in the morning and then drive to work with my windows down.  It's really hard for most people to tell the difference between "messily stylish" and "just messy".

I also like to pretend that my clothes aren't "things-I've-held-onto-since-middle-school" but "vintage".

Now I just need a good excuse for why my fingernails always look like crap.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How to be a better Christian (than everyone else)

Being a good Christian is hard.  You're supposed to read your Bible, and pray, and probably some other stuff, too.  And all those things take time away from the most important part of being a Christian . . . impressing other people with how good a Christian you are.

Fortunately, like all Americans, God loves a shortcut.  That's why there's a super-easy way to look like a great man or woman of God:  Make everyone else look really bad.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer Sales through Printfection

Big sale in the 8PP Store through this Saturday.  Will be working on some new designs, so come check it out!

Coupon Code: DogDays

Discount: $5 off any order!

Coupon Code: Summertime
Discount: $10 off subtotal of $50+

Coupon Code: HotSeason
Discount: $35 off subtotal of $100+

And, as always, customization free upon request.

Counting my blessings...

I was all geared-up to be in a crappy mood today.  It's Monday, and the last requisition day before we close the fiscal year.  (It just means I'm really busy.)  Now that my pool has opened, I've been spending a lot of time in the water.  The movement and buoyancy is supposed to be a low-impact way to help add flexibility and strength when you're dealing with adhesions.  It must be working, because since I've started swimming this summer, I've been in pain almost non-stop.  (Also, I'm sunburnt.)

Last night I was feeling bad enough to take a Naproxen (and to regret that I haven't refilled my Flexeril or Vicodin scrips).  And I'm one of those for unfortunate insomniacs for whom things like painkillers and alcohol have the opposite effect, and actually keep me awake worse than I would normally be.  So, instead of sleeping last night, I drifted between consciousness and painfully vivid dreams involving hordes of cockroaches, being 6 hours late for work, and being a pirate on the Black Pearl (and, just like, some random pirate, and not Capt. Jack Sparrow's girlfriend or anything).

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cryo-Cell Cord Blood Banking

This post brought to you by CryoCell International. All opinions are 100% mine.

Okay, so you know how I love covering controversial and divisive topics in a casual manner?  Well, today the topic of debate is stem cell research.  As you know, many of the stem cells used in research come from aborted fetal tissue.  However, there are alternative sources.

Such as umbilical cord blood.  In addition to their traditional business, cord blood banking,  Cryo-Cell is assisting in research to find means of preserving stem cells without resorting to unethical means.

Also, for a limited time, mommies-to-be who sign-up with Cryo-Cell Cord Bank can receive a free jogging stroller.

To recap, here are the reasons for ALL you preggers ladies to check out Cryo-Cell:
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3.  A free Baby Jogger City Mini stroller.

The free stroller is a limited-time offer, so enroll today.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Books of the Bible I want to see made into big-budget movies: Nehemiah

I was scheduled last week in my Bible reading to read the Book of Nehemiah.  It's a relatively short book (4 chapters, if I remember correctly), and a relatively simple story:

- Nehemiah hears that Jerusalem's gates and walls have been destroyed.
- Nehemiah takes off work (as the king's cupbearer) to help his brethren rebuild.
- They are successful.

But if you dig deeper, there's a lot more to the story than that.  The Israelites face opposition, and band together as a community to fight it.  It's like "Remember the Titans", but with masonry instead of football.

There's even a part where Nehemiah sets out on his journey home only to have to turn around and find another route, because the animal (probably a donkey) he was riding couldn't pass through.  That could be a comedy scene.

Now, for this movie, you'd need a strong male lead for Nehemiah, someone who can play an outcast-turned-leader, but with charm, and humor.  My personal vote would be for Nathan Fillion, a.k.a. "Captain Malcolm Reynolds".

But I know these Hollywood types, and they'll probably want Matthew McConaughey.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My percentages are improving. Also, I like cereal.

12 cans of cat food
2 canisters of air freshener (presumably, for after the cats eat the cat food)
4 pounds of sugar
2 big squeeze containers of Smuckers strawberry jelly
1 big container Hawaiian Punch (for a "graduation" party at my son's preschool)
4 large cans of Ragu pasta sauce
2 boxes of Raisin Bran
2 boxes of Frosted Flakes
6 boxes of Raisin Bran Crunch
2 cans of Axe Body Spray (I hate the way it smells, but my husband pointed out that I hate the smell of the chicken farm where he works worse.)
5 bars of deodorant
2 gallons of SunnyD

32 items total.

Total Price before discounts:  $140.03
Store promotions and loyalty card discounts:  ($40.45)
Savings from coupons:  ($52.78)
I paid:  $46.80
Total savings:  $93.23 or 67%

I just got my groceries for 1/3 of the price.  And my husband has forbidden me from buying any more cereal until I can find somewhere to store it.

(I'm thinking, the attic.)

Not exactly the look I was going for...

A few years ago, when my husband and I were newlyweds, I worked for a bit at a tropical fish store.  I was good at my job, and enjoyed it, but one of the biggest hassles was keeping my almost waist-length hair out of the tanks.  It was so thick that binding it up tight, like in a bun, was just about impossible (at least without snapping a few hair ties in the process).  I most commonly resorted to either braiding it, or tying it back in a ponytail, with hair ties segmenting it every few inches down, to keep it manageable.

My husband, at the time, also had awesomely long hair, but his is naturally curly and highlighted, so he always looked like an '80s rock-god type.  We made the decision for both of us to cut off our hair and donate it to Locks for Love (a charity that uses donated hair to make wigs for cancer patients).

For a long time, I loved my spiky short haircut.  Because my hair was so thick, I could keep it chin-length in front, buzzed short in back, and just run mousse through it in the morning.

My husband, too, looked very handsome with his new, more mature hairstyle.  We figured we'd both just keep growing our hair back out to donate again.

And his hair looks great.  It's a little bit shorter than shoulder-length now, all curly and highlighted, and makes him look like a surfer or something.

As for mine, well, I'm kind of wanting my Locks for Love donation back.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Testimony Envy

This week, my church kicked off a new series, titled "Missionary".  It's about reaching people for Jesus, not just as pastor or somewhere in a 3rd-world country, but in your own town, in your everyday life.

So at LifeGroup (a kind of large, social, Bible study) last night we talked about testimony, and a few people got the chance to share their stories.

Well, growing up in the South, it's not uncommon for someone's story to be, "I grew up in the church and have believed in Jesus my entire life."  Except for some wild times for a few years in college, that's basically my story.

And, like so many others who grew up in the church, I at times suffer from "testimony envy".