I Got Married!

In lieu of writing and posting anything since October, I have been busy planning a wedding. I’ll save my elope-you-fools-don’t-fall-into-the-wedding-trap rant blog for another time, since I’m writing to celebrate and share some pics.

Quick recap of the day: best day of my life! I spent most of it trying not to cry, which is probably why I am not smiling in 80% of the candid pictures of me during the ceremony. I knew if I lost it, I’d never get it back, so I had to keep myself together. It feels like a total dream looking back at these pictures. I got to finally marry the best life-partner and husband a girl could ask for, have all of my family and friends in one place, and then dance and party and have a heck of a good time. I have never felt so loved and humbled. I’m so thankful for all the people that came and shared the day with us that I can’t thank them all, plus it’s not like I won an Oscar so I’m going to keep this short, but S/O to Cree who put literally everything back together after it poured sheets and buckets of rain 30 minutes before go-time. And Emily. And Griffin. And Matt. And everyone else. I JUST LOVE EVERYBODY, YOU GUYS!

We were praying about when to get married for months, and then in October, we knew God wanted us to get married this summer. It was crystal clear. But we were terrified: it was way sooner than we had ever thought — we were planning a wedding 2 months before we got engaged in December. Everything was rushed. Looking back, I couldn’t be more glad that we got married when we did. People say that when you make plans, God laughs. It’s true, but here’s something even more true: His timing was so perfect.

My beautiful and wonderful friend Abby Caldwell captured these amazing pictures that will thankfully last longer than my recollection of the day. There are lots, so if you want the whole bunch, the link is here and the password is whippleworld. (Photobooth pictures are also online and HILARIOUS and the password is paige.) Below are just a few of my faves. I hope you find yourself in these and look back on the day as happily as I do. XOXO!

“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame.”
Song of Solomon 8:6

 

As if that wasn’t enough, we also had our crazy-talented friend Coty Nix on hand to capture some of the day, which included Abby singing during the ceremony (did I mention that she’s wonder woman?) Some of his pics are below, and they are amazeballs. I’m so thankful for him! Coty, you rock.

Rageaholics, Vulgar Language, and the 2016 Election

My drive to work takes anywhere between 55 minutes and an hour and a half.

Today on my way home, I was changing lanes, so I checked my mirror and there was a Mustang about 4 car lengths behind me in the other lane. As I turned on my blinker, I heard the motor rev up and by the time I was halfway into the lane, he was right on my you-know-what. I thought “man, what a jerk.” He laid on the horn, flipped me off, and started screaming and yelling. Then I thought, “honey, you need to calm down because you look like a fool.”

But hey, I get it. The drive gets tedious and DC drivers totally suck. I lose my patience more than I should on the roads — however, I have flipped off maybe 2 people in my entire life, and usually don’t get pissed when I’m the one that was driving like maniac. But whatever!

Probably 2 or 3 minutes later, I turned left at the light, with the Mustang still behind me. Once through the light, he got into the leftmost lane and stopped next to my car. (I was stopped at a second light, because, route 29.) He rolled his window down and screamed at me something like: learn how to drive, “you stupid f***ing c***!” and shook his fist at me. I honest to god thought he was going to get out of the car. He then sped off, cutting off another car and nearly slamming into the one in front of him.

Once it sunk in what had just happened, I thought I should get the license plate number and call the cops, because, hello psycho, but I only got 3 of the numbers. (If you know any chubby rageaholics with crazy strawberry blonde hair and a Mustang who drive on 16th street to Colesville Rd. at 5:30 in the afternoon, let me know.)

I was in shock that someone could get so angry over something that 1. was their fault and 2. was such a non-issue. I didn’t almost hit him. Maybe he almost hit me, IDK, but again, his fault. Siri texted Rick and told him what happened, so he called and made sure I was okay. And asked whose ass he needed to kick, but I recounted the too-slow-to-get-the-license incident to a disappointed sigh. Once I hung up the phone, I knew I was about to cry.

As I was sitting in my car crying, I couldn’t figure out why I was moved to tears. It wasn’t because some delusional stranger called me a bad name. It wasn’t even because I thought that delusional stranger may get out of his car and physically assault me. It was because I had this pit in my stomach and a voice in my head saying “that’s not fair.”

It’s the same feeling I got when Casey Anthony wasn’t found guilty of killing her kid. It’s the same feeling I got when Greg Hardy beat the daylights out of his girlfriend and threatened to kill her, but only got suspended for four games. Of football. It’s the same feeling I got when Brock Turner raped a woman behind a dumpster but was told that he shouldn’t have to pay “such a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life”– and that “steep price” was only 3 months in prison.

 
And while I was inwardly embarrassed to be crying over something so stupid, I realized that my tears were over something so much bigger than this jerk-face. I realized that my tears were over someone with so much anger and hatred acting in such a despicable way and not facing any consequences for it. But yet that that is the society in which we live. People can treat other people like dirt and not pay any consequences for it.

That’s the reason why there’s some bad cops out there, that’s the reason why people are killing innocent cops, and that’s the reason why there are shootings out the wazoo and bad news all over the place. So what’s my point? That we live in a broken world where bad guys get away with doing bad things and there’s nothing we can do about it? Kindof. Actually, yes, but there’s more.

It’s also this. I wouldn’t give that guy in the Mustang any kind of power. I wouldn’t let him adopt a child, I wouldn’t let him become a cop, and I surely wouldn’t let him become President of the United States.

WOAH, YA’LL. THAT GOT REAL INTENSE REAL FAST. Hear me out.

 
I am not saying that Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton was the guy in the Mustang. Although, you never know, they may get access to some really amazing prosthetic face makeup. What I am saying is this. Let’s beware of people in power who have done some pretty messed up things and not faced any repercussions. Let’s think about the way they treat and talk about people: male, female, black, white, gay, straight, Asian, Muslim, Christian, whatever.

And let’s think twice before voting for someone– whoever that person may be to you– because they are the “lesser of two evils.” By definition, that means you’re still voting for someone evil. And think deeply before you do that. One day, will you be proud to tell your kids that you voted for Trump? Will you be proud to tell your kids that you voted for Clinton?

It’s not an easy spot to be in. I’ve been struggling with this election and my moral compass for months. I’m a registered Independent, because I think both parties are just full of fools and I couldn’t bring myself to align with either of them, but I’ll show you my cards here. I was all aboard the Bernie Sanders train.

ANOTHER INTENSE BLOW. You just have to stick with me.

 
Why was I on the train of a totally crazy 95 year old dude with some insane ideas of how to run a country? The answer is pretty simple, and here it is. I felt like he treated every human being with respect. His ideas on policy to help the poor were totally wacko, but at least he genuinely gives a crap about the poor! Again, this is my opinion. (If you don’t want it, re-read the name of this webpage and ask yourself why you’re on it if you don’t want to hear my opinion.)

I totally disagreed with almost all of Bernie’s policies and ideas, but I could buy into him on a human level. I could see good intentions behind the same ideas that I found major problems bernie-sanderswith. I truly felt like Bernie was proposing what he thought was best for every person in this country, whether they were privileged or not, rich or not, educated or not, Catholic/Christian or not, and white or not. That would have bought my vote.

Real talk? I don’t see those good intentions with either of the final two candidates. (If you’d like to further debate my feelings on Bernie, I could talk about it all day, so feel free to comment or email me.) I’m not here to tell you what to do– after all, I’m just a stupid f***ing c***, so who would listen to me anyway?

I read an article on Vox about Christians voting for Trump. It was fabulous and I would encourage everyone to read it, but here’s a snippet if you are worn out from reading this to think about clicking another link.

“While many conservative evangelicals have resigned themselves to Donald Trump as the only choice in this election, a discerning evaluation of his candidacy reveals that we should not support him regardless of how bad a Clinton presidency might be… evangelical Christians would be better served by abstaining from that vote and shifting their energy toward electing people to Congress and local and state governments who have the opportunity to restrain whichever candidate is elected as needed. Our success here will be limited but still far more effective and virtuous than folding to Trump’s coercion and losing our political voice.”

Think about what your values are. REALLY think about it. Don’t vote for someone because you think they’re the lesser of two evils. Maybe if that means not voting, then don’t vote. Your voice matters, but it only matters if you’re using it to vote on something you truly believe in. If you search your soul and, of course, the internet, and find that one of those two candidates is something that you truly believe in, then vote for them.

 
That’s about the end of my epiphany, so big shout out to Mustang guy, I hope I never see you again and I also hope you never procreate.

 

Let’s Hear it for the Boy

I’m proud of my booooyfriend!

So I have big news to share. (I am still not engaged. Good grief, people.) It’s something that I’ve been struggling with how to talk about, so I’ve put it off until the very last minute. It’s also not my news to share, so that’s an added pressure.

Anyway, here it is…drum roll please…

200 (3).gifRick got a job! And not just any job. Rick got a job at the DoD. So look out, he’s going to start listening to your phone conversations. (Just kidding! Actually, I don’t know. Even if he could, but he wouldn’t be able to tell me about it so I’ll never know.) It is an incredible opportunity and I am so proud of him. He applied to this job well over a year ago, in May of last year, and it has finally become reality.

It’s funny how we both ended up in careers where we can’t talk about a lot of what we do. Granted, one of us can’t share Teen Mom spoilers and one of us can’t share United States security spoilers, but hey, we all have different priorities.

 
I can’t talk about most of the details of his job, equally because I don’t know them and if I did, would not be allowed to share them, but I can share a few things.

This position comes with a five year commitment (*brain exploding*) so we will be hanging out in DC for at least a half a decade! It’s a training program, so as I understand it, he’ll be taking courses at the DoD and going back to get his masters over the next 2-3 years and then will be upgraded/promoted/qualified to be a project manager. And he thought he was done school when he graduated in December. Ha!

But the craziest thing of all is that he can’t take his phone to work with him. Eek! When we go to California to visit my cousin and her kids, (who have since moved to Thailand, long story) they want to wake Rick up every morning so they can watch him play Boom Beach for 20 minutes. He has endless apps on his phone. He uses 10 GB of data every month (thank heavens we don’t share a phone plan.) He follows the Orioles and other various sports teams closer than the presidential election. And he can’t take his phone to work with him. *insert laughing/crying emoji here*

It’s going to be super weird not being able to contact him for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, especially since he’s been working part-time since December and has been available whenever I want to buy concert tickets last minute or need him to pick something up from the grocery store on the way home or have to vent about work. But I am looking forward to having real, substantial conversations when we both get home and maybe missing each other a little during the day.

Today is his first day, (told you I waited until the last minute) so he’s at orientation and I have no way of knowing how it’s going. We still don’t know where he’s going to be actually working– it’s all on a very need-to-know basis. After orientation, he’ll get instructions on where to go every day, what time to get there, and what to wear. He’ll have his picture taken today for his security badge (so fancy) so we cut his hair last night and he looked dapper in a suit this morning. He’s so cute.

I’m so proud of him for all the hard work he put in to get this job. One of his references played a voicemail of Rick belting out Taylor Swift’s “22” for the guy doing the background check on him. In other words, it’s a literal miracle that he got this job. *insert another laughing/crying emoji here* He’s waited patiently without hearing anything for months, and he prayed that God would make it clear where he was supposed to be. So I guess he is supposed to be in DC for the next five years.

I’m sorry, but do ya’ll know how long five years is? It is long enough for a child to be born, potty trained, learn how to read, and become a little mini-human. It is longer than high school and it is longer than college (for most people at least). That is a long time. Hi, I can’t even commit to new clothes. I keep the tags on for as long as I can, try them on 6 times, and then decide I’m going to keep them 3 months after purchase. And now my boyfriend/eventual-soon-to-be fiance/husband has locked himself/us into a five year commitment. Barf. I’ll be fine after a ginger ale and some saltines.

 
I totally plan on staying in DC for five years because I am obsessed with my job and my parents’ new puppy, but the fact that now- in theory- I have to gives me anxiety. Anyway, that’s another discussion for another therapy session.

As for Rick’s job, it’s amazing, and I’m beyond happy for him. I’m also happy for myself because this means that in the foreseeable future we can buy a house and it won’t take me an hour and a half to drive to work anymore. Bless the DoD.

Cam Newton: The Man, The Myth, The Loser.

Cam Newton is literally, and figuratively, a loser.

He lost the Super Bowl and then acted like a child in the post-game press conference. I saw a Facebook post defending him today that basically says that he works hard and has drive, and if you don’t understand why he acted that way, you must be an unmotivated bum.

Well, maybe I am, but that’s a ridiculous defense of a grown man. I’ve been so worked up about it all day that I decided I had to write about it, if only for my own sanity.

If you want to talk about hard work, let’s talk about people raising children on minimum wage or single parents shelling out $972 a month for daycare. Cam Newton plays a game for a living and makes more money in one year than most people will see in a lifetime. If he loses the Super Bowl, that is too damn bad: I’m not crying for him.

I could write for days on why treating athletes and celebrities like gods is detrimental to society (and to my soul) but I won’t. I’ll just make this point and be done. (Maybe.) Cam Newton is one of the most privileged men in America. He’s been flying on private jets since he was a freshman in college and he has a platform to reach millions of people via national television every single week. He’s 26 years old and he’s worth $32 million.

The argument that “he’s heartbroken” or “he worked hard and his dream was crushed” is just BS. People’s dreams are crushed every single day, and they don’t mope around about it. 21,000 people literally die of starvation every day! Meanwhile, Cam Newton is sitting in his cushy $2 million apartment crying into his $118.5 million contract because he lost a game. Boohoo.

I understand that he’s heartbroken, disappointed, even pissed off. I would be too. But there is a way to handle yourself, and refusing to actually answer questions then storming off isn’t it.

What are we teaching our kids? The kids that wear his jerseys and scream his name and pretend to be him when they play flag football in the backyard? “Be a good sport and treat everyone with respect. Unless you try really hard and you lose. Then you can be a poor sport.” Or how about “If you win all of your games, you can dance around and talk trash and treat other people like they’re inferior to you.”

I just think it’s pathetic. I think his behavior was embarrassing, and I think defending and excusing him is just as bad, if not worse. And don’t even try to cry wolf that I’m only saying this about him because I’m a Ravens fan: I said the same thing about Manny Machado throwing a baseball bat at Josh Donaldson. (Because WTF, who does that?!)

I’m not saying that he should be smiling and laughing and pretending like he isn’t crushed. I’m saying that even though he is crushed, he should have some class. Giving footballs to kids when you’ve got a 14-0 record doesn’t make you a leader. Losing gracefully does.

Don’t ask for media attention and accolades when you win but not when you lose. It isn’t a one way street. Saying he shouldn’t have to talk to the media after the Super Bowl is like saying the president shouldn’t have to talk to the media after a national disaster. It’s not pretty, it’s not fun, and it’s not enjoyable, but it’s part of the job.

If you don’t want the bad, Cam, you can’t have the good. It’s as simple as that.

#IWroteForMTV

Thank the lord for teen moms!

And not just any teen moms, the Teen Moms. Part of what’s great about my job is that it involves a lot of TV watching, including Teen Mom OG, which I watched long before I started working at The NC. So basically, [part of] my job is to watch awesome TV shows (also in my queue: The Royals, The Bachelor, and Keeping Up With The Kardashians).  I’ve watched almost all the episodes for this season of TMOG already –and my lips are Gorilla-glued shut so don’t even ask for spoilers–
so that I can blog about them. -vSI2uSt

The fun thing about that is that I’m not blogging about them on my blog – wait, sorry, did you think you were going to get a Teen Mom recap on this blog?  I’m blogging about them for the network itself. That’s right, folks, I am blogging for MTV! I’ve written for magazines and online sites before, but no offense to The Towerlight, I think MTV has a few more viewers (LOL). I was incredibly nervous to write the blog posts because, come on, no pressure, right? Right. Continue reading

Thanks, Birth Control.

Let’s get it on!  I’m going to educate you.

Gotta let Kim and Kanye do Kim and Kanye.

Gotta let Kim and Kanye do Kim and Kanye.

That sounds condescending, but seriously. Here are just a few statistics that you should know.

Facts:

  • Only 38% of girls who have a child before they’re 18 graduate from high school.
  • Teen childbearing costs you and all your fellow taxpayers $9 billion per year. Annually. Perennially. $9 billion. Seem like a lot of money to anyone else?
  • 7 out of 10 pregnancies to women in their 20’s are unplanned.

Continue reading

For the Love

For the love of my sanity, I’m writing this blog post.

My lovely Bible study group decided to read For the Love, a new book by Jen Hatmaker, an undiscovered genius and comedienne extraordinaire. I loved the book so incredibly much that I finished it in 3 days. But when she referenced Friday Night Lights on the very first page, I knew we were fellow Dillon Panthers and would get along just fine.

#TexasForever. Continue reading

Employed.

Look out, Barack, there’s a new boss in town.63206140

I got a jooo-ooo-ooob! (Read in Oprah’s singing voice, please.) I have been searching tirelessly for almost 7 months for the perfect job, and I have finally found it. I started searching in December, way before I even graduated, and sent out hundreds of resumes that I’m sure just wound up lost in cyberspace. But as of yesterday, I have hit the employment jackpot. Continue reading

It’s All About Me. Ivanka Trump Says So.

It’s June 14th and I just got around to making New Year’s Resolutions. 2015 Fireworks party - New Year Display!

Technically, I “made” a few resolutions at the start of 2015, but didn’t really write them down or take them particularly seriously. There was so much going on in January: the start of my last semester in college, family was in town, and Rick and I took a trip to Florida. Now that my life has slowed down (somewhat), I finally made a vision board.

I heard once that Ryan Seacrest, Ellen Degeneres, and Oprah all use vision boards to map out and keep in mind their goals for the upcoming year. It’s supposedly a great visual reminder of the things you want to accomplish, whether it be making a certain amount of money, losing a certain amount of weight, trying something new, whatever. Plus, not only are those three of my favorite people, they’re also three of the richest people in the entertainment industry. So it’s safe to say that they’re a good model to look up to. I’ve got nothing to lose except the $5 I spent on posterboard and 5 hours of my life I spent cutting things out of magazines.

Since it’s more than halfway through the year, it was time to finally buckle down and do the vision board. Not that I have a clear vision of where my life is going, but I can scrape together a few hopes for the next few months. Continue reading