Reflecting on 2012 Presidential Election Results

I do my best to keep the politics light as a rule. However, this election in particular has been very dear to my heart. Last election, I voted for Barack Obama, not because I really knew what was going on. Admittedly  I am not the most politically minded person in the world. I didn’t pay attention to the issues, because for the most part, none of them effected me.

 I voted Democrat and that was mostly it. Until 2008 – when Barack Obama was a powerful speaker. He swept up this nation in 2008, with an eloquent voice and stance on hope and change. With Bush’s track record, I was just ready for a change. 
This year, I was more invested in the outcome of this election. This year there were so many issues that were going on that actually affected me. Some people have asked me if I was only supporting Barack Obama because of his stance on marriage equality and gay rights.
Well, of course, if you looked at a pie chart of my life, marriage equality and gay rights would be on the top of my list. I am a lesbian mom who has been with her partner for going on 10 years. Why shouldn’t I be able to share in the same rights as any straight married couple? Why shouldn’t I vote in favor of equality for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, religion, race, or gender? The marriage equality vote was a done deal when Barack Obama removed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” When he stood up for the families like mine and said, “I support you.” I never had a president talk to me – speak about my concerns to plainly. He looked into the camera and said, “I will fight for you.”
I personally look up to Barack Obama and his family. I look up to his marriage. I want my marriage to be as inspiring and loving and committed as his is. He and Michelle really give us a great look at what marriage should look like. Devotion, commitment, and genuine unconditional love. I feel as though my relationship reflects the same values and it makes me so proud to know that our President was fighting for me to be able to share in the same happiness he has with his own wife.
So, yes, marriage equality was the main reason that I got up at 5 AM yesterday and voted for Barack Obama. I won’t say that wasn’t the driving force of my voting motivation.
There were other things that were important to me. Just because I identify as lesbian, doesn’t mean that’s all I am.
I am also a woman. I am also a worker in the healthcare industry. I am also a MOM. I am also a person in debt. I am also a person who would love to go back to college. I am also a woman who believes in opportunities for every one, regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. I am also a working class person. I am also an American.
It also doesn’t mean I can’t stand up for a woman’s right to choose. I stand up for a woman’s right to contraception. I stand up for a woman’s right to decide what to do with her body, in any circumstance.
I deal with people every day who can’t afford their medication. I deal with people every day who are denied coverage on their life saving medications that are now covered by ‘Obamacare’. I personally know people who struggle every day to pay their hospital bills because they have no access to healthcare. I know people who have to decide between their medications and their dinner. The elderly who get screwed by vague statements by insurance companies and loopholes in coverage. So, yes. I support Healthcare for everyone. Yes, I support asking those uninsured to get insurance. It is just like driving a car. You legally have to have insurance.  
I also believe that people from other countries who come here to make something of themselves should be accepted. If they go about it the right way, they shouldn’t be shunned. Why is it, because we had the luck of being born in this country, we are the only people allowed to live here, work here, be accepted here. I thought our country was founded on diversity. We broke away from England to get away from oppression. Everyone always talks about what our country was founded on. Did we forget that we ‘immigrated’ to America? Did we forget that just because in the modern world we are here, we didn’t start out here. We were just like all the immigrants out there. We came in and made something of ourselves in a new land.

I don’t believe that money makes the world go ’round. Yes, money is important, but only because society has made it so. What about love? What about happiness? What about the compassion you should have for another human being? 
I don’t understand how ‘Christians’ can spout about how they love everyone and then shun those who don’t believe what they do. This whole concept of loving thy neighbor has been shoved under the rug. Its not what Jesus would do. I am no longer identified as a Christian woman, but I grew up in a Christian home with a Christian family. However, Christians are acting very Christian lately and thus, I just decided not to be affiliated with that particular label. It doesn’t make me proud anymore.
Since when did politics and religion get all tangled up in one another? They are completely different topics.
Bottom line, 
I am so happy right now that the man who will stand up for my rights was re-elected last night. I am overjoyed that the man who has the backs of women was re-elected last night. I am ecstatic that the man who cares for the uninsured was re-elected last night. I am so overwhelmed by the idea that people of all religions, races, gender, and sexual orientation will be represented again these next four years.
Barack Obama is not the President of the people who supported him. He is the President of the United States of America. Whether you voted for him or not, he is your President and I believe he will stand up for the people of this country as he has done the last four years.
I am so thrilled to say that I had a hand in this historic moment of a second term for Barack Obama. Its inspiring to me. Its a beautiful moment in my own history to watch it unfold. It restores a little of my faith in Americans again. I just wish we could all be united in the United States of America and put politics aside. 
Work for the people not the politics. Let’s heal this country and go at it from the angle of love and compassion and equality.
Congratulations, Mr. President. I stand behind you 100% just as you have stood behind me as a woman, as a lesbian, as a mom, as a human and as an American.
Take Care ❤
Rachael

My trip to Minnesota and a Dancing Cup of Pee

I like to joke that I haven’t been out of state before. I have been in Kansas and once I went to Arkansas for 5 days. I have never been on a plane though. So, when I learned I was going to Minnesota for a business trip, I was happy and nervous at the same time!

Unfortunately, I didn’t pack my camera memory card and when we got to the Mall of America and I bought a new card, I realized I didn’t have the camera with me, it was in the car. Bummer. This is what happens when I am a scatterbrained, not prepared person. So, I have no real pictures of the Mall of America. I do have the rest of my trip in pictures, much like a day in the life of Peyton, but it will be a trip in my life.

Ok, so this is the picture from after the Mall of America. We went to Dick’s Last Resort for lunch and my boss got a nice drink in this coconut head. It was called “Cumoniwannalaya” Fitting for this restaurant  If you don’t know what Dick’s Last Resort is, or you have never been there, I highly recommend going. Its kind of fantastic. The waiter was very good at his job. “Service with Sarcasm” – never heard of it before and I would totally do it again!

I am sure street signs don’t mean anything to anyone else, but I had never really been out of my small little bubble. It was cool to me to see the streets of Minneapolis. I work in a call center and I talk to the people in Minnesota all the time, so recognizing the street name was a pretty awesome experience for me.

Five Guys is one of my most favorite restaurants where we live. However, our Five Guys is a small whole in the wall in a strip mall location compared to this one. I was astonished at the size of this one. I took this picture while the driver of the rental car was in was making a very large …. scary wide left turn.

We ate at Keys Cafe and Bakery for dinner. I am pretty sure I should have gotten the Turkey everyone kept raving about, but the bacon cheeseburger was just right for my small town mentality. Its a quaint little place to eat and I really liked their Chocolate Peanut Butter cake. I hear the House Cake is better, but I didn’t get to try that. Maybe next time we go to Minnesota I will get the things everyone kept raving about!

This was just two of the characters outside the cafe. They were all too cute not to get a pictures. There were “Peanuts” characters all over the place. That’s me with a pie in the face.

After all of our shopping and eating we went to check into our hotel. My boss and I had reserved two rooms in her name nearly a month before this trip. When we got to the hotel, they had given one of the rooms away! They said they were fully booked and they had to give our room to someone else. HOW does that kind of thing happen? I have no idea. This hotel was not on my top list of favorite people. My boss and I had to share a room – not a bed, just a room – and it was not the greatest night sleep I had ever had.

We had to wake up at an ungodly hour of like 5 am or something because we had to eat breakfast and then go to the Benefit Fair we were speaking at. This restaurant was connected to our hotel. The staff was better than their hotel counterparts and their food was pretty good too.

We left in that white car you see in the picture. It was raining that morning and dreary. I was dressed up in business casual type attire and super tired. I also missed my baby!

I work in the Healthcare industry, prescriptions to be exact. We were at our client’s site visiting the benefit fair so that we could tell their employees all about the prescription plan they have. Other vendors were there as well. One vendor has a mascot. When I get a chance to edit these pictures, I can flip it around upright. Basically, its a cup of pee. A … dancing cup of pee. I don’t know the purpose, I didn’t stop at their booth, but seriously … a cup of pee. I had to get a picture of it.

After the benefit fair, we headed straight to the airport. Our ride had to catch her plane at 5pm. With the state of the airport security, we had to arrive 2 hours early. Our flight wasn’t until 8 pm. This means … we were looking at being in the Minnesota airport for 5 hours. We rode a tram, that’s what the picture to the left is. Its all bumper to bumper kind of thing. I took a picture because I have never been on one.

I also took a picture of the ‘walking thingie’ that we got around on in the airport. Our airport doesn’t have such things. I took video of this too. So, I think myself quite talented. I was able to pull my suitcase behind me, balance myself on this moving walk thingie and hold my camera steady. All after standing for at least 6 hours at the Benefit Fair, so my feet were KILLING me.

A picture of a plane outside the window while we waited in the airport. I was also eating a blizzard from the Dairy Queen while I took this picture. By the time we got the blizzards, I was so bored, I was taking pictures of random planes outside that weren’t mine, wishing they were mine. To top it all off, there was a 2 year little girl watching the planes from the window across the restaurant and I couldn’t help but wonder what my baby Peyton was doing.

After 5 hours of walking through the airport, eating blizzards and wasting a ton of time on my already sore feet, we learned that our flight was delayed by an hour. This is how I reacted to that bit of news. This also meant that we would likely miss our connecting flight in Chicago. Boy was I super not happy about this. I was ready to get on a plane and get the heck home. I was already going to be getting home around 1 am. Now, I had to wait longer for my plane.

When we did finally realize that we would miss our connecting flight in Chicago. We had to decide if we wanted to wait longer in the airport for the flight … or we could get a hotel (on the airport’s expense) and get a direct flight home in the morning. We chose that route, since we didn’t see the point in probably missing our last flight in Chicago and having to stay the night there too.

The next morning, we went through a SUPER long line at the airport to get back through security. It was another ungodly ridiculous time in the morning. The security people were cute though, they had funny little accents and were cracking jokes the whole time. Something about Green Bay Packers and being the devil. I’m not sure. I was half asleep. Anyway, I got a sticker from one of the guys cause I smiled. I am now .. a Junior TSA something or another.

As we waited for the plane, this ridiculous woman sat across from me. She clearly thought it was appropriate to wear socks with flip flops. I don’t think I understand who thinks this is a good idea. Fine. Wear your socks with your flip flops. I won’t feel bad for taking your picture without you noticing. Also, it wouldn’t be so bad, if it didn’t look like her feet belonged in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle casting call.


This is me on the plane. Finally on my way home. I was more than a little tired. More than a little homesick. And oh, so ready to get the heck home.

This is my … I haven’t slept well, my feet are killing me, I miss my child face.

But, I was on the plane home. Direct flight. So happy.

Also, it was the second time I had been on a plane. I was less nervous the second time around. I had a memory card in my camera and I was able to take pictures of the stuff out of my window. This made me happy.

After I got the picture of random things on the ground, puffy clouds, and a sunset, I fell promptly asleep. I never sleep in public. I never sleep in moving vehicles. I couldn’t help myself. I fell asleep.

This is me in OUR airport. I have never been so happy to be home. I was so happy that I had to take a picture of me being so happy.

Notice my awesome jacket I got while in Minnesota. I forgot to point that out in earlier pictures, but it is super cute and was super cheap.

Not to mention that Minnesota doesn’t have sales tax.

When I finally got home, after 2 days and 2 nights away from home, I was greeted by my sweet little Peyton. She nearly jumped out of her Mama’s arms and flung herself into mine. She gave me lots of wet slobbery kisses and I just couldn’t help but cry. She was dancing and squealing with delight at the sight of me.

Where you been, Mommy!? I missed you!

It doesn’t get much better than that feeling.

Anyway, probably boring to everyone else, but that was my first trip out of state and my encounter with a dancing cup of pee.

Take Care ❤
Rachael