And these are the Days of Our Lives…..

I feel like we are constantly in some wackadoodle damn soap opera. The roller coaster of our life just never had a moment to slow down and stop. There are never any breaks along the way, it’s just UP and DOWN. UP and DOWN.

Jeez, life, throw me a damn bone.

I’m super frustrated right now because Kim and I got Punky all dressed up and paraded her around the court house in Kansas to get our application for a marriage license. Literally, just last week, this was a done deal and we found out about it on Wednesday. We were excited, we were so relieved. It wasn’t Missouri, but just the few days prior, Missouri did rule that they would recognize gay marriages performed legally in states that do allow that sort of thing.

So, why not, we said?

We only live 30 minutes away from the court house doing it and we could go up there before I went to work the very next day. So, Thursday, we got ready, we all three got up super early. This was a momentous occasion and one we called all our parents about and pumped up our Facebook friends and family with this adorable video from Punky!

It was pouring down rain when we got in the car, by the time we got on the highway, I couldn’t even really see the cars in front of us. The rain was sheets of water, buckets being dumped on our car. Kim looked at me and said, “You must really want to do this.” And if anyone knows me, I don’t drive in the best conditions, let alone these types of conditions, unless I want to get somewhere. I held it together and kept my cool.

Punky got to press the walk button on the crosswalk and go through the metal detector, all while charming the pants off anybody we passed with her ridiculously adorable pea coat and umbrella.

IMG_9615

We finally found our way to the marriage license window and got the application; after swearing to god that our statements were all true. We got the application and they hadn’t even had time to change the pronouns on the application yet, it’s that new. So we had to cross out groom and we had to change he to she. Normally, this kind of thing might bug me, but not at that moment. I didn’t care. I just wanted to do it right.

11 years we have waited. 11 years we have been patiently watching and silently hoping that we will be married in our own state, or at least close. (Kansas is literally right around the corner from us!)  Who cares if the forms are updated. That time will come. I just wanted it to be right.

We signed some stuff, took our application and went home to wait the three day waiting period for Kansas marriage licenses.

IMG_9614

We were going to make a trip back there on Tuesday. We were going to get married and get our marriage license on Tuesday. The long wait for marriage (and tax benefits and rights and equality) was finally over.

Until tonight.

When we read that the Kansas State Attorney General petitioned a block on all gay marriage licenses. There will be a hearing. Sometime in November. And yes, I know – we will get married eventually. With the way the momentum of gay marriage is sweeping the country – it’s going to happen.

But.

It won’t be Tuesday.

And we are all pretty bummed about it.

SAD

And in other news, we are going to visit my family tomorrow – so that will likely brighten my spirits a bit.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

If You Are Against My Family, Are We Really Friends?

I’m so upset right now. I can’t decide what to do. I am posting this on Facebook, as I always do, so it’s possible that this person will see the post. I’m not really upset at the person who posted this, I’m more upset with the people she is associated with. I know her to be a decent and kind person. I know her to be a loving mother and a beautiful spirit. And yet, this blog post is something that she posts for the world to see.

The post itself makes valid points, and I don’t know the writer’s stand on Gay Marriage, it makes no difference to me. I think right now, I am more upset about one comment on my friend’s post. A comment that I would hope someone would stand up against. But, it won’t be me. Why? Because I don’t want to blast this friend’s Facebook wall with debates and hatred.

Untitled

But, the idea that this had to be said at all, hurts my heart. Make up extra rights?! Really? I’m so confused. I am literally appalled that my friend knows someone like this. She is kind and generous and loving – all the things that I was taught God wants us to be. And this person, whom I don’t know and have never met, shows me what the truth of the church is. What hatred is bred into the church.

I have to wonder, is my friend of the same mind about my family? I can’t bring myself to ask her directly. I can’t bring myself to post a reply to this comment. I want to think that she is associated with people of faith that loves everyone. That walks in the path of Jesus. The way Jesus walked.

How about, if you want to take ‘holy week’ to reflect on something, why don’t we remember that Jesus died for all our sins. How about we remember that Jesus loved the prostitute? How about we remember that God should be the only judge? Or we could remember that Jesus said to love thy neighbors? Love covers a multitude of sins? Or, if you like bible verses with actual locations in the bible, here’s one for you:

gay-08

I have never been one with strong opinions in the way the government ran things. I have never been one with strong opinions in religious politics. I’ll be the first to admit that when I went to vote for the first time, I didn’t even know the difference between being a Democrat or a Republican.

But, this hits home for me. I am taking a stand. I have, since done my research and this issue is not about religion, it’s not about politics. It’s about civil rights. It’s about humanity. It’s about fairness, equality, and justice.

I am standing here and challenging those who follow Jesus. I am challenging you that speak ‘the word of god’.

Live by the whole bible. Live by the whole word. I challenge you to re-evaluate your beliefs. I challenge you to look deep in your heart and decide where you lie. Do you lie on the side of fairness and love, as Jesus would have wanted? Or do you lie on the side of lies, hypocrisy and injustice?

So you say it’s not just religion. So you say it’s because children are better off with a mom and a dad. Let’s think for a moment about those children who have been left in a dumpster. Abandoned by their mom and dad. How about those children who were ‘accidents’ and unwanted. Are they better off with a mom and dad?

I think Punky is better off with the many Uncles, Cousins, and Grandpas she has. She is not lacking in male role models. (I hope they all don’t mind me putting them out for the public to see) I am proud that Punky has so many awesome men in her life!

george

eric david

dad

cody justin brandon

Do we take away the rights of Single mothers? What about the children who are being raised by their grandparents? Are they less cared for? Single mothers work their asses off. Single mothers are so full of love and life that I just can’t imagine why anyone would say those children need a dad.

Making up rights for my family?

CIMG4744

So, you don’t think it’s a right for me to be able to see my partner in the hospital as you can see your husband or wife? If I am lying on my death bed, my partner could be left with no solace in her grief because she couldn’t be next to me as I die. That’s a disservice to me and my partner. We have been together for 10 years. TEN YEARS.

But our love is not as committed as yours? Which one of yours? Your first marriage or your third? Our love isn’t the same as yours. For those who feel like this is simply a sexual thing. What goes on in my bedroom is really no one’s business, but we haven’t had sexual things as a focus of our relationship for years.

I love my partner the way anyone loves their spouse. She and I have been through more and weathered more hardships than most straight couples could weather in a year. We stand strong in the face of adversity. We don’t back down, we don’t break up.

kim

I like to think our relationship and our love is the true interpretation of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

Stop and think a moment about what will happen to your children if you were to die suddenly tomorrow? Would your child be in the care of your spouse? Of course, no questions asked. Mine will not be. My child is likely to be plucked from the only home she knows. The only family she knows.

CIMG4837

If I were to die tomorrow, my partner has no legal rights to her daughter. She has no legal standing to keep our daughter safe. Tell me that is better for our child’s mind and spirit? Tell me that my daughter is better off taken from the only parent she knows. The one person she loves more than anything and the one parent who has taken care of her, loved her, kept her safe, tucked her in at night, fed her, and comforted her for the entire year she has been alive.

Tell me she is better off in a strangers care. She’s not.

CIMG4826

Now, tell me where the rights are being made up?

My heart hurts. I am sick to my stomach. I have never been more passionate about anything in my entire life. My family’s life is hanging in the balance. My family is being affected and now, my mother’s instinct is on full blast.

I’m no longer worried about making friends. I am no longer worried about losing friends. I am no longer worried about offending people. I am no longer worried about being an outcast. I am worried about my family being accepted.

If you can’t get on board with that, I don’t need you in my life.

Realistic Expectations

So, usually, I have a reason for my posts, something that I want to talk about. Then my partner, K brought up that I don’t talk about the bad times. The times when I am so freaking overwhelmed with my life as a woman, a lesbian, a mother, a partner, a working mom, as a daughter, as a human being with injustices. I am always filled with love and butterflies when I talk about my daughter and our life as a family.

peyton2

 

Realistically, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows.

Realistically, it’s a hard road we travel on sometimes.

Realistically, it’s not always the easiest thing to come home from work.

Realistically, it’s not the happiest moment to go to work.

Realistically, I want to get married and have a protection set for my family if something happens to me. The weight on my shoulders, as the biological mother to our daughter, leaves me with stress and worry about something happening to me on a regular basis.

The what – if’s and the rants and the thoughts and the questions will never be satisfied until they come to pass. Until the day I can say, “Finally, our family is the same as yours.”

This stems from a lot of things, the Supreme Court hearings and the lack of sleep due to a teething toddler.

Mostly, it started when I realized,  our medical insurance is moving to a high deductible plan. This plan will be administered by the rules of the government. Which means, because K is not my tax dependent, I can’t cover her like I would be able to if she was a male. This isn’t the fault of the entity providing my insurance, they allow me to add my same-sex domestic partner on their coverage. However, the government will not recognize this.

My partner has a multitude of illnesses that require her therapy and prescriptions that we could not afford if we didn’t have insurance. We are seriously looking at the fact that we won’t have insurance for her soon. That is a scary thing. She’s the stay at home mommy and I am sure that not having her therapy and prescriptions will negatively affect her and Punky.

peyton3

So, yes, I am stressed out. Yes, I am worried. Yes, I am trying my best to hold that together, because I just don’t understand why things are so unfair. Why can’t we just have the same thing as married straight couples? Because GOD said it’s not right?

Has anyone actually had a conversation with GOD? Has GOD made my family’s well-being His personal mission? It’s okay to pick and choose what we feel GOD thinks is right or wrong and only use the pieces we like? When is that acceptable in any circumstance? It’s not.

I have no problems with anyone who believes in GOD. I have no problems with people who want to worship as they wish. But, just because I don’t believe the same thing you do, doesn’t mean I am not entitled to the same rights as you.

I am still a human being. I was still created by your GOD. I was still made in HIS image and should be afforded the same rights to happiness and kindness and love. At least, that’s what people in the church say.

GOD loves everyone. GOD made everyone. GOD doesn’t make mistakes. GOD can be the only judge. GOD is love and kindness and mercy.

And then, the church spits on me. Instead of treating me with love. Instead of saying I’m made in the way that god made me and the way I was supposed to be, everything happens for a reason. Was my being gay, specifically for me to go to HELL? Really? God made certain people to just punish them ultimately in the end?

That doesn’t make a damn bit of sense to me.

 

This is my main stress in my life right now. Add on top of this the fact that we have a toddler going through a lot of changes. She is teething hardcore. She’s also been taken off of formula and drinks at bed.

Peytoncry

She has been moved to regular milk during the day, but we are trying to get her out of the habit of drinking something at bed. That’s been kind of a pain in the ass right now. But, mostly because she’s teething and I know that’s part of the problem.

It will pass. I’m sure. We got her teething necklace in the mail today, so I will be anxious to see if this amber necklace works. I’m curious to hear from other mamas who have tried them. I have heard nothing but good things about them.

Maybe soon, we can get back to this face:

peyton1

Seeing Red For Gay Marriage

CAM00483I  have been sitting glued to my computer screen with live updates on ABC all day. I am in a constant state of nausea and nervousness and I hear the decisions won’t even be made until June. I’m sitting here wearing my red t-shirt, in near tears from the overwhelming sea of red that I find on my Facebook feed from supporters in my own family and friends.

Proposition 8 (commonly known as Prop 8) is before the United States Supreme Court today, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) has its day tomorrow. I am on pins and needles, because these things seriously effect my family and it affects my daughter’s future.

The future of my child’s life is in the hands of someone else and it scares me to death. I am still overwhelmed by the different possibilities that may happen as a result of this monumental event.

I can only hope that it will go our way and we can be treated equal, finally. I am dreaming of a wedding. I am hoping for a marriage. I’m hoping to be treated like my family members, like my friends, like my co-workers.

It’s not about religion, it’s not about a GOD. It’s about human rights. It’s about real people, about the rights of my daughter. It’s about the stability of our family. It’s about dignity and about equality. It’s about loving thy neighbor. It’s about being compassionate.

It doesn’t matter your religious views. It doesn’t matter what you belief or don’t believe in religiously. It’s about what is right or wrong. It’s wrong to discriminate. It’s wrong to call me less of an American because of who I love. It’s wrong to tell my daughter her parents are less than normal. It’s wrong to pass judgement on another human being.

We all deserve to be treated equal. We all deserve to be loved. We all deserve to love one another.

Because I am so overwhelmed with this, I just don’t have the words to convey how much this impacts me. Instead, I have decided to let other people say it for me.

10 Ways DOMA Affects Families Like Mine

A Picture is Worth More Than Words

Equality Thoughts from my Straight Friend

How DOMA Hurts Real Families

And the one who said it the best today, was my very dear friend. I found this post on my Facebook wall, and I hope that he doesn’t mind that I stole it. It really puts all my thoughts and feeling into words I can’t really find.

***

“This week, I PRAY for the US Supreme Court Justices. I PRAY that of those who are Christian, they look to their morality and Jesus’ teaching that LOVE knows no bounds and all should be treated with respect, dignity, and LOVE. 

For all of the Justices, I pray they will use their internal knowing of what is right and wrong; as well as the Constitution and the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS as a guide. I PRAY they will remember that their job is a legal one and should not be swayed simply because of a belief they hold religiously. They have a LEGAL job to do. It is only God’s decision who shall be judged upon their sins – NOT that of a government, court, or, dare I say, the people. 

My prayers are with the nine HUMANS who have to make a decision about what is LEGALLY and MORALLY right; NOT what is RELIGIOUSLY right. I hope ALL Americans can respect that even if a decision is handed down that doesn’t match your RELIGIOUS beliefs, it is NOT a cause for you to be upset. This isn’t a question of RELIGION. It’s a question of HUMANITY.” — G.A.

***

So, with that, I put out my own hopes and dreams and I land them on the shoulders of 9 people. 9 people who can hand me equality or take it away. 9 people who can tell my daughter that she will be okay with her two mothers. 9 people who can say to the world, it’s time to stand up and treat our fellow Americans as one.

I’m no less and no more than you. My family is no less and no more than  you. I just want to be able to stand up and tell my daughter it’s okay to love and it’s okay to be who you are.

Intelligent Design in Science Class?

I just learned about this Missouri House Bill 1227. A Missouri legislator is trying to pass a bill which would introduce the idea of intelligent design in public schools, without discrimination.

Missouri Representative, Rick Brattin is proposing Intelligent Design/Creation be required teaching and given equal time in every science classroom in Missouri, including college level classes, prohibiting families from making their own choice. This will also require the schools to spend money on new text books on or including Intelligent Design.

Intelligent Design in the Science Class? Is that a contradictory statement to anyone else?

I will be honest here, I didn’t know what intelligent design was until this very moment. I am not the most political person in the world. Until this blog. I have decided that I need to be mindful of what is going on around me. Especially when it comes to my child’s education.

Punky isn’t quite a year old and we have a long way to go before I really need to be concerned, but seriously? If we pass a law that allows intelligent design to be taught in science class, we are allowing religious teachings to be given to our children.

I have said before that I have no qualms with people who are affiliated with a religion. I have nothing against those who go to church or follow the teachings of the Bible. It’s just not for me. The repercussions of religion, the church and most people I come in contact with have been more negative than positive. I have made up my own mind in this and I hope to allow Punky to make her own mind up as well.

If this is taught in schools, a place of academia … where is the respect for other beliefs in a public environment. Look, if a child wants to pray individually, more power to them. If a child wants to read the Bible in the library on their spare time, sure go for it.

But, when did it become appropriate to tell my child they must do that too?

What about those kids from Jewish homes? From Muslim homes? I’m not even talking about Atheist or Agnostic. Let’s think about other religions for a moment. The United States is a melting pot of all sorts of religions and cultures. School should be a safe place to blend all those into one harmonic place to learn things. Learn academic things.

If you want your kid to learn intelligent design, great! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. That’s what you take your children to church for. Or am I confused?

I am the first person to say that there is no way to prove or disprove the existence of God. There is not one way to know which theory of the way the world was made is correct. However, to introduce a religious based story to a school environment is wrong. When children are impressionable and should be taught these things at home.

How am I to help my child make up her own mind, when teachers at school will be telling her how to think, how to act. It’s just another way for religion to be forced upon my unwilling child. I’m the parent here. I pay the taxes for her education. I should get a say in what they teach her. Not to mention, that this bill will allow my tax dollars to not only facilitate the religious teachings of my child, but also pay for the new books that are required.

What’s wrong with leaving religious teachings in church? Any religious teaching. I don’t care if you want to teach your child about these things. I’m just requesting that you respect the fact that I may not want my child taught the same things. Your truth is not my truth. If I wanted her to be taught these things I would take her to church.

I’m appalled that this is even a proposed bill right now. I’m even more concerned that there are other states out there that have already passed a similar bill. I have already signed the petition to say no to this in our schools.

This is just the sort of thing this blog is actually about. My journey to finding out things that may affect the way I parent my child in regards to all sorts of topics. In this case, religion.

Respect my right to parent and teach my kid as I see fit when it comes to anything religious based. How about we keep science as science. The things that have definitive answers. Again, I’m not saying God does or doesn’t exist, but unlike the things they teach in science class, there’s no way to prove or disprove. Let’s leave that in Sunday school.