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!

Advertisements

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.

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