Happy 4th of July!

10985043_10153395171998363_4414178062167023536_nAll in all, this year’s 4thof July was pretty “decent” as quoted by Bubbles of Trailer Park Boys. We ventured up north (way north) to Warroad, MN. Historically, Warroad on the 4th of July, is one of my favorite places to be. From when I was a kid chasing candy thrown from the parade to family reunions to the best of memories with friends and loved ones, it’s a place of nostalgia and goodness.

11169475_10153395153128363_6627320951989960699_nThis year, we took part in the Foster Family Reunion and camped out in our tent. I’ve decided that I feel indifferent about reunions. I am kind of excited for them – to see people that I know I’m related to and kind of know about but never see. But at the same time, I’m like “eh” because I usually end up talking to the people that I normally see like my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandma.

I know it probably sounds anti-social but I really have no desire to initiate in small talk or catch up with extended family because we don’t really know each other and probably won’t stay in touch any more than some kid I went to school with that I haven’t seen since graduation day. Apparently, I inherited my mom’s observational gene rather than my aunt Angie’s social butterfly personality.

It was still alright though. I had fun spending time with my cousins and got some much needed vitamin D. We were rained out on Saturday night though so my hope of a relaxing firework show wasn’t in the cards. We packed up our tent as quick as we could and headed over to my grandma’s house (with 16 of my beloved relatives) and waited out the storm. Happy (belated) 4th of July!

P.S. I designed the Foster Family Reunion t-shirts on CustomInk.com. They have awesome customer service and an easy to navigate website. I will definitely order from them again. The only thing I was bummed out on (because I’m a perfectionist) was that the larger the size, the graphic size stayed the same. I think the graphic could have been a little larger on some of the bigger sizes.

Love God. Love People. Period.

I really really do try to see both sides of every story or situation but sometimes I can’t hold my tongue. Since the AMAZING history making announcement Friday, I’ve found myself defending more than celebrating the glorious news. The thing is, same-sex marriage at this point in my life, really, doesn’t effect me at all. I’m not gay. I don’t have gay siblings. I’m not super close invite-me-to-your-wedding close with any gay people that I know but I find myself having this need to defend an enormous and welcoming society of people. The same society I come from. A society that doesn’t even need defending because there shouldn’t have to be anything to defend but there is.

I’m often politically incorrect and I can have pretty skewed opinions but I’m sorry; I can’t wrap my head around the “Christians” who spew hate towards the [God-forbid] idea that two men or two woman or a transgender human BEING are allowed to marry one other. It makes me want to scream every time I scroll through my newsfeed and see the ignorance or the hate or the preaching Christian quoting bible verses.

Of course, I’m nosey. I can’t just ignore a post and keep scrolling. I really do want to “understand” the other side of the opinion. I can’t even tell you how many posts or videos or info-graphics I’ve viewed. I can’t deal. My mouth dropped when I started watching the video posted below. And this doesn’t include the post that went along with the sharing of the video. It doesn’t include the comments of the people I went to school with. The kids I attended Sunday school with. How can so many of us have been taught the same thing every Sunday and then in high school every Wednesday, feel and believe so differently? Nature verses nurture? Really? What the video below does include is how incredibly ignorant I am to not see that the world really can never be full of peace and love and happiness and acceptance.

Two gay, married women [or men] don’t contribute to society? Are you kidding me? They work just as hard if not harder than anyone else. They participate in community projects and fundraising efforts. Same-sex couples welcome and raise and love and cherish children in their lives every day. They are successful. They are moms and dads all rolled into one. Same-sex couples are college educated and pay their bills. They go on trips and I bet they’ve even sat next to your gay-hating butt at the airport. They don’t contribute to society? What kind of meth are you cooking? 

I don’t have the ability to hold my composure watching this video. This isn’t the worst one I’ve seen. It’s not the worst thing I’ve read. But I’ve had enough. There are clearly either multiples Gods in the universe or this is some kind of extreme pre-Revelations type test because “MY” God loves everyone. 

And if you’re not a Christian and you still have an “issue” with same-sex … anything. Why? Explain it to me. I’m mostly ranting about the Christian following because that’s where all the negative I’m seeing is coming from. I have a wide array of people on multiple social media platforms and the only disgust I’m seeing is from those with a firm and clearly pounded into Christian pavement belief complex. There are so many religions in this world. So many opinions. So many followers and believers. So much of everything. Do we have nothing in common? Is love and acceptance for everyone too much to ask for? Love God. Love People. Period.

Vagabond by MisterWives

Everything is fine but nothing is okay. I’m filled and surrounded by love yet alone all at the same time. It doesn’t make sense. C’est la vie, I guess. Anyway; this is on repeat. One of my favorite songs as of late and it’s cool because it’s relatable regardless of your current mood, situation, or the weather outside. Enjoy.

#ProudToLove

This. This is why people fight so hard. I’ve already seen one too many posts on my Facebook feed throwing the Bible in the faces of those so happy about today’s history making decision.

I’m not perfect. I’m judgmental and have issues with people for the worst reasons but under my “hard” judgmental hat, I give a shit about the basic rights of people for Christ’s sake.

Black, white, native, or Asian; if you commit a crime, you should be treated equally. If you want a job, you should be treated the same as your competition. Color shouldn’t be a part of the equation.

Same goes for the LGBT community. You’re a gay male and have the education and experience to be the VP of advertising? Have at it. Mary loves Jane? Fine by me.

I was raised in a Catholic church. I believe in God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I pray nearly every day. I ask for angels to watch over my family and friends. To keep them safe and happy and healthy. I pray for good things to come and for my sins and hurtful words or actions to be forgiven.

There is a God. And he will listen and answer any prayer no matter who you are. God is all knowing and all loving. All accepting and always available with open arms.

You don’t have to understand “gay people” (which by the way I’m sure is offensive) but you don’t need to persecute them either. Reciting Bible verses that are interpreted just about as well as the terms in any lawyer written document doesn’t make you better in the eyes of God.

We are all sinners. We’ve all said hurtful things, thought hurtful thoughts, and acted on hurtful actions. But love? That’s not a sin.

The worst interpretation of a Bible verse that I’ve ever come across says something about having feelings for the same sex happens but acting on them is the sin. So what about those that can’t “act” on their feelings? They sit in solitude and resort to a life of depression over the feeling that they will never love or be loved the way straight couples can? Being gay isn’t any more about sex and drugs than any heterosexual relationship is. This movement, this fight; it’s about love. L. O. V. E. Love. And love won.

If you “don’t get it” that’s fine. Just move on. Be positive; be passionate in all the other good things the world has to offer. Let go of something you don’t understand and let God handle it. #ProudToLove

Love Wins!

Congratulations America! What a great way to ring in Pride Week nationwide! In case you haven’t heard in the last 12 minutes since it was posted, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage NATIONWIDE! Yes, America! You Win! This makes my heart so full and happy with love.

I could go on and on about how this took way too much time to get passed but lets just appreciate that it has passed. The sole thing that so many people across the country and globe have fought for is finally a reality. Our country has been continually making progress for years but this is extraordinary!

Congratulations to anyone and everyone who this effects. To those that have fought so hard for so long. For those that have loved and lost without ever being able to say “I do.” For those that picketed and protested in favor of and for those that had no doubt at all that one day this would happen.

Happy Friday, Happy Pride Day, and Happy Wedding Day to all!

all-rights-for-all

Thanks AmericInn

11210443_10153233961343363_2436395386843007592_nI won a $200 hotel voucher for submitting the photo to the left into AmericInn’s Great Adventure photo contest. I submitted about a dozen photos and kind of forgot about it. I was pleasantly surprised when I checked my email this morning!

You can submit too! Have you gone anywhere fun this year or last year or in 2005? Submit your “travel” photos or just ‘really cool places’ photos. AmericInn is reviewing and selecting winners each day for the entire summer. Click here to submit as many pictures as your little heart desires!  You’ll have competition though because I’m going to keep submitting!

Now…to pick a city for my next big adventure! Send me ideas!

Bye Bye Bemidji

A belated but better late than never goodbye to Bemidji.

Hi, my name is Ori and I’m addicted to…moving? I’m not. I really hate moving but the facts don’t lie. Since moving out of my parents’ house at age 19: I’ve packed my things 12 times, lived in 6 cities (if you count Viking as a city), moved home twice and to my brothers once.

It’s definitely nothing to brag about. Quite frankly, it’s kind of embarrassing that I can’t find my footing anywhere I land. And it’s not like I’ve lived in 6 different cities around the world. They’ve all be within a 2 ½ hour drive of one another.

We moved to Bemidji last October for what I thought was the last time before “settling down” as they say and buying a home. But that was also 2 moves after I thought I was where I was going to be. We did our best to fully embrace all that Bemidji had to offer. I transferred within the company from my job in Grand Forks.

It’s a beautiful city and a handful of lakes are around the area. That’s what lured us in, the lakes. We don’t agree on many things but one thing Channing and I could always agree on was living on or near a lake. We worked with a realtor and looked at dozens of houses all hoping that “life” would work out in our favor.

Some would say that we didn’t give it enough time. I can see that I guess. But how much time do you give a place before you decide yay or nay?

Since leaving the house going into my 2nd year of college, I haven’t lived anywhere for more than 13 months. My shortest stint was 3 months in a shitty trailer and even shorter when I moved back home and to my brothers place.

I think if I was a single adult, some of my choices would have been different and I’m sure I’d be in a totally different area of the world, pursing a totally different career path, who knows. But I’m not living the single life and I’m glad I’m not.

I’ve made sacrifices being in a relationship, I think you have to. There is no world where you always get your way. Those that think so are full of shit and should end up alone. Life..love..they require compromise and it goes both ways.

Moving to Bemidji was a mutual decision. Channing wasn’t super happy with his job in Forks and there was an opportunity for me to transfer within the company I already had dedicated 2 years of my 20-something adult life to. I loved the people I worked with, but I needed a change. I wasn’t growing professionally where I was and there wasn’t any room for me to from my point of view.

We didn’t do the “research” when moving. Our thought process followed something like this:

  1. Ori can transfer, that’s great.
  2. We’re going to live in a beautiful city surrounded by water.
  3. This feels right.
  4. We don’t know the job market for Channing but it’ll be okay. Trust that it all will work out.

I mean, it kind of did. I’m not going to lie. It was a pretty city. I liked my job for the most part. Our realtor was one of a kind. We were pre-approved for a mortgage loan, ect ect. But it just wasn’t right, none of it felt right. Channing made just as much as a 16 year old working at McDonalds and finding an employer that offered health insurance for him was a bitch. We were pre-approved for a loan but it didn’t get us anywhere near what or where we wanted.

We’re not settlers. We have no interest in getting a fixer upper. We have no interest in living in a shitty neighborhood or an arm’s length away from our neighbor. Some will say we’re too picky but are we really?

So we talked and we talked and we talked some more. What are we going to do?

It was scary moving to Fargo. But exciting. Channing applied at a load of places and landed a pretty decent one. It was a tough but not so tough decision to move. I’m a pros and cons type of person so believe me when I say that I had my notebook with list after list of why we should or shouldn’t stay. There is so much more to every story ever written. Some people understand and some don’t. It is what it is I guess.

The decision was made and we jumped ship.

Fast-forward a month or so later, we’re now living in West Fargo and became cat parents. I transferred (thank you Lord) through the same company I’ve been working with the last few years, Channing found an alright job and we’re doing well.

Meet Frankie!

10153794_10153365646648363_7370507212575566158_nWe welcomed a new little bundle of joy into our lives last weekend. It’s a boy and his name is Frankie. He’s the cutest, most adorable ball of fur I’ve ever seen. I’ve always been a cat lover (dog lover too).

Growing up, we always had a cat or 5 hanging around our property or in the house. Not only are cats both soothing and wisdom holding but they are so adorable and absolutely silly. Unfortunately, the last few places we’ve lived, we haven’t been able to have a pet. Maybe that’s it. The cat-maternal instinct deep inside me was in overdrive seeing all my social media pals flashing their beloved pets in my face. I was definitely the definition of the term “jealous much.”

All that has since dissipated now that I have transitioned into the full swing of everything cat. PetSmart and Petco are my favorite places to go and don’t be ‘a judgin’ if you see me walking Frankie on a leash sometime this summer.

I’m a Cat Mom and I love it.10730819_10153365646598363_7813242617922223918_n

Let Go & Let Life

I’ve written about this a couple times before but I think my viewpoint may be evolving into something a little less stressful.

Finally, at age 25 and a half, I’ve come to the conclusion that nothing is perfect and never will be. My dream life that 12-year old Ori had mapped out will never happen because half of the milestones have already passed and my 12-year old self also had no concept of what the real world was full of.

I’ll give you a glimpse at my 25 year old self according to my 12 year old self:

I’m married to my high school sweetheart. I have a college degree in teaching and am teaching 4th grade English. I have 2 kids and another one the way. I’m going to have 4 kids before I’m 28. We live in a very nice house that I designed on graph paper. We’re a well traveled couple and family. We go to church every Sunday, I’m healthy and very happy.

It’s hard for me to accept that I can’t control the universe (go figure) so I’m trying to be open minded in some areas of my life that I can’t control at the moment. I’m done forcing homeownership onto ourselves. When we are actually, really, realistically financially stable, we’ll look into it. And if a job doesn’t work out, so what. We’ll figure it out.

I am and always will be that girl that wants to be married and have kids. It hasn’t happened yet and I’m to the point where I’m realizing that that’s okay. Emotionally, I’m totally ready. I have been for years but I’m okay that neither have yet happened.

We talk about marriage often and coming up on our 7th year of holy relationship-hood. We aren’t even engaged. I’m not going to lie, it kind of bothers me. Why aren’t we at least engaged?  But this to, is a compromise in a relationship that is full of give and take. I know that we love each other and know we’re going to be together the rest of our lives. Marriage really, is a word. A document.  A piece of paper. A few legal things come along with marriage but the meaning of marriage isn’t any different than the meaning of our relationship.

And honestly, I’m at the point where I’m tired of people asking the question because it’s hard to hear. It’s hard for people to put us in a corner and say “When’s the wedding?” Sure, you think it’s funny but it really isn’t. It’s like rubbing a flashy new toy in the face of your 6 year old best friend. “Look what I have and you don’t.” Stop. It’ll happen when we’re both ready for it to happen. We’ve had some obstacles in the last 7 years that have forced us to re-evaluate things. You don’t see me laughing at you because you got married young, popped out 3 kids, and are divorced before your 2nd wedding anniversary, do you?

Kids, oh kids. I want to be a mommy so much. I can’t even explain how badly I want to be a mother. Instead of trying and hoping and dreaming, I’m going to just let life happen. It’ll be hard for me to do but it’s less stressful. They say when you stop worrying about things, things will come easier to you. When the time is right, it’ll be worth the wait.

With that being said, my 12-year old self of a wish for my 25-year old self really hasn’t been squashed. Just delayed like any flight on a stormy day.

Under Construction!

I’m in the process of reorganizing and updating my blog. You’ll notice some new tabs within the coming days and weeks. Some of them will be functional, some will not. I’ll let you know when everything is up and running. I’m excited for the changes!

My Plan.

I’m in the process of trying to map out my summer bucket list AND my passions for writing and photography. I have a few things lined up that I’m straightening out in my brain. A sneak peak is listed below. I don’t have any timeline for this — just an endless list on my notes app in my phone. Hopefully I won’t lose my faithful 4 followers during my absence as of late.

1. Redesign and reorganize my blog layout by adding pages and tabs based on subject.

2. Create a new (2nd) blog but have it linked to this one through a tab. It’ll be presented as more of a “ghost writer” front. Something that I can use to build my presence professionally when it comes to writing and photography. Wouldn’t it be sweet to line up freelance work as a proofreader, title creator, or to sell prints?

3. Work on series pieces. Like “My Plan, My Week, My Humorous Self…” or the “12 Days of Christmas” series or my vacation series..

4. Make my way back to the North Shore (of MN), down to South Dakota and Iowa. Possibly venture a little more west in ND. (Super condensed version of a summer bucket list)

5. #OrganizeMyLife and blog the fuck out of it. Everyone and their millennial brother blogs about the struggles and successes of a millennial lifestyle but I feel like there isn’t yet a “me” so I plan to jump on that bandwagon before it’s too late.

6. Actually blog like I say I’m going to. I have about 30 topics on one of my many saved notes about things I need to say. I’ll get to it eventually. Promise.

7. Explore Fargo and all it has to offer. Think museums, Bluestem, food, architecture, zoos, parks.

8. On a same note, expand my photography portfolio. Actually — I should probably START a portfolio. I have 3 days to sign up for a free Lynda subscription and I’m going to take advantage of that shit before it’s too late.

Well, I have some errands to run so I’ll duck out for now. Stay tuned for a picture of our newest edition come Sunday. He or she (we don’t know yet) is the cutest fluff ball of kitty loving you’ll ever see.