The trouble with Tuesdays…

The troubles I’m having with this whole tuesday

I have lived all my live long days in the most wonderful state of Oklahoma. I literally love this place. I was born here, all my friends and a lot of my family live here. I have deep roots in my community of moore/southwest OKC. I have, all my life loved this magical place.

I am a fan of Lena Dunham, I think she’s a superstar and such a bad A independent woman. That has almost nothing to do with anything except in her book “Not That Kind of Girl” she said that she probably didn’t meet a republican until she was an adult.

I live in Oklahoma, I LOVE my friends and my family here. It is filled, very full with loving kind people that are registered as republicans. That has almost nothing to do with anything except that most republicans also claim christianity as a way of life.

I am a mainly democratic independent lady that votes for whoever she wants to. Its mostly people with social justice type agendas, that are for helping people. I dont mean I vote for people that say they like that stuff and use religion to pull on heart strings to manipulate people. I mean the people that all their live long days have fought for the least of these.

I have lived almost my whole life never meeting a democrat. Which is funny now because i feel like a die hard in a lot of ways. But I still live in Oklahoma, and all my rooted people are not like me in the way they are politically registered to vote. But they are like me in a thousand other ways. They love people, they want to do good for others and when they see someone who is hurting, they want to help. I don’t just think this, Ive seen this.

So really the way we are registered to vote brings up a lot things for me on this super tuesday and this election year, and I have a lot of troubling, deep, deep troubling questions to a lot of my friends and family who I see post very bold, very clear statements towards different things. Now I get it, we all have a right to vote for who we please. America is so fortunate for that.

But I have some questions, specifically for my republican friends and families whom claim christianity as a way of life for them.

I get wanting to keep the money you earned for yourself, but I also understand there are things that we all pay for in taxes that we greatly benefit from (fire department, police officers, public school, public officials, people who gather our garbage, people who deliver our mail, people who  take care of the orphans of our states, people who keep our parks and infrastructures up) So theres a lot. I cant name them all. So thats great.

A lot of my friends on social media post a lot of things about praying and being specifically christian. From your perspective, as a publicly proclaimed follower of Jesus, how do you justify not letting the addict buy food for their children (specifically talking to christians who want to take away food stamps and drug test for them)? I know addiction is frustrating. I know its hard to see people dependent on things and unable to break that cycle of poverty and addiction. But man, cant we all agree that it is a cycle that isn’t designed for freedom? Absolutely heart wrenching to watch. Its something so terribly debilitating that unless you have profound determination, you wont be able to break. I know upper middle class people that have died from addiction and not for lack of resources or opportunity. So imagining having no resources, and no opportunity, I feel like thats a lot of odds against you…but you still got kids that need breakfast lunch and dinner, even if all you have to offer them is powdered donuts. People get real mad about powdered donuts too, but I know plenty of wealthy people who feed their kids powdered donuts and we all know they aren’t good for you but who is worse, the mom who has food stamps and no car and can only walk to the gas station for breakfast, or the family that has enough that drives to the store? Neither really. They are both just parents trying to live their lives and get their kids some donuts. Also worth noting, I don’t think enabling is the answer either. But unfortunately addicts have children and while sure maybe DHS should take a lot of their kids, DHS is underfunded and under employed. In America there are a trillion bazillion church buildings, but seemingly not enough Christians to take care of the hungry, the poor, the addict, the homeless, the stranger, the children, So I’m genuinely wondering, to those who want to take away the little money the poor has, whats the solution? What does taking away food stamps and free lunches for kids solve? I am specifically asking the white middle class, self proclaimed christians and republicans.

I know that might sound like a sarcastic question, but it only sounds that way because I feel a fury inside of me when i see people post things like “abortion is murder” and “drug test for food stamps” and “ universal health care is like giving out trophies to everyone” Because i don’t personally believe that seeing a low income family for the flu is a trophy. I don’t think you need to dance for fluids or medicine when your sick. I don’t believe that a mom of 6 feels like she is getting a fucking trophy when she brings her kid to the ER because he has RSV. I don’t think she feels like a winner. If I sound mad, its because I am. Im infuriated. I am specifically infuriated with the self proclaimed christian who lobbies for making abortions illegal, but hasn’t adopted or fostered any children. Who doesn’t want universal health care but posts quotes from the bible about Jesus. Because to me, from my life experience of reading the bible, Jesus pretty much wanted you to trade your wealth to take care of the poor and sick and the stranger. I am infuriated. Not with Donald Trump, who is a self-proclaimed ass hole and doesn’t try to hide his hate of the poor, sick, and stranger (immigrant), woman, and anyone who isn’t a white male. Im infuriated with the evangelical who voted for him. You are the wolf dressed in sheeps clothes.

I know I sound mad, but I’m more mad at the people that pit us against each other through cheap tactics like abortions and gay marriage. Because from experience, I have way more in common with my best republican friends and family than I have different. But I still have those debilitating questions that completely flabbergast me. and I really would like genuine responses.

but like on a really light note, I actually love everyone and all my real life friends and Facebook friends no matter our differences. but these are crazy aggravating things that plague my mind and keep me up at night.

love to you all, XOXO kisses and hugs

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Awful And Amazing Things

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I drank a big cup of coffee and ate two donuts for two reasons this morning, one because they sounded yummy, the other because I am desperate to feel Fletcher move one more time. I haven’t felt him move since early Friday morning. I don’t feel him move often because he is so swollen and sick with fluid, but I can normally get a little something every day. When i haven’t felt him move in a while, sugar or caffeine often makes him kick or shift a little, even if its just a little, i know his heart is still beating and it puts me at ease. This morning I can’t seem to make him move.
I am 32 weeks pregnant exactly today. When Dustin and I first found out we were pregnant we were so shocked and probably in denial a little and then also excited because we want to have children and sometimes getting surprised like that is such a cool thing. Three days before our wedding, at 18 weeks we went in for an ultra sound to find out the gender of our first tiny child. The woman doing the ultra sound told us we were having a boy and we were just the happiest we thought we could be. The perinatal doctor came in soon after to have another look at the ultra sound, and as we were giddy and excited she informed us that our baby had a few abnormal masses on his right lung that were large and concerning. She suspected it was something called congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation, or CCAM. A condition in which one or more lobes of the fetal lungs develop into fluid-filled sacs called cysts. She seemed very concerned and very grave. We didn’t know what that was, what we could do or what it meant for our sweet baby. She wanted to see us once a week to monitor the cysts, we told her we were getting married on Saturday and leave for our honeymoon the following Wednesday and she tried to tell us to relax and enjoy it.
I keep thinking and wondering how life can be so amazing and yet so awful. A Facebook friend posted this the other day and it says what I feel.

“Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. Thats just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.” -LR Knost

We moved our care to OU and see a wonderful MFM who has taken wonderful care of us. There are so many people who have helped us on this journey. My former employer made sure we were connected with people who made us feel comfortable and cared for, and while they cant take away the problem, having people you trust care for you, makes a heck of a difference when you are going through an awful time. At about 22 weeks we found out that the pressure the cysts were putting on Fletchers heart, had caused fluid to form around his abdomen and skin, something they call hydrops. Hydrops are pretty bad, and signal that he is going into heart failure. So our doctor did a procedure to drain one of the cysts to see if that would take pressure off and improve the hydrops. The cyst just came back aggressively. Our next option was a procedure to put a shunt in one of the cyst to see if it would drain constantly in hope of making the hydrops go away. My placenta was in the way so for a few weeks we didn’t have anything we could try. The doctors give you a lot of options, and they tell you the risks of all of them. They are very honest about survival chances and the risks of each thing, for you and your baby. Dustin and I really appreciate the honesty even though its hard to hear. Eventually Fletcher was in a position that they thought they could do the procedure. Long story short, the shunt got placed and it functioned for about a week and his hydrops looked better and we had cautionary optimism for about a week. We went back a week later and the cysts were back and the skin edema had pushed the shunt into the cyst and we were back at square one.
Most days we try to pretend we are normal, going through a normal boring pregnancy. People at the grocery store ask when we are due, what we are having, names, etc. Its really nice sometimes to pretend with them. I have even been asked if im having twins, which may seem like an insult, but it was funny and I like having those normal funny pregnant things happen to me.
Last week the ultra sound showed the hydrops were significantly worse, his belly looks the size of mine filled with fluid. We saw him move though and swallow fluid and practice his breathing. We are preparing for the worst. When babies get this sick, a stillbirth is a very great possibility. They may take him at 34 weeks, but even then he is so so sick he may not make it through the delivery or time in the NICU. We want our son to make it. We want him to live.
I want to go through a long hard labor, I want to hear my son cry when he is born. I want to have a thousand sleepless nights and complain about being tired. I want to see Dustin get to be a dad and change diapers and sing lullabies. I want to buy clothes and pick things out and dream about the future of our kid. I want to have more hope than I do right now.
We live week to week. Each appointment and ultra sound is how we gage what to expect for the next week. We bought our first item for Fletcher on Friday, a tiny outfit to put him in after he is born. I have a bag packed to take to the hospital, it has pajamas and books to read to Fletcher when he is born, what ever the outcome.
The friends and family in our lives have been wonderful and comforting. The things that have been done for us, the love that has been poured out on us, it has been amazing during the awful. We have never felt so loved. Peoples generosity is always taking my breath away.
This is whats happening to us right now. This is our awful, amazing thing. We know everyone is going through their own awful amazing things, and I think if this has taught or reinforced anything about living and life, its that we are all here together going through awful and amazing and life is incredibly short and incredibly fleeting. We want to be more kind, more forgiving, more understanding and compassionate and we want to just love and enjoy the time we have.
Im not saying this is a blessing in disguise, because its not. It just sucks and its awful and I would never wish it upon anyone. But it does make you realize we all go through immense pain, and immense joy in our lives, and we should just be kind to one another and love wholly and genuinely.
We don’t know exactly what the next few weeks hold for us, but we know they hold some kind of intensity. Heres to hoping for the best.

sweet Fletcher's tiny itsy face.
sweet Fletcher’s tiny itsy face.

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Thoughts on not hating people who think and believe differently than you.

It’s so hard isn’t it? Whether it’s politics, religion, or how to properly make a bed, not hating someone who doesn’t do things or believe the same as you is hard. Because naturally, we all think that our own opinions and beliefs are the “right” way of thinking. It’s not like we just made these things up on the spot. Everyone comes to these conclusions throughout their lives because of different experiences they have had. How do we respect each other as people and resist the temptation to smash each other to the ground when we disagree?I actually don’t know. Was hoping something would come to me as I was writing this but I have got nothing. Because even though my values are to be kind and just and treat all people with respect, when I see things that are so full of hate, judgement and self righteousness my blood boils. I want with all my heart to destroy the ignorant thoughts I see with logic and loads of sarcasm to make them feel so so small. I know I’m an awful human. But I know I am not the only one. How do I know this? Because people are acting on this all over social media, behind screens, screaming their opinions. 

I think the reason I haven’t acted on my impulses to yell my words really loud and hatefully, even though it would feel REALLY good, is because I have not see one instance where that changes someone’s just as strong opinion to thinking like someone else. There is truly and literally no fruit from doing that. It doesn’t draw compassion, acceptance, respect, or tolerance from anyone. It continues to ignite fires of rage from everyone. 

I think the conversations about controversial things could be SO good if we knew how to communicate in a way where we listened to each other more than we yelled. When I was taking communications I remember one of the theories saying “speak in a way that people want to listen and listen in a way that people want to speak” that has always stuck with me because it seems so important if we ever want to create more acceptance, tolerance, and respect from each other and for each other. 

I don’t want to hear you if you don’t care to hear me. I don’t want to tell you my thoughts on something if the whole time you are preparing a rebuttals to shut me down. That’s not fun, that’s not educational or helpful. It doesn’t contribute to the world in a positive way. 

There are some amazing things happening in the world right now, both terrifying and liberating depending on who you are talking to. This is a remarkable time in history to be alive and experiencing all the life around us.

I wish we could figure out how to be human beings first, with compassion and understanding for our differences and value our humanity before we bring in all of our different opinions.

I wish we could all focus on loving one another before we scream out opinions, and even if we act on our impulses to yell our loud and passionate words, that at the end of that breath we remember to listen too. 

I think that would make the world a better place to live in. 

I think that would help us to hate each other a little less and love each other a little more. 

BUH- BYE 23

Im trying to reflect and get real sentimental and shit because my birthday is monday and another year has passed, you know? Im always trying to do that. I feel like I haven’t done a good job of documenting all the good stuff this past year. I don’t really feel too sentimental, but this stuff is important to me, so Im sitting on the back porch and writing down every word that passes through my head. Because you know, its all interesting.

My birthday has always symbolized the beginning of one of the best times of the year. Because for one, I was born. Two through a bazillion are the seasons and all that come with the next 4 months. 23 was good. Full of awkward and breath taking beginnings. Its hard to write them all down. 23 was filled with the things life is made of.

There are so many things I’m grateful for this year.

Well Dustin Shea Finn was a pretty good thing from 23..

Im delighted that my family grew when my sister got married this summer, and for all the friends that got married this past year. Some might call 23 my year of weddings. It was crazy and amazing and such an honor to be included in the celebrations of my amazing friends and family.

I am grateful I took 3 different writing classes this 23rd year. Those were amazing and reminded me that I am a writer, and the people in my class, they fed my creative soul. Something I learned is that you cant be a writer unless your writing. So start writing, anything, everything. Just write it down. Half of it you’ll throw out, but it will get you to the good stuff you knew was always there.

My dog. I am not lying about loving a dog. Until you have loved one there is a part of your capacity to love and care that just hasn’t been awoken. Huxley, sheesh. He’s the bee’s knee’s.

Im so thankful to be so in love with my job. Its is such a good thing to love what you do. Its a rare gem.

Im thankful things are constantly changing, because thats how we grow. Learning is so empowering, and im so glad that I am getting to experience that. DO NOT TELL MY OLD SELF, but I am digging this school thing.

Im also really thankful for stretchy pants. They make me feel so good and happy.

23 was great. But im not sad to say good bye to it. I am really looking forward to all the things in 24 right now. im trying very hard to take in this moment though, the last few days of 23.

When i turned 22, Taylor Swift came out with her awesome song about it. Her new album comes out in October and my new mantra will most likely be on her new album. Maybe ‘Shake It Off’.

http://youtu.be/nfWlot6h_JM

farewell 23, I loved all you brought me, I cherish you.

XOXO Bitches.

JK LYLAS TTYL BUH-BYE-BYE

Shelby Kayann

The good things today.

Things that are going right:

I’m obsessed with Meghan Trainor’s song “All About That Bass”
#loveit

Train tracks with Connor

Books: I’m reading the second book in a series called “Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs. It was slow going at first, but now I’m wrapped in a world of peculiar children and time traveling. Reading feels good. Next on the list is Kerry Cohens “loose girl” memoir. I. Am. Excited.

I finished two summer classes with an A and a 88. I feel like I have to say 88 because I’m mad it wasn’t an A. But they were my first school like things I’ve taken in four years. So I’m proud.

I’m taking my third writing class for fun. I highly recommend taking classes for fun from places like
http://oklahomacontemporary.org/edu/classes/writing/
They are so chill and you learn fun things. Like how to be a better writer. Or you at least write a lot of notes about it and hope to use them someday.

Ed Sheeran’s new album X is filled with all the relatable shit you love to listen to in your music.

Also this YouTube video makes me so happy.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10202884861189635&id=1445460111

And William Clark Green is playing at the Wormy Dog this Saturday evening and I’m not mad about it.

Also everything lily allen makes me feel good.

My hair is long. My dog is funny. Dustin is patient and kind and a good time. Idk.

I start anatomy this fall. Mercy. Pray for me.

I want to be vegan but I love ribs and Mac and cheese so that’s hard.

Just try to be better today. More kind, and less angry. Don’t be mean to yourself, listen to more bootylicious, watch Ellen, go for a walk. Do things that are good for you. Eat less Cheetos and more tomatoes and zucchini.

That’s what I tell myself when things feel like they are suffocating me.

Love love love,

Shelby Kayann.

Every, every minute

Terrible time of a morning. I couldn’t sleep in. Woke at 6 am and just laid there twitching and turning and my heart beating ever so fast. So I took a shower and washed the spray tan smell off of me, and went to the grocery store at 7am to get coffee and breakfast stuff. Then that love of mine made me breakfast, which was perfect and sweet in every way. But I got the hiccups and I felt like they were ruining everything. I read a blog, she referenced a line from a play, where the girl died but got to come back to live one more day, and she says “Do human beings ever realize life while they live it?-every, every minute?” long sigh…I read this while watching dustin make me breakfast and I can hear the coffee brewing, with the soft music I put on playing, amongst the symphony of other morning sounds I love so much. Perfectly normal and delicious moments all at once. But they are mixed in there with me spilling my fresh cup of coffee down my robe, and trying to take the trash cans up from the curb and getting attacked by a bazillion flies which sends me into a tizzy in the middle of the street. Then i drink a glass of water through a paper towel and my hiccups go away, I dry my hair, put some laundry in and hear the words of a song say “do what ever you need to be happy, i know its hard but blue skies are coming”…and I sigh again, with tears in my eyes, and just sit on the floor with my coffee, trying to figure out how to be a human being who realizes I’m alive, every every minute. Noticing deep breaths and tiny spiders next my arm that i cant seem to kill because life seems too precious in this moment.

My moms husband had a seizure wednesday night. Their 4 year wedding anniversary was thursday. four years. One of my best friends is getting married tomorrow. The one year anniversary of a sweet friends death was yesterday. My sister and her new husband are on their honeymoon. Im running around taking care of dogs and houses, while making sure I have my dresses and shoes and that I study for the two tests I have this weekend, and it all seems too much to bear at one time. I think about that line from that play, about us human beings ever realizing life while we live it….I sigh and breathe deeply. They are running tests on my step dad to see what caused the seizure. I think about my mom and their four years of wedded bliss and I cry. She has been through so much. She waited so long to find him and they are so perfect. They deserve eternity to be happy and together. I want to hold everyone so close and do everything I have ever wanted to do. Life is insane and brutal and beautiful. I have so many loved ones beginning their marriages, and others that are just having all the babies in the world, and they are stunning in their new roles. I have amazing fun and wild loved ones that stay up until dawn living happy and free. I am so humbled watching the beauty of it. There is so much to breathe in and breathe out. There is so much to worry and fear, but so much to be grateful for. I tell myself to feel it all. Every moment. Do not skip, or bypass it to make it small because of the feelings. Soak it up. All the people that are apart of this day right now. All the moments. I am sitting alone in a house with three dogs that I love and they are here, alive with me. So much is ahead, so much needs to be left behind, and I sit, I breath. I put the tiny spider in the planter. I’m amazed at life, while I am living it this morning. Theres no time to be cruel, self righteous or prideful. kindness is too sweet, and humbleness is too comforting. We need honest days and nights. With people who want to stand beside us and celebrate the good days and mourn over the days filled with loss. We need more of the telling people how much we love them. More living like this is our second chance at life. Even when we have hiccups and cant sleep. Especially then.

Relationship weight <3 <3 <3

Ok lets just talk about relationship weight for one quick second.

Just a minute because im not one to obsess over my weight/appearance/body/hair/all the vain shenanagins.

(nope. lies)

But seriously. Just for a moment.  

Like I gained about 11 pounds since ive been dating my incredibly sweet/handsome/kind/thoughtful/funny/mushy/gushy/vomit/love of my life.

I am so happy.

Like 11 pounds happier.

I wanted to freak out at first. I was so confused about it.

I have never been in this kind of happy relationship before.

No pity party though. I am just used to wanting to vomit most of the time because of all the dysfunctional non-communicating type things I usually get wrapped into that make me so sick to my stomach and hate my life.

But this one…I mean he makes me dinner like all the nights ever.

I haven’t eaten this good since the womb (I was a 10 pounder infant newborn)

And he loves me and hugs me and kisses me all the days.

I was conversing with a friend about it and said “ive gained 11 pounds since last summer. “ and she very bluntly said “oh when you were miserable and unhappy and out of control?” then I was like ooh ya,

This is what happy feels like.

Im not trying to tribute my happiness to my chubbiness…but it’s made me second guess my hate of my weight gain…im happy…so really it’s just a sign of that.

Im really happy.

11 pounds happier.

I aint even mad anymore.

Things you should do before or after any age at any time, gay or straight, single, married, divorced or widowed. For anyone ever at any point in time while there is oxygen in your lungs and your heart is still beating:

Live your life. Be free. Take deep breaths. Forget the bitches. Stop giving a damn about what anyone else in the world has to say or conclude about you. Be thankful, grateful, and joyful for every tiny detail of your life and where you are at. Marry or don’t. Go dancing with your friends. Fall in love. Indulge in things that make you happy and don’t feel guilty about it Be slow to speak and quick to listen. Always seek new perspectives. No matter if you agree with them or not. Keep your mind and heat open. Love people without giving yourself time to decide if they are worthy of it or not. Stop validating your marriage or your singleness with silly blogs like this and just keep living. Remember we are all on the same team and none of us make it out alive. Soo just make your own damn list and live it.

woah: 2013

Woah: 2013

Dancing

Adventure

Goodbyes

Hellos

Bravery

Risk

Overrated

Falling in love

Cluster of engagements

Changes

Lots of changes

Greatest lesson learned: Roll with the punches.

Greatest  discovery: How much I am still changing

 

The word change keeps rolling and sliding through my mind. My hate of it, need of it and utter thankfulness for it. This line from Downton Abbey keeps replying through my head, when Matthew Crawley says “I was so determined not to let these circumstances change me, that I forgot that things must change. When we stop changing, we die.”

My reflecting is slow…and delicate. Reminding myself to constantly be tender and kind to myself. Tip toeing across the quiet pain and basking in the overwhelming joy that this year brought. Reminding myself to read all the lines with thoughtful thankfulness. So much subtle changes over a year. Slowly but surely. I don’t have a conclusion to come to for the end of 2013 except that I know endings mean beginnings. Just when I think my changes are over, they are not. That’s something to look forward to.

I am excited to embrace the new year. Cheers to 2014!

Heres a poem. I didn’t write it, but I really love it a lot.

 

The Layers

By  Stanley Kunitz  

 

I have walked through many lives,

some of them my own,

and I am not who I was,

though some principle of being

abides, from which I struggle

not to stray.

When I look behind,

as I am compelled to look

before I can gather strength

to proceed on my journey,

I see the milestones dwindling

toward the horizon

and the slow fires trailing

from the abandoned camp-sites,

over which scavenger angels 

wheel on heavy wings.

Oh, I have made myself a tribe

out of my true affections,

and my tribe is scattered!

How shall the heart be reconciled

to its feast of losses?

In a rising wind

the manic dust of my friends,

those who fell along the way,

bitterly stings my face.

Yet I turn, I turn,

exulting somewhat,

with my will intact to go

wherever I need to go,

and every stone on the road

precious to me.

In my darkest night,

when the moon was covered

and I roamed through wreckage,

a nimbus-clouded voice

directed me:

“Live in the layers,

not on the litter.”

Though I lack the art

to decipher it,

no doubt the next chapter

in my book of transformations

is already written.

I am not done with my changes.