Thursday, October 31, 2013

How I became a ~Gatekeeper to Democracy~

Earlier last week I read an article in the newspaper about the city's need for election judges. With only two weeks until voting day, they were still over 300 judges short. I thought about it a bit and decided I would put in an application. I didn't,however,think they would actually need me. Surely, the article would drum up enough interest,right? Wrong. The very next day, I received a phone call with my precinct assignment and training schedule.

I attended my training class last night,which honestly was boring as all get out. But I did learn a few things and I officially became a certified election judge.

The Minneapolis Election Judge Credo

As election judges we serve as the Gatekeepers of Democracy.
As the public's guardians of freedom within a democratic society, we are responsible for the integrity of the election process.
On behalf of the people of the city of Minneapolis we proudly conduct elections with accuracy, integrity and dignity.
We conduct ourselves and serve the voters in a manner that maintains public trust and confidence in honest and impartial elections.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

LCHF again and a Crustless Spinach Quiche recipe

Somehow I managed to convince myself to give LCHF (low-carb, high-fat) another try. If you don't know much about it, you can read up on the eating style at the Diet Doctor or Low Carbs High Fat.  Essentially, it's an eating style that focuses on getting your calories from approximately 5% carbohydrates, 25% protein, and 70% healthy fats. There's plenty of research and scientific info out there. If you can't find it on your own and your interested, let me know and I'll show you some great resources.

Anyway, all of the research I have done has shown me that for someone who has issues with insulin resistance and hormone regulation, like myself, a diet that is low in carbohydrates is the most effective method of not only losing weight but balancing hormonal levels and blood sugars.

Because of my history with eating disorders, the last time we attempted LCHF, I really triggered myself. I was hyper-analyzing ever single micronutrient and macronutrient of my diet. I've decided to give it another go for a few months, but this time I am only going to pay attention to my carb, fat, and protein intake and trust that my body will crave the appropriate foods to get all of my vitamins and nutrients in (on top of my normal daily multi-vitamin).

Trusting my body. Huh. That will be a new concept and something that will probably be really good for me.

I'm also not focusing on this being about weight loss. Because what I really want to do is get my hormones working in the way that will help us to get pregnant when we start trying in a few months. However, I will, most likely, lose weight.

World's Easiest Crustless Spinach Quiche 

5 eggs
1 ten ounce package frozen spinach,thawed
3 cups shredded cheese (any type you like best)
1 tbs butter

In a tea towel, drain your spinach as well as you possibly can. Squeeze the heck out of it and get the water out.

Saute the spinach in a pan with a tablespoon of butter. You can choose to season the spinach now. I generally just use sea salt and black pepper, but you could add some garlic or any other favorite spice, too. 

While the spinach is sauteing, in a large bowl, mix together the eggs and cheese. 

And then fold in the spinach.

Grease a 9 inch pie pan and pour your mixture into the pan.

Bake that at 300 degrees for 30 minutes or until the eggs are set. 

Done! Enjoy! I told you! Easiest Quiche in the world! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

A weekend recap and Never Made A Playlist pt 2

It was all domestic, all the time this weekend at Casa Amelia. It's been awhile since we had a weekend where we didn't have a million things that had to be done. So, it was incredibly nice to The culmination of our excitement was a run to Costco to prepare our refrigerator for us to go back to low-carb/high-fat and a coffee shop job interview for me. Oh, and brunch with two of our greatest friends on Sunday morning.  It was pretty glorious, honestly. 

Musical Mondays

To follow up on last weeks, Never Made A Playlist, I give you the next five selections from the only one that I have ever made.

And they're behind the break!

Friday, October 25, 2013

5 Things I Have Learned In My Incredibly Short Career As A Blogger

1. I love swaps!

I discovered Swap-Bot, which is beyond fun.  I've been doing some small "digital swaps" this past week, including this super fun Photo Scavenger Hunt and a music playlist that was akin to making a mixed CD. Now I'm in the process of putting together a cute little package of things to ship off to a swap partner in Finland. FUN! I'm also going to try to get in on the next swap hosted over at Chaotic Goddess Swaps

2. My voice has faded. 

Back about ten years ago, I did a lot of writing. I wrote thousands of words every day on my Livejournal. I had  paper journals that I filled so quickly I bought them three at a time. I wrote stories and poetry. And I had a voice. A big beautiful flowing writer's voice.

 Look How Young, Punk, and Writerly I was in 2003!

Now as I edit my posts and read over the things that I have written, I cannot hear myself. My posts read in a very flat affect.It's something that I want to work on, and I have a feeling that just writing more often will bring that lyrical voice back. 

3. I really want to be stylish. 

My gosh, some of you amazing bloggers have style! For the longest time I blamed my  lack of style on being fat. "Fat clothes just aren't as cute!" But, man, am I eating those words now! You are all so gorgeous! As I sit here in a thermal and yoga pants, I'm feeling a little bit dowdy. I think this calls for an outfit of the day blogging series from me (and a shopping trip!) 

4. I don't own a full-length mirror.

And to follow up on that one, the few days that I have felt particularly cute and fancy, I realized that I have no way of documenting it! I guess I could use my self-timer on the camera, but it would be so so much easier if I just had a full length mirror somewhere in this house. 

5. The world is full of some amazingly kind and loving folks.

I posted recently on a blogging group that I belong to over on the ol' Facebook about feeling like the possible niches that I could fit my blog into are pretty clashing. I'm gay. I'm Christian. I'm liberal-as-F. I'm a mama, but he's 16 and not exactly toddler cute. I cook and DIY and craft, but it's all pretty mediocre. And I was a bit frustrated with that. It seems if I could find readers in one circle, they would be turned away by another aspect of my personality.

But the women on the blogging group circled the wagons and filled me up with so much love and support and enthusiasm.  So here I am, blog-world. Me,with all of my flaws and scars, me with all of my ideas and big heart. You get what you read here, and I really hope you'll find a reason to stick around.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Halloween Memories or the Ice Storm of 1991

Most of the Halloweens of my childhood blur into one big memory of costumes and candy and running around the neighborhood unsupervised. I couldn't tell you what costume correlated with what year, but I know there were a couple "punk rockers", a "hobo" and quote a few "hippy" years.

But if you grew up in Southern Minnesota, you remember Halloween 1991 perfectly.

At 11:00 in the morning on October 31, the snow started.

I was 13 years old and it was probably the last year I would be able to pull of trick or treating. My friend Heidi came over and we tried to go gather our Halloween spoils, but we only made it down to the end of the block before climbing through the blowing drifts made it to exhausting to go any further.  We returned to my grandma's house to find my poor grandmother in an absolute tizzy. She had been terrified the entire time we were out.

Over the next four days, my home town accumulated over 20 inches of snow, accompanied by 5-6 inches of ice.  Sometime around 10 o'clock that night, our power went out. The ice build up started causing the power lines to snap. The Governor declared the county I lived in a State of Emergency. 

It's been 22 years now, but strangely, it is still one of my favorite memories. Heidi, Grandma, and I pretended we were living on the prairie. We played cards by candle light. Since the power was out, we had no real way of cooking or warming water. Instead, we ate all of the frozen cookies and cakes from the deep freeze in the basement. We made a pallet bed on the living room floor and all snuggled together under  piles of blankets to sleep.

We were without power for over five days. My uncles came over to check on us three days later on November 3nd, and had to use a heatgun to melt the ice off the storm door to get in.

This post is brought to you by Throw Back Thursday for the SITS Blogtober Challenge! Head on over there and tell us YOUR Halloween memories.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fundraiser #1

I have recently been given the opportunity to evaluate a new fundraising website, and what perfect timing. is new type of crowdfunding that allows you to design a custom t-shirt and sell it to your supporters for a profit.

The excellent thing about Teespring is that you don't have to have a large amount of shirts printed in various sizes. You only have to sell 10 shirts of any size in order to have an order printed. It's perfect for smaller fundraisers like mine.

The design process was incredibly easy. You can upload your own art work, but I chose to use their graphic options, since I'm not much of a designer. With a very easy-to-use editor, I was able to create my t-shirt design in less than ten minutes.

So, I present to you, my Teespring Fundraiser:

Gay Christian Network Conference!

From the Gay Christian Network website: 

Founded in 2001, the Gay Christian Network (GCN) is a nonprofit Christian ministry dedicated to building bridges and offering support for those caught in the crossfire of one of today’s most divisive culture wars.
Our membership includes both those on Side A (supporting same-sex marriage and relationships) and on Side B (promoting celibacy for Christians with same-sex attractions). What began as an organization to provide support to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) Christians has grown into a worldwide movement for compassion with many straight members as well.
GCN helps create safe spaces both online and offline for Christians of all sorts to make friends, ask questions, get support, and offer support to others.
Through conferences, speaking events, videos, message boards, and more, we’re transforming the conversation in the church and working to “share Christ’s light and love for all.”

The online community has proven to be a huge support in my life and has become particularly important to me as I have begun to think more about my path into seminary and the ministry. Having a place where I am completely and totally accepted and have no need to ever defend my beliefs or my theology has been so very helpful.

The 10th Annual Gay Christian Network Conference is being held in Chicago this year and I would really love to be able to attend. The keynote speaker is Rachel Held Evans, author of A Year of Biblical Womanhood. I am beyond excited to hear Rachel speak and, of course, attend all the other workshops and events associated. It's bound to be an amazing weekend!

Of course, to do this will require a little bit of financial wrangling on my part. I'm looking into a part-time seasonal job, planning out a very strictly budgeted for the trip, and planning a few fundraisers.

Budget Transparency 

Conference Fee-  $180 
Hotel (4 Nights at Conference Hotel)-  $554.06 
Mega Bus Roundtrip-  $25
Meals ($30/day)-  $150

Grand total:                           $909.06

Monday, October 21, 2013

Never Made A Playlist- Musical Mondays!

Musical Mondays

About a year ago, I started to curate a playlist of all of my favorite songs on You Tube. It started to grow so quickly. It's up to over 40 songs. Obviously, there is music that I absolutely love. I had never one that before. Compiling all of my musical taste into one small little area felt so exposing and vulnerable. But isn't that how we make connections? Through our vulnerabilities?

So, I've decided for the next few weeks of Musical Mondays to share that playlist with you, in segments, of course.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sharing My Faith Sunday

Share My Faith Sunday

A number of new readers have been around lately. Hello, new readers.  And a number of them are from the blogosphere. While reading through blogs, it seems that Christian women are truly drawn to blogging. Or maybe it is just the circles that I follow. Very, very rarely however do I find women like myself. A gay Christian. Really. We do exist. And we are real Christians.

I do not want to argue theology or biblical history or scripture translation with anyone. Instead, I want to open up a dialogue about how we as Christians can accept and encourage one another, just as members of different denominations are learning to unite in their similarities, instead of being drawn apart by their differences.

So, today, I want to share some of my favorite bible verses. These verses sustain me, encourage me, give me hope. And I hope they can do the same for you.


For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it — the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus- Romans 3:20-24 

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. -Ephesians 2:8-9

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.-
1 Peter 4:8 

Beloved Child of God

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. - Psalm 139:14

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations. -Jeremiah 1:5

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.- Romans 8:28

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God -John 1:12

Above all Love

"Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. - 1 John 4:7-8

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.- John 13:34-35

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Evolution of Hair

It's pretty obvious that I've never been shy about making changes to my hair. "It's just hair," right?  Unfortunately, no matter how I've had it cut or colored, within a week or two I am back to pulling it into a ponytail or putting headbands into it.  And not in a cute accessorizing way.  I just end up hating my hair, because it's not what I want. I've never had the guts to be really direct with my stylist. 

I've recently begun seeing an amazing stylist who I trust and respect greatly. And I want to do something amazing with my hair. Something over-the-top. I want my hair to finally express my personality. I've had soccer mom hair a lot in my life and I'm tired of it!  

There are so many gorgeous, stylish, trendy, fancy bloggers out there. I know some of you must have some great ideas!  Help me! 

Any great looking hairstyles I should try? Or do I just continue to let it grow and forget about trying to be fancy, since I'm in my late-30s. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thankful Thursday!

This Thursday I am thankful for...

1.  This little girl. She's so ridiculously sweet and lovely. She's a constant reminder in my life of newness and hope. Between that and being so adorably shaped like a furry golf ball, I can honestly say that she brings joy to my life every single day. (Even when I'm utterly and completely exhausted because she is keeping me up all night, which brings us to item no. 2 on my list)

2.  With the inevitable tiny amount of sleep I have been getting lately, I have been consuming an abnormally large amount of coffee. Pumpkin Spice cream has been without a doubt making this a much more enjoyable experience. 

3. To continue on with the autumnal theme, the beautiful view from my front porch. Even though my reasoning for sitting on my front porch is not my proudest (smoking again), there is something about the colors of fall that really soothe my soul; the creamy yellows and browns of the leaves on the ground, the soft bluish grey of the sky,the deep greens of the pine trees. The earth is falling asleep. It's a constant reminder of the need to slow down during this season. 

4. My wonderful, amazing, beautiful wife. She has been so patient with me this last month or two as I have struggled with anxiety and depression. I am not the ideal partner when I'm in the midst of a panic attack or having a really hard night. I'm so incredibly grateful that I found her and that I get to keep her. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Our Wedding Wines for Wino Wednesday!

Following along with some girls after my own heart, I am going to participate in Wino Wednesdays! Essentially, an excuse to drink wine, write about wine, enjoy wine. I'm good with that!

A year ago in December, we attended the wedding of a darling friend who is the daughter of our darling friend. (The sounds so complex! Basically we're friends with S,the mom, and R, the daughter.) When I went up to the bar to get a glass of wine, I noticed that the wine was home bottled. I mentioned how cool that was to S and how amazing the wine was. Later that night before we left, S informed us that she wanted to bottle all the wine for our wedding as her gift to us! AMAZING! Not only was it the most thoughtful, generous gift, but it saved us a great deal of money and gave us another amazing story to go along with our wedding. 

When S presented us with the cases of wine, I nearly died of heart-splosion! Earlier in the year I had a custom cartoon drawn of our dogs to give to Wendy as a gift, and S had used that drawing to design the wine bottle labels!  

And I present to you, our wedding wines, from Riley & June Vineyards (which you will never find in any fancy wine retailer near you!) 

Fancy Pants White

Landshark Red

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Coming Out of "Blog Retirement"

Years ago, I was an avid blogger. Well, I guess officially, I was an avid LiveJournaler. My LiveJournal contains over 1200 posts from a 10 year time period. I wrote daily, sometimes multiple times a day. I disclosed everything to my small, but tight knit "friends list". I wrote about what was happening in my life, about my relationships, about bad dates, about the life lessons I was learning, and the things in my life I was excited about. It was a diary, of sorts. Mostly, it was a community that I held near and dear to my heart. I stopped using LiveJournal when Facebook became all the rage, because most of my friends transferred over. There are still a few diehards that I log into LiveJournal to check up on, but for the most part, it's a ghost town. And I miss it!

 So, I head back to the idea of blogging. And I start up a blogger account, or a new Wordpress blog. And then I start jumping around the blogosphere and I'm disappointed.

Don't get me wrong, there are some wonderful bloggers out there. Blogs that let me look into lives and truly get to know their writers. But for the most part... Well, let's just say that if I ever have a spare armoire sitting around I'll know fifty ways to reuse it and I could build an entire home of furniture if I ever stumble upon a treasure trove of pallets. They all seem to be linking to each other, and most of the "link parties" are the same 100 posts on the same 100 blogs.

 *sigh* I am so incredibly impressed by the amount of creative, crafty folks out there, but where are all of the LIFE blogs? Is there still a community left in blogging? Is the only way to connect with people to throw another "that's awesome" into the comments on yet another DIY project?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Same Love for Musical Mondays

What is Musical Mondays?
Musical Mondays is a weekly linky party where we share a song we're into for the week, and talk about why we like it-or why it effects us.  Miss Angie is also hosting a Giveaway to my favorite album of the year over at My So-Called Chaos

Musical Mondays

So, the Giveaway at Ms. Angie's blog is for The Heist by Macklemore and Ryan Smith. The song that  played after the officiant announced us "officially and legally married" was Same Love. It's become a bit of an anthem for gay marriage, I know.  And at first I was worried about how overused and cliche it probably will become for weddings. But then I realized, it's sort of like "Here Comes The Bride".  It's one of those things that will connect all of the couples who have finally gained the right to be married. (And it really kinda makes a gorgeous slideshow!) 

Wendy & Amelia's Wedding by Slidely - Slideshow maker

Our Little Foster Pal

Hi Gorgeousness! (And a special hello to whoever started following me on Bloglovin! You're my first official follower that isn't just me!)

I thought I'd introduce you to our beautiful little foster. She's going to be staying with us for a month or two until she can mature enough to eat on her own. Her official name with the rescue is Avita, but I've just been calling her Squeak or Kitt.


She is so tiny that she needs to eat every few hours, which has required to me sleeping on the couch for the last week, except for last night when my Wife took over baby duty so that I could get a solid night of sleep. 

I was laughing a bit tonight about it, because in reality, with our plans to add a new baby to the family sometime in the next year, it's great practice! It's been a long time since we've spent so much energy caring for something this tiny,and helpless.  

Speaking of our plans to add to the family, I've been narrowing down our donor choices and paying more attention to what I'm eating and drinking. I'm going to start working on decreasing my caffeine intake. At this point, I think that our plan is to start trying officially as soon as the holidays are over. I lost the ten pounds of stress weight that I gained during the wedding and I've managed to remain a non-smoker (in spite of a couple of incredibly difficult nights that I was dying to light up).  So, yep. We're ready.  Now just to get through the the holidays in a relatively healthy way! 

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Long Awaited Wedding Re-cap

And what perfect timing. Today is National Coming Out Day. Obviously, since this is a post full of pictures of our beautiful wedding, I'm "out", "jumping around outside the closet door folding rainbow origami flowers out". But maybe someone will see this, someone who isn't out, who hasn't felt safe, who is still questioning if coming into who you truly are is worth the pain and stress. The day that I sat at a table surrounded by a group of strangers in a therapy group and for the first time said, "I'm gay" was the day that I finally started to come into an authentic life. All I can say to you, darling Sisters and Brothers, is YES. Oh, God, Yes. It is worth it.
(Will update with a new photo gallery shortly!)

What I Wish I Had Known

I'm in the process of going back to school. Since I've spent the majority of the last decade fighting the good fight, I never really thought that this would happen again. Of course, I've always said I would do it. And there was two years that I studied my behind off trying to become a traditional midwife which involved more education than I ever anticipated. But I never thought I would actually be attending a legitimate college again.

I did it when I was younger. In fact, I "went back to school" quite a few times. I did it so many times that I got myself into a great deal of debt. Terrible debt. Twenty-grand of useless debt. I managed to accumulate 23 credits. I essentially paid a grand per credit for a measly 23 credits. Ridiculous.

When I was 20 years old, no one ever sat me down to talk about financing my education. They just slid a piece of paper in front of me, I signed it, and next thing I knew I had paid for my tuition and books and there was an overage check in my pocket. No one bothered to point out that even though tuition at a community college was less than 2,500 a semester, I was taking out ten-grand in loans that I didn't need. I figured if the school's financial aid office was going to offer me that much, that's what I should take out. Yeah, not the greatest thought process I've ever had.

My financial aid award letter arrived in the mail today. It seems I will be spending the next few days doing math (which may be why I have avoided college for all these years). Maybe this time I will only borrow what I need. well, maybe that and a little more because I'd love to have a laptop that doesn't randomly shut down.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Nothing

So, we've been married for six weeks now. And the first month slipped away from me in a giant hour of darkness.  Do you remember The Neverending Story?   Do you remember The Nothing?

That is how I spent the month of September; feeling as though I am being blown and pushed by a nameless, faceless darkness. And each time I would fight to get back up, it would knock me down again. And cover me in a sand that was so heavy and relentlessly immovable that I thought I would never be able to dig my way out of it. 

I lay on the sofa and stared at the ceiling, stared at the front window of our house (not out the window, *at* the window). I looked around the house and berated myself about the messy state of affairs. I forgot to eat for entire days and then would spend the darkness eating whatever I could find in the pantry. And then berated myself for eating. 

About a week ago, at 3 o'clock in the morning, I found myself sitting on the bathroom floor, quite literally having an argument with myself. 

I have to get it out of me. This food is killing me.  
I can't. I have to get up and walk away from it.  
If I can't puke, then how in the hell do I get rid of this....feeling? I cannot FEEL anymore.  
I have to figure out how to get past this. It's not going to be easy.  
But there's always a razor, or a scissors, or a steak knife, or hell, even just a sharp safety pin. 

Somehow something in me managed to drag myself out of the bathroom and into the hallway and onto the sofa into the comfortably uncomfortable divot that my ass has formed through my years of struggling with depression. 

And I prayed. Well, I prayed in the only way I could manage right then. "Help me. Show me. Love me. Please."  (What can I say? I'm a selfish pray-er when I'm in the midst of depression.) And I kept reminding myself (and I continue to remind myself) that I am a deeply loved child of God and that God has loved me even when I wasn't so sure I loved God. 

I prayed and kept praying until I got myself to my bi-weekly therapy appointment. And I prayed and kept praying until I took my meds every night.

"Courage is to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart." --Brene Brown


There are some who will read this, people whom I call my dear friends and whom I trust and respect deeply, who think that my prayers are useless, that I am crying out to a non-existent entity. And that is okay.

There are others who I trust and respect who will read this and think that I am poisoning my mind and body with psychiatry and psychiatric medication, that I should trust in God and His plans for me. And that is okay. 

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