My 2014 In Review

This was quite a year. It was filled with a lot of firsts. We had vacations, guests come and visit, concerts, parties, and more. I’d say 2014 was one for the books. I’m grateful for being able to blog through most of it and sharing it with you. But I must say I’m looking forward to making 2015 even better! Here is a glance at the incredible year David and I have had! FotorCreated13 January: The year started with plenty of snow storms. At the time, we were at our old apartment and I believe there were  several days that we ended up snowed in. Although I’m not complaining because there is something very cozy (and a bit apocolyptic) about being snowed in! Other January adventures? David crashed his car :/ On that snow that I just stated that we “love”… FotorCreated February: Friends came and visited and we started to really feel at home in our new-ish home. It was a great feeling. We also picked up a new hobby of finding open houses on weekends and going to pretend we were in the market for a new home. There is never a dull moment with David. Plus our first Valentines Day together! David surprised me with dinner, chocolate, flowers, balloons, I’m talkin’ the works! Now the pressure is on for next year ;)FotorCreated2 March: In March my whole family went to see Flogging Molly, courtesy of my sister and brother-in-law for Christmas! We are Irish through and through so you can imagine we got very into this concert. Looking back at these pictures is making me miss my long hair!FotorCreated3 April: This year I had a big reunion with my household from college. #Stella. It was pure bliss seeing all my best friends and girls I haven’t seen since graduation. I wish I could have a reunion every year. We also spent Easter at the hospital this year to be with my aunt who had been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. As of now?!? She’s cancer free! God is good. FotorCreated4 May: My sister, mom and I ran in our first (official) 5k. And let me just say… it felt good. It was an Ovarian Cancer run for my aunt and I have to say it was much more emotional than I thought it’d be. Even injuring my foot was well worth it. I also got to start up on my very first garden this year on our little balcony. It was simple and small but it did the job. We had fresh basil for pesto and tomatos for sauces in no time. I may or may not have killed off some peppers by accident…FotorCreated5 June: What happens in June?!? We celebrate my birthday of course! And I was really gettin’ into this whole getting healthy thing. Weights became my game. Let’s just say it was a love/hate relationship.FotorCreated6 July:  This was definitly one of our busier months of the year! To celebrate David’s birthday and the 4th of July, we went up to Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes in Northern Michigan. Apparently climbing the dunes was a much bigger feat than we had expected. But we did it and were proud of it… Although that may be the only time we climb them… We ALSO made another annual trip up to Mackinac Island with the fam! This year was a weirder year for us and had a hint of the drama but it was still well worth the vacation time.FotorCreated7 August: My mom taught me how to make jam! Good ole’ fashion strawberry jam. AND I went to camp for the first time in my life! Well… I went as a counselor but who can complain when your horseback riding, swimming and crafting for a whole week in beautiful northern Michigan? Not this girl.FotorCreated8 September: Fall is here. And ya know what that means?!? Cider Mills. We went to a fair amount and sampled plenty of doughnuts and cider. Oh… and we made a big decision. To move or not to move when the lease is up. Well you probably already know. We started looking for a new place to call Home Pt. 2!FotorCreated9 October: This is almost always one of my favorite months. But for different reasons then when I was a kid. This year we celebrated our One Year Anniversary! Plus we made the BIG (and hectic) MOVE! We left our first home as a couple and headed into our current town home. I’d rather wait a while before we move again. Not exactly a fun experience. Oh, and I got promoted at work! And of course we did some Halloween-y type things…FotorCreated10 November: Another busy month for us! We visited friends, ran in the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, just started to get settled into our new home, AND I got my wisdom teeth out. This month I was thankful for General Anesthetics. FotorCreated11 December: This December was a little crazy, a little hectic, but a lot enjoyable. I even finished my 25th book of the year! Getting closer to my 50 books in a year goal! Also this month David and I went to see Wicked at the Detroit Opera House, we visited an NFL exhibit and got to see a REAL Lombardi trophy (see our reflection below, we just don’t take normal pictures), went to see a Houston Texans game in Indianaplois (the Texans lost though, still a sore subject with David;) and we spent some quality time together.  It has been the perfect way to end 2014.   FotorCreated12   There is a lot I will miss about 2014. But I really don’t like living in the past which is why I’m hoping 2015 will be it’s own kind of wonderful. I made goals this year and I crushed goals this year. I made meories and I captured memories. 2015 has a lot to live up to, although it’s at an unfair advantage because 2014 was a lot of David and my firsts. BUT all the more reason to make 2015 just as good, if not better than the last. Here we go! Happy New Year, friends! See you next year!

Crushing Goals

I am a girl of goals. Not big, huge goals. But I have found over time that I work more productively if I have something in mind that I am working towards. Whether it be training for a race or to get my to-do list done by Saturday evening, I have to have it written out (take my Bucket List for example), otherwise I have a hard time staying focused. Not ADD (although some may say otherwise), I just get excited by a lot of different things all at once.

With that said. Last week I got to cross something wonderful off my Bucket List. I got promoted at work! Now, I don’t talk about work very often here on the blog for many reasons. I don’t even know if I’ve ever told you where I work. But I WILL tell you I WAS an Administrative Assistant. Which I wasn’t always proud of, but am so happy with how that job turned out. It’s easy to feel like you’re not doing anything important as an Assistant. But if you ARE one, I promise, you are doing VERY important things. I know firsthand. But NOW I am transitioning into a Web Content Specialist.

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I am so excited to get all my training done and know everything there is to know about HTML and CSS and Javascript and all those wonderful nerdy things that I’ve always been interested in learning but never thought I’d actually go into. But it’s funny to look back at how I felt when I wrote my bucket list. Being promoted was never really something I was sure of would happen. Mostly because I was an assistant. I didn’t think there was anywhere to go.

But God has bigger plans for me than I can see. All the things I complained about in my first job, He has found a way to fix in this new job. I don’t sit all by myself now. I’m on a team with other people. I have someone to actually talk to. Like, a real human being. Whattt?! I have a window! And my own thermostat! No more feeling deprived of Vitamin D or shivering under a blanket. I’m sure in time I’ll find something to complain about at the new job because let’s be honest. I’m human. As in, very, very human.

So I tell you all this so 1. You can share in my excitement, 2. So you can maybe see where you want change in your life and trust God that He’s got it all in control (as always) and 3. On a more practical note, let you know it’ll be a little harder for me to post here but I am taking a stance here and now to not let it fall by the way side. If any blogger out there has any advice for juggling a big job and their blog, I’d love a teensy bit of advice! And maybe a hug (is there such thing as an e-hug?). Cause I know I’m gonna need it as I continue into my rigorous training…

No more scheduling meetings for this girl! Just attending them! And on that note, heading out for a meeting now… I’ve got some more goals to crush!

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365 Days Later…

One year of marriage down, many more to come. Two Saturdays ago (Oct. 4), David and I celebrated our one year anniversary. It seems crazy that it’s already been a year! The past few days have been filled with, “A year ago we were doing this” or “a year ago we were doing that“. There is just so much to remember about that special day.

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To celebrate, we decided to keep it pretty low key, but still be able to get away and have a nice night out. That Friday night we stayed in the city and went out to eat at a fancy-shmancy restaurant in downtown. Like most places we go, David ended up making friends with all the workers and we stayed and chatted with Mike-the-bartender about HIS newlywed life and baby on the way.

Later we headed to our home for the night. We stayed at the same hotel that we stayed at on our wedding night, Motor City Casino and Hotel. Obviosuly we weren’t there for the casino but David had never gambled before so we spent about an hour down there at the slots. Needless to say we didn’t win back the money we spent on the wedding… Maybe next time.

The hotel stay was perfect because we got upgraded to a river view/Ambassador bridge view and they even left us some chocolate covered strawberries. Not too shabby. AND of course once Saturday rolled around we started drinking out of our champagne glasses and nothing else. We decided to NOT bring them to brunch as we didn’t want strangers handling them. But brunch wasn’t complete without crepes at my favorite French place downtown. Because crepes have kinda become the unofficial food of our relationship. Everywhere we go, we stop at crepe places, but it’s totally unplanned.

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We headed home and just spent the day as the two of us and even got to enjoy our anniversary cake (same kind as our wedding cake, white with rasberry filling omgYUM)

Anyway, all in all it was a magnificent day/night. We talked a lot about the past year and the upcoming year. And then I came across a great discovery.

For our wedding shower, my aunts had everyone write on an index card, one piece of advice that they wanted to share with us. Some of them were great. Some were confusing. Some were hilarious. And some were too inapropriate to put on my blog :) But here are a few of the best AND worst marriage advice we received:

BEST: Travel the World Together– This advice came from my aunt/Godmother who I am very close with. She and my uncle have always been big travelors which is something I love about them. Although David and I have done a LOT of our world traveling together already (4 months abroad in Europe while in college is a long time), there is still so much to see. We have plenty of states to make it to maybe a few more countries if we’re lucky. I love traveling with D and we always come away with the best memories.

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^^ Munich, Germany.  During the days of just being friends. Oh how things have changed…

WORST: Never Go to Bed Angry– I realize that this is often advice given to new couples. But I’ve gotta say I’m not the biggest fan. I WILL say I do NOT like going to bed without resolving something, but I think that sometimes, not always, but sometimes things can not be resolved in a night. Often when we are over tired or just trying to hurry and make up, we may not say what we want/need to say. Or worse, we may say something we will regret. I think sometimes it’s better to let it go till morning when you’ve gotten some sleep. By morning, you may look at the situation and realize it’s not as big of a deal as you thought. I mean it’s a nice romantic thought to not go to bed angry, but I think realistically it’s bound to happen and it’s okay.

BEST: There is More than One Right Way to Do Something– Whoa I love this one. David does laundry different than I do. He loads the dishwasher different than I do. He makes the bed different. And folds clothes different. And cooks different. There are a lot of things I learned when we first got married that we do differently. But it all gets done. Maybe not the same way. Maybe not at the same rate. But we both had to learn to hold our tongues when we saw somebody doing something in a different way than we were used to. I’ll be honest, it definitely hasn’t been easy. And I still catch myself about to say something and then remember I should hold my tongue. As long as the task gets done, I have no need to worry.

WORST: Greet Your Husband at the Door with a Smile and a Drink– I’ll admit. I’m very traditional. I like the idea of having dinner made when my husband gets home. I like the idea of him coming home to a clean house. But all in all, this advice seems a bit unrealistic. For one thing, 3 out 5 days of the work week David and I drive together, so we get home at the same time. The other two days, I generally get ‘home’ earlier, but I spend that time running around getting errands done. Most of the time I try to have something prepared for dinner, even if it just means re-heating leftovers so they’re ready when he walks in the door. Do I greet him with a smile? Sure. Is it at the door? Generally no, I just peek around the corner of the kitchen and throw a quick hello at him so I don’t burn the food. And as for greeting him with a drink everyday? Well David is more of a lightweight than I am and I certainly am not striving to turn him into an alcoholic. Strange advice, I must say…

BEST: Never Stop Dating Your Spouse– This one couldn’t be more true. I think it’s helped our sanity and allowed us to experience new things. But we’ve never really called our dates ‘dates’. We just plan fun things to do I guess. Like our “Moving Day Bucket List”. We made a list of all the things we love to do in our current area and we have to do them at least once more before we move. Or our spontaneous Puppy Dates to the puppy store near us. They let you play with the puppies as long as you want. Instant smile factor. Or our trip to the ZooBrew! I think it’s important to always be trying new things and never stop exploring.

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WORST: Never argue– Okay this one is obvious as to why it’s the worst advice. But the WORST part of this advice we were given is that it was given to us by the oldest person at our wedding shower (90+ yrs old) and she had been married the longest out of anyone in the room (50-60+yrs). We were expecting some really heartfelt, deep stuff. I mean being married to someone that long is a HUGE accomplishment and I wanted to know what great, words of wisdom she’d have. I laughed when I read her ‘advice’. David and I have already failed at that one, let me tell you! I think it’s healthy to argue sometimes and needs to be done. Even if it’s little. Everyone needs to get their point of view out and sometimes you need to yell it out. It’s okay. Don’t hold it in. For the love of God whatever you do, just don’t hold it in.

BEST: Hold Hands While Having an Argument– This one seems very weird. I got this advice from a close family friend. She got it while on a marriage retreat with her husband. They were told, next time you really are going at it, make a note to hold each others hands (no matter how much you don’t want to at that moment). Believe it or not, you’re more likley to listen, and I mean actually listen to the other person when you are having that intimate physical touch with them. A few others have told me to do this and all have said it made what they were fighting about seem so stupid and insignificant. They learned to love each other better through the fight AND they’re fights got shorter as well as they started fighting a lot less. Now D and I have never actually tried this but it’s something to think about next time you’re going at it. Just try it, no matter how weird it feels at first.

One thing I’ve learned over this past year is that what works for one couple, very well may not work for another. It’s not a comparison game and that’s a hard line to walk. I’ve been guilty of this myself and that’s why I’m glad we had the advice cards at our table. Because we can pick and choose what advice will work for us. And just laugh a little at the rest :)

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New Brews to Peruse: ZooBrew

A few months ago, I was trying to find some upcoming, fun events that David and I could go to that were A. relativley close and B. relativley cheap.  I came across a few that seemed worthy of trying out but the one I was most excited for was the Detroit Zoo Brew. They had a summer date and a fall date and it offered the chance to hang out at the zoo, see the animals and try a plethora of local beers and brews. OBVIOUSLY we chose the fall date and snagged my parents to come along for the ride.

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We were each given 12 drinking tickets to try over 60 different beers. So picture over 1,000 people walking around the zoo 12 beers in… (granted they were 3-6 oz. samples we’d get with a ticket but STILL a lot of beer).

So I don’t know if this post is more for me to remember the beers I liked or for you to go try them but I’d say a little bit of both… Anyways, here are my favorites I tried!

Vander Mill Cider : Ginger Peach– I have always been a big fan of ciders. Ever since I tried Pear Bulmers’ in Ireland, I was hooked. So of course I was going to hit as many cider booths as I could. This one may have been the cider to come out on top. Vander Mill is located in West Michigan on a large apple orchard. Their brewery sounds pretty awesome and hopefully I can make it there someday. At the Zoo Brew, they offered two flavors to try: the Ginger Peach and the Totally Roasted. I only tried the Ginger Peach but it was the perfect amount of flavor without being to overpowering. It was crisp from start to finish. Apparently Totally Roasted is one of their most populars, although I didn’t try it. That one has has the apple cider taste with candied pecans steeped in as well. I MUST try this next.

Atwater Brewery : All things Atwater Brewery that I have tried are ALL good. Therefore it is very hard to pick ONE. This is a brewery located right in good ole’ Detroit and is very popular with locals (and then some). They had several beers at the Zoo Brew but my favorite would probably be Dirty Blonde. It’s very light and a little spicy (probably because of being brewed with orange peel and coriander) but it also has a sweetness to it (but NOT considered a sweet beer). This one tends to be a favorite ’round these parts.

Dark Horse Brewing Company : Scotty Karate – Watch out for with this one. This right here is a Scotch Ale and was 9.75% ABV! This one here pretty much finished me off for the night but I’m glad I had it last. It was just an enjoyable beer. A little more heavy, the taste made me think of caramel or bread or bourbon/whiskey type of flavors. Weird I know but if you’re looking for a beer that you’ll only need one of, here ya go! Dark Horse Brewing Company is located in Marshall, MI (which I’ll be honest, I have no idea where that is) but they seem to have a a really great selection. Next on my list to try is their Perkolator Coffee Dopplebock.

Jolly Pumpkin : La Parcela (Pumpkin Ale) Alright. So this one was not so new to me. I’ve had it a few times and have loved all the different ones I’ve tried so far. Let me clear common misconception up… Jolly Pumpkin is the name of the brewing company, but all their beer is not pumpkin flavored. In fact I think this is the only one that is. It was named Jolly Pumpkin because they owners thought it sounded like a nice unique name. See? Nothing to do with the flavor pumpkin. EXCEPT for this beer specifically. It is so smooth going down. At the end, if you’re a beer enthusiast (which I am not I just read about it ;) you may find a hint of cacao going down. Definitly worth trying especially if you’re a #basicb***h and love you some pumpkin! Also worth trying if you DON’T like pumpkin, as it’s not too heavy.

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I figure that’s a couple you can go ahead and try and will most likely fall in love with. This was such a fun experience and worth every penny. Next time we’ll probably head to the summer one, just so it’s lighter out longer and so we can walk around and see the animals more. But all in all great experience. Check your local zoo and see if they have a Zoo Brew. I know a few of the big ones throughout the country do. You won’t regret it :)

Sweet, Sweet, Sweater Weather: 7QT

Shall we spend some time with Jen? Well duh we should. So here we go, off to Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes.

1. Did you know it was football season? I’m assuming, if you do not, you are living under a rock. Because that seems to be what monopolizes the cable networks this time of year. But in the past few years, I’ve seemed to mind less and less. You see David is an avid football fan. He is constantly rooting on the Houston Texans and/or finding out when the next game is on, even if it’s not his team. And ME, being the wonderful and doting wife that I am, have decided to learn about this bizarre and violent, American past time. Every year he trys to re-teach me but THIS year… I have started reading football for dummies. No joke. But what I’m most looking forward to is going to see the Texans play in December. AND maybe a pit stop in Indianpolis for some Notre Dame football. Who knows? I’m feeling generous! But between you and I, the thing I like most about football is that it means it’s fall AND the food isn’t all the bad either ;)

2. So a few weeks ago I mentioned that the Pope was going to be heading to Philly in 2015. What? No fair right?!? But don’t fret, Annie. As Detroit’s mayor AND our Archbishop have just decided to send a formal invitation to Pope Francis to come to Detroit. It all came after one of our local schools started a campaign to write letters to the pope. Being that I work for the Catholic community IN Detroit, I would be placed RiGHT in the thick of it all, and let’s just say I’m not complaining. I’m just thinking… the pope loves the poor and is always talking about econmics, well we have 1. lots of poor 2. We’re probably the poorest large city in the states (but beginning to bouncing back) and 3. the economic state of our city governement is still not up to par. Plus we have a pretty awesome Catholic community around these parts. All these things, in my mind lead to getting Francis here ASAP!

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3. I love getting my nails done. What I don’t like is paying the prices to do so. Especially because I have a pretty steady hand so can make it LOOK ok, but my biggest pet peeve is when I find it chipping a day or two later. So you can imagine how happy I was when I found a CLEAR gel nailpolish that will make your nails not chip AT ALL for at least a week. And then after the week, they may start chipping but nothing too dramatic. The polish is called Gelous: Advanced Gel Nail Coat by American Classics. You can only find it at Sally’s or other beauty supply stores. But the best part is it’s only $6! Whereas a professional mani usually costs $25-30. And that’s only for ONE mani. Here are my nails after 7 days! Not too shabby if you ask me…

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4. There is nothing in life that a little cheetah and ankle boots can’t handle. Maybe that should be my new life motto…

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5. There has been a huge craze over essential oils latley, amiright?!? I’ve been pondering about dabbling with these slippery creations for a LONG while now but finally pulled the trigger and bought a few. And am very happy about it. I bought a starter pack of lavendar, lemon, and peppermint, a bottle of Eucalyptus for cold season, and a roll on headache blend called Past Tense. The ones I bought were from doTerra, as a close friend of mine is a sales associate and hooked me up. I also plan on trying Young Living oils as well as another close friend sells these oils and I’ve heard a LOT of great things about YL plus their selection is gargantuan (if you want either of their contact info let me know or go to Chelsea’s doTerra site here and Olivia’s Young Living contact page here). The lavendar has helped me rest easier, the lemon wakes me up AND curbs my appetite and the peppermint has helped a stomach ache or two. Among many other things that these oils do. I’ll keep you updated on my oil experiences! I’m sure you’re dying to know.

6. Today I brought a sweater to work. To permanently sit on the back of my chair. It’s that time of year. FALL. My favorite season. *Insert happy white girl dance here*

7. Do you know what a polar vortex is? Well that is what we are in. And apparently they can last up to 4 winters. Basically… do you remember how bad last winter was? Well this winter is supposedly going to be worse. Then next winter will be even worse than this one. And THEN the winter after that will start getting better……………………………………………………….No. You’ll be able to find me hibernating or making as many winter trips to Florida as I possibly can. I mean I love winter I really do… but 3 more winters of hell-like winters conditions? Jesus give me da patience…

Have a happy fall-filled weekend!

Challenging the Cat-Callers of the World

I’ve learned a lot of things working in the great city of Detroit. For one, I’ve learned I am, and probably always will be, directionally challenged. I’m not being self-deprecating here, just honest. Second, to speak more on practical matters, I’ve learned the best places to get coffee or which food truck is poppin’ at lunch time.

But when it comes to myself, I’ve learned…well…I AM learning how to interact with people more positivley. Let me explain.

On my lunch breaks, I’ll often leave my building and head to the center of downtown. I’ll either bring my packed lunch with me or stop and grab something to eat by the fountains in the park while I listen to whatever live band is playing that day. Sounds nice, right? Well ON my way to the park, I often am minding my own business when I’ll have a man lean out his car window to catcall at me, whistle or just say something straight up vulgar.

My initial reaction is to get pissed and not say anything. And I started out by doing that. But it didn’t take me long to realize this is not productive and these men, who just may not know how to speak to a woman, keep on with their…not so pleasant comments. So I’m really not helping anyone by doing this. Which got me thinking. There’s got to be a kind way to get it through to these people that 1. there are better ways to get the attention of women, 2. women are worth respecting and 3. you don’t want to cat call at me cause I’ll turn around and have a full-on conversation with you.

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The first time I actually put this to the test was when I was attending a friend’s bachlorette party in Atlantic City. Before going to Atlantic City, I’d been to Vegas a year before so I knew what the “scene” was like. The night of the bachlorette party, we got all dolled up, had a nice fancy dinner and headed out to a club, as that’s what the bride wanted to do. To set the record straight, I am NOT a club girl. I love dancing and having some drinks with my girlfriends, but I can do that anywhere. In fact, I have done that anywhere. So when one of my close friends and I started to get tired of the club-mentality, we stepped outside for some much needed air.

It wasn’t long until 2 college guys who were well into their drinks for the night stepped right into our path and started trying to talk with us and give us every form of flattery they could think of, just so we’d go dancing with them. Everything from “you are the most beautiful person I’ve ever met” and “This dress looks great on you” and “Hey hottie!” and “You have nice legs”. While under some situations I feel some of these can be very nice compliments, I knew that the way they were saying them was not all that innocent. Eyeing us up and down didn’t help their case…

So I stopped them right there. I asked them ever so nicely, “Why do you keep commenting on our physical appearance?”. I truly didn’t want to ask in a condescending way but just 100% curious as to why they felt this was the best way to get through to us. They both stopped and stared. Speechless.

They went on to say that they thought we really were beautiful but didn’t know how else to approach us. This had always worked for them before and they just wanted an excuse to come up and talk to us. My friend and I went on to explain that if they wanted to talk to us, they should just come up and ask our names. Not make comment after comment about our appearances. Just talk to us.

So they started talking with us. Being very honest. We talked for a good 45 minutes about respect and how it goes both ways. They asked us for advice, how to just talk to a girl. I didn’t realize how nerve wrecking it can be for a guy until then. We explained how much more a girl will respect a guy for going up and starting up a conversation versus yelling some obscenity out at them. By the time we parted ways, they were thanking us for challenging them. No one had ever done that before, they said.

All of this got me thinking. It’s often the mentality that “I’ll respect you if you respect me. Disrespect me, and I’ll disrespect you.” Does anyone else think this is so twisted? Regardless of how we are treated I want to be able to say (no matter how hard it is) I am choosing to be respectful. 1. Because I respect myself enough to not let it slide when others disrespect me but 2. because we are all in this together (High School Musical style). If I don’t challenge others to respect me or even themselves, who am I to point the blame finger about how our world doesn’t know how to interact with others.

So since my trip to Atlantic City, I’ve had many, and I mean many opportunities to stand up and say something.  Here’s a few things I’ve learned.

  • Know what you deserve. And that is the very best. Do not let yourself become complacent with people oogling after you. You are more than your cute dimples or nice butt. You are you and that should be enough.
  • Be kind. Always. I can’t even stress this enough. If you fire back with a snarky comment, what good have you really done? Sometimes I don’t always have time to stop and talk to these people so if they say something, I’ll turn, smile and give them a quick, “God bless!” They always look shocked that I said anything nice at all, but more often than not I’ll be walking away and hear a “God bless you too!” *Instant smile factor*
  • Pray the Litany of Humility. I have a love/hate relationship with this prayer. After praying this, God always finds a way to humble me to my knees. But it’s so worth it. Going into any situation, know and truly believe you are no better than this person. They may have had an entirley different upbringing and just thought this WAS the way to speak to women. You never know the situation behind another person’s life so don’t imply to them or yourself that you do. Each person is just that, a person. They deserve respect as much as anybody else.
  • Be brave. This, my friends, is hard. The first few times I talked with these men I wanted to barf I was so nervous. Pope Francis says, “Ask God what he wants from you and be brave”. Easier said than done, Francis. But try. I’ll be honest. It doesn’t necessarily get easier. I’m still a nervous wreck before I confront someone. But challenge yourself to challenge others. You’ll be so happy you did.
  • Know when to step away. Please. Read the situation. If someone jeers at you, it’s often pretty easy to tell if it’s a good idea to say something or not. You never want to put yourself in a compromising or dangerous situation. I once was talking to a man and had to just get up and walk away. Go with your gut. Always always always.

In all situations though, just give it to God. Pray for that person before you say anything and after. You’re not going to get through to everyone. People very well may just continue/ start mocking you. That’s okay. Let them. Just know why you are going into this. You’ll be happy you did. So next time someone cat calls at you, I challenge you to challenge yourself to challenge others. Challenge accepted ?! ;)