LifeDay

Abortion.
Yikes!  It’s not something we usually like to think about or read about or parent about but stick with me, because I’m going in a positive direction with this, for sure.  I’m a crazy libertarian so I won’t be beating you over the head with my religion stick or drilling women’s liberation chants down your throat.  My libertarian human rights perspective on this is to allow you to do and be and choose for yourself with reckless abandon… right up until it takes that right away from another human.  In that way, Abortion is something I chat with my children about on the daily without their even knowing it.  SOOOO… I have a small challenge for you that could get us BIG RESULTS.

Today is an especially spectacular day in our house because it is my son Wesley’s 12th LifeDay.  That begs the obvious question, what’s a “LifeDay”?  Simply put, your LifeDay is (#EarMuffs!!!) the day you were conceived.  YIKES AGAIN!  We don’t talk about THAT event with CHILDREN, right?  In fact, we’d rather pretend we allow a magical gargantuan bird careening through the air with a random tiny human swinging from its beak to fly into our living room and expect us to take a liking to the crying bundle of “joy” and care for it for the rest of our lives.  Let’s be real though if we’re okay with that fairytale, I’d definitely like to add that this stork delivery also packs an instruction book on how to keep this human alive and not screw him up too badly, but apparently that’s a bridge too far.  Seriously though, we talk about conception in our house all the time and we celebrate it!  The antiquated “I’ll tell you when you’re older” parenting is just not compatible with modern life.  If you don’t give them answers to their natural curiosities, Alexa will.

There we were, sitting on the couch, my son, Wesley, my daughter, Juliette, and Everett and I.  Everett was in my belly and just getting to the point where Wes and Jules could press their hands up to his playpin and feel him drumming away for his audience.  This got them brimming with questions.  Is he ALIVE?  Can he hear us?   Who is he?  What does he look like?  Does he like trucks?  Does he want to play with me?  I can’t WAIT to go on adventures with him!!
I wanted to give Wes and Jules a sense of their little brother’s personhood NOW, not after I gave birth to him.  So, in true parenting fashion, I made something up on the spot.  We calculated Wesley’s “LifeDay”, and mine and Juliette’s and of course the little drummer/tapdancing gymnast in my belly and anyone else they were curious about.  I know what you are thinking, but it doesn’t have to be the exact date, it’s the act of celebrating it that matters.  The LifeDay concept has become a celebrated realization of SELF in our household.  IRL Translation:  “I’m fantastic and this is the day I became me.  Lucky you!”  Unlike a birthday, It’s not about mommy’s harrowing tale of childbirth or the random set of syllables your parents came up with to call you for all eternity, or even which side of the family you got your dashing good looks from.  Your LifeDays are about YOU.  We all know that our little ego-maniac children eat that up with a spoon!!   So we commemorate each of our family members’ LifeDay every year by doing something FUN together and making a memory.  They thoroughly enjoy our #LifeDay tradition.  There is, in fact, no cooler feeling than when someone tells me that one of my babies told them it was their LifeDay that day and they couldn’t wait for the family adventure we were going to take to celebrate!  #BestFeelingEVER!!

Back to adulting.  My plan is to use my kids’ LifeDay as a familiar touchstone for introducing “the birds and the bees” later and all that that entails.  I don’t know about you, but I KNOW that in this modern world, I need as much help as possible with figuring out how to gracefully ease my kids’ brains into understanding what sex is about.  And while I’m at it, I also have to try to stay one step ahead of the kids at the lunchtable so that they get these revelations from ME and not Mikey the all-knowing and incredibly loquacious third grader whose high school brother has lavished him with a fount of “knowledge”.  So, if I’m the one doling out the info, the goal is to do my best to give my kids this deeply personal ownership of their personhood’s conception with their LifeDay celebration.  I hope it will help them understand where life comes from and how to respect it.  I think that celebrating life from its beginning gives my kids a solid foundation for how important their life is, and eventually, hopefully, the importance of the lives of others.  By taking advantage of the self-important nature of our kids’ thoughts and their world, we can help them understand the HUGE concept of the beginning of life in a way that makes the most sense to them (without them needing to bleach their eyes with the thought of the nitty gritty of their parents procreation victory).    My kids know and will excitedly tell you, “MY LifeDay was the beginning of ME and I am the person that began that day!”

Every year when Wesley and Juliette and Everett wake up on their LifeDay I read this poem (picture below) to remind them of how awesome they are and how great it is to be alive.   I feel called to bring this message of gratitude and honor of life to anyone who will hear it.  I think that if we keep sharing this idea with parents and grandparents and aunts and anyone who is an influencer of the next generation, then we can make a true impact on the culture of our world.  I told you I was thinking BIG with this!!

So here’s my ask… I want to challenge you to celebrate your children’s LifeDay with them.  Please.  Share the LifeDay concept with the children and adults in your life and celebrate life so fragile and fleeting and the wonder that paints our journey.  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and stories about Celebrating LifeDays and see if we can make this thing soar higher than a mythical avian baby delivery service!

From my LifeDay I became ME BoujAche.jpg

Although this poem is copyrighted, I do own a sublimation, vinyl and embroidery business so I can print it for you onto anything from a mug to metal wall art to wooden wall art with any background you’d like so that you can have something tangible to remind you to CELEBRATE LifeDays.  These make beautiful parents-to-be gifts with an ultrasound in the background (I can change the picture to anything you’d like).  Samples of these will be posted soon!  Email me at MA@BoujAche.com for more details.

This poem is protected under US Copyright TXu 2-052-824  ©2017 Marianne Renee Abell
“From my LifeDay I became ME” is subject to US and International Copyright laws. Reproduction and distribution without consent of Marianne Abell and BoujAche Chronicles are prohibited.

What is a BoujAche?

BoujAche Chronicles are bitchings about things that are an unreasonable pain in my blessed American ass.

There we were, in my kitchen having a whine and cheese night lamenting that my friend’s jaunt through Europe conflicted with the ski trip I wanted her to come on with me.  Our other friends were coming all the way from Hawaii for a week of snowboarding days and hot tub nights and missing it for any reason, even backpacking through Europe, was unacceptable.  That’s when I coined it… “What a BoujAche.  I can’t even.”

She took a double take, “BoujAche”?

So yes, BoujAche is our new word for bitching about things that are an unreasonable pain in my blessed American ass.

HISTORY LESSON ALERT! (but stay with me, I’m going somewhere with this).  The French Bourgeoisie (I shit you not, this word in German was bürger!) was the term set aside for those who had crawled their way out of the proletariat poor people ranks into the “new money” middle class to then employ those same poor people they used to cohabitate with.  This was ALL made possible by capitalism.  No longer were you simply a have or a have not and this was an unwelcome challenge to the indignant haute aristocracy who had been ruling the masses as they saw fit for hundreds of years.  It led to the French Revolution among other movements in Europe and was the bain of Karl Marx’s existence.  You see, I’m a libertarian, so this kind of thing both fascinates me and brings me great joy.  So if I can be anything, I want to be self-awarely boujee (the millennial term for being of or like the bourgeoisie is boujee).  So great, we agree, I’m boujee and since I am also a sentient human, I like to complain from time to time.  In fact, I do my best self-improvement and inventive brainstorming while in an inflamed bitching state.  So BoujAching works for me.  Maybe it will work for you too.  Please send me your BoujAches so that I can make more BoujAche swag for my site (tshirts, hats, mugs, cell phone covers, you know, swag).  Here’s why:

I’ve been wanting to start blogging for a while now and what a better place to start chatting with you about American politics, yummy food recipes (to increase your Bouj-quotient, of course) and life in general than with full acknowledgment that the forthcoming bellows lamenting my heartfelt struggles of small business owning, stay-at-home-moming, military wifing are just that, a BoujAche.  To offset my Bouj-footprint (see what I did there with carbon-footprint?), I will be donating 50% of all profits from my BoujAche gear that I make and sell here on BoujAche.com to O.U.R. (Operation Underground Railroad) which is a non-profit organization on the ground all over the world combating sex and labor slavery and human trafficking of the 30 million slaves currently on our planet.  Please check them out and donate to their righteous cause today!  I am in no way affiliated with O.U.R. except as a supporter and HUGE proponent of their amazing work.  Let’s pay it forward, y’all!

Wine Boarding Pack.png

#Unplanned Movie Review: Libertarian motherhood means CHOOSING not to abort

I can picture vividly this van that used to drive around Houston when I was a kid that had pictures of disgusting aborted babies on this side of it with something like “Abortion is Murder” scrawled across it. I have a staunch opinion on abortion but I can’t say I always did. Just like my political views, I didn’t know WHAT I thought about abortion when I was growing up. The problem was that I was also honestly not sure what the owners of that van were thinking with their larger than life grotesque pictures of slaughtered baby parts and angry intimidating rhetoric. It churns my stomach and only makes me think of how persecuted abortive mothers must have felt being accosted by that image while they were just trying to drive to work in the morning or pick up their kid from daycare after a long day. Is that really what Jesus would do? I grew up Catholic in a proudly pro-life household, but it wasn’t my mother’s voice or a beautiful newborn baby or even a homily that ran through my head when I heard whispers of girls at school having abortion procedures. All I thought of was that disgusting van and it’s cruel, damning message. It wasn’t until I became a libertarian that I was introduced to the pro-life movement from a different angle. It was probably Austin Petersen (who ran for President in 2016) that first explained the prolife movement to me as a human rights issue from the in utero human’s perspective. He explains that no human should infringe the liberty of another and without life we cannot have liberty. Even in our Declaration of Independence, life precedes liberty. (https://humandefense.com/why-libertarians-should-be-pro-life/) So, when I walked into the Unplanned movie this weekend, I was wondering whether I would experience a grim reaper van approach or a “life liberty and pursuit of happiness” one. I’m very glad to report that I found the later.
Having seen lots of YouTube videos of speeches and interviews with Abby Johnson, I was not surprised that she managed to have her story written in a way that speaks to my Libertarian motherhood like no one else’s I’ve heard. Her pivot point was not a result of being worn down by protesters or being graced with an epiphany by God. It was because she gained new information, processed it and was welcomed to the pro-life movement by her husband who had been quietly waiting there for her. Here is her story.

Abby Johnson’s Bryan, Texas Planned Parenthood Clinic had a visiting abortion doctor who wanted to talk to the clinicians about the safety of performing an ultrasound-guided abortion instead of the blind surgical digging that PP regularly performs which obviously runs a MUCH higher risk of perforating the patient’s uterus, which is a complication depicted in the film with the young girl whose daddy brings her in for her abortion.  Her uterus is accidentally perforated by during the blind surgical abortion and she luckily starts bleeding before she leaves the clinic so they can save her life.  Her uterus is repaired before the anesthesia wears off so she won’t remember it happening.  Because PP does not want to spend the extra 3-4 minutes on an ultrasound-guided surgical abortion, they instead will do an ultrasound to confirm the size of the in utero human (to determine the cost of the procedure) and then they wheel that cart away and poke around with the vacuum tube until they think they have extracted all of the parts. Afterward, someone in the POC (Products of Conception, or it’s slang, “Pieces of Children”) room has to logistically reassemble those parts to be sure that they got everything. The Ultrasound-Guided Abortion was being presented to her clinic that day and she had never seen it done this way before.  Abby was under the impression that a fetus this young could not feel pain so this is where the new information came in. When the probe got close to the baby, she recognized for the first time that he was actively trying to get away from the pointy object. With nowhere to go, the child is dismembered and sucked away into the vacuum tube and as that happens the doctor says “Beam me up, Scottie” (that’s a Star Trek reference for you non-trekies). The lumps of tissue are then neatly collected into a container that the grim reaper van could only dream of envisioning. So… New information. She processes it and SHAZAM, there’s her pivot point.

THAT is where it’s at!!  People coming to their own conclusion about the sanctity of life. You can yell at someone all day and make laws that make their choices illegal, but until they have a pivot point you are just a bully and they will never respect your opinion. That is why I have made it my mission to help people to CHOOSE to protect the life of all humans once they have been involuntarily created in their mother’s womb.  Information is power.  As Abby Johnson explains to us, the people shouting angrily from the fences outside just made patients run to the safety of the Planned Parenthood clinic but it was the people peacefully hoping and praying for grace that actually caused patients to remain mothers. The Unplanned Movie reminded this libertarian mom that you catch more bees with honey than you can with a grim reaper van.

Here’s a link to my idea for helping your kids and even adults to understand the sanctity of life through celebrating their own conception on their “LifeDay”. https://boujache.com/2019/03/29/raise-a-pro-life-child/

 

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#Unplanned Movie Review: Libertarian motherhood means CHOOSING not to abort

I can picture vividly this van that used to drive around Houston when I was a kid that had pictures of disgusting aborted babies on this side of it with something like “Abortion is Murder” scrawled across it. I have a staunch opinion on abortion but I can’t say I always did. Just like my political views, I didn’t know WHAT I thought about abortion when I was growing up. The problem was that I was also honestly not sure what the owners of that van were thinking with their larger than life grotesque pictures of slaughtered baby parts and angry intimidating rhetoric. It churns my stomach and only makes me think of how persecuted abortive mothers must have felt being accosted by that image while they were just trying to drive to work in the morning or pick up their kid from daycare after a long day. Is that really what Jesus would do? I grew up Catholic in a proudly pro-life household, but it wasn’t my mother’s voice or a beautiful newborn baby or even a homily that ran through my head when I heard whispers of girls at school having abortion procedures. All I thought of was that disgusting van and it’s cruel, damning message. It wasn’t until I became a libertarian that I was introduced to the pro-life movement from a different angle. It was probably Austin Petersen (who ran for President in 2016) that first explained the prolife movement to me as a human rights issue from the in utero human’s perspective. He explains that no human should infringe the liberty of another and without life we cannot have liberty. Even in our Declaration of Independence, life precedes liberty. (https://humandefense.com/why-libertarians-should-be-pro-life/) So, when I walked into the Unplanned movie this weekend, I was wondering whether I would experience a grim reaper van approach or a “life liberty and pursuit of happiness” one. I’m very glad to report that I found the later.
Having seen lots of YouTube videos of speeches and interviews with Abby Johnson, I was not surprised that she managed to have her story written in a way that speaks to my Libertarian motherhood like no one else’s I’ve heard. Her pivot point was not a result of being worn down by protesters or being graced with an epiphany by God. It was because she gained new information, processed it and was welcomed to the pro-life movement by her husband who had been quietly waiting there for her. Here is her story.

Abby Johnson’s Bryan, Texas Planned Parenthood Clinic had a visiting abortion doctor who wanted to talk to the clinicians about the safety of performing an ultrasound-guided abortion instead of the blind surgical digging that PP regularly performs which obviously runs a MUCH higher risk of perforating the patient’s uterus, which is a complication depicted in the film with the young girl whose daddy brings her in for her abortion.  Her uterus is accidentally perforated by during the blind surgical abortion and she luckily starts bleeding before she leaves the clinic so they can save her life.  Her uterus is repaired before the anesthesia wears off so she won’t remember it happening.  Because PP does not want to spend the extra 3-4 minutes on an ultrasound-guided surgical abortion, they instead will do an ultrasound to confirm the size of the in utero human (to determine the cost of the procedure) and then they wheel that cart away and poke around with the vacuum tube until they think they have extracted all of the parts. Afterward, someone in the POC (Products of Conception, or it’s slang, “Pieces of Children”) room has to logistically reassemble those parts to be sure that they got everything. The Ultrasound-Guided Abortion was being presented to her clinic that day and she had never seen it done this way before.  Abby was under the impression that a fetus this young could not feel pain so this is where the new information came in. When the probe got close to the baby, she recognized for the first time that he was actively trying to get away from the pointy object. With nowhere to go, the child is dismembered and sucked away into the vacuum tube and as that happens the doctor says “Beam me up, Scottie” (that’s a Star Trek reference for you non-trekies). The lumps of tissue are then neatly collected into a container that the grim reaper van could only dream of envisioning. So… New information. She processes it and SHAZAM, there’s her pivot point.

THAT is where it’s at!!  People coming to their own conclusion about the sanctity of life. You can yell at someone all day and make laws that make their choices illegal, but until they have a pivot point you are just a bully and they will never respect your opinion. That is why I have made it my mission to help people to CHOOSE to protect the life of all humans once they have been involuntarily created in their mother’s womb.  Information is power.  As Abby Johnson explains to us, the people shouting angrily from the fences outside just made patients run to the safety of the Planned Parenthood clinic but it was the people peacefully hoping and praying for grace that actually caused patients to remain mothers. The Unplanned Movie reminded this libertarian mom that you catch more bees with honey than you can with a grim reaper van.

Here’s a link to my idea for helping your kids and even adults to understand the sanctity of life through celebrating their own conception on their “LifeDay”. https://boujache.com/2019/03/29/raise-a-pro-life-child/

 

A simple way to raise an Independently Pro-Life Child

 
THE SIMPLE WAY TO RAISE A PRO-LIFE CHILD IS TO CELEBRATE LIFE.

We already do this in many ways in nearly every American household but we can build on it in a more intentional way.  Do you celebrate your kiddo’s birthday?  Do you remember how you felt about your birthday as a kid?  It’s just all about YOU and it’s FANTASTIC.  The biggest complaint you’ll hear from twins or kids with a Christmas birthday is that they have to share THEIR day.  As a child, you are the MOST in touch with your ego that you will ever be.  Wouldn’t it be great to tap into that self-importance and use it to give our next generation a fundamental understanding of the beauty and significance of life?  All we have to do is think outside the birthday box.  WHAT IF we celebrated the day our life began just as gaily as we celebrate the day your mother gave birth to you?  WHAT IF we put away our anachronistic stuffy issues with talking about conception and instead we raised our kids knowing and celebrating their LifeDay with the same tangible vigor that you remember from the first birthday cake you can recall or the anticipation of not being able to sleep knowing the next day would bring on your first taste of “double digits”.  That kind of KNOWING who you are and when you began is meaningful insight into grasping the importance of ALL LIFE from it’s beginning.  “A person’s a person no matter how small.”[1]

SO HOW DO WE MAKE LifeDays A THING?


For starters, come up with the date for your child’s LifeDay.  Some people have this down to a science.  As a Natural Family Planner, I had it written down like a crazy lady.  That is NOT necessary.  You can do the math and come up with an educated guess.  Here’s a calculator if you want to plug in your family members’ numbers:  Conception Calculator.  This is not my calculator and there are lots of other ones on the internet to use.
I came up with this LifeDay idea when my third baby hadn’t had his  birthday yet.  Everett and I were sitting on the couch with my two older kiddos.  Wesley was 5 and Juliette was almost 3 (she’s the cutie holding the stethoscope up to Everett in the pic above).  They were asking who IS this little boy in my belly.  Can he hear us?  Can he see us?  What color are his eyes? Does he like vanilla ice cream or chocolate?  Would he want to play with legos with them?  The anticipation to KNOW their brother was intoxicating.  I was graced with an idea in that moment.  Their brother is a PERSON.  He isn’t just GOING to be their brother… he IS their brother.  In true parenting fashion, I made something up on the fly.  I asked Wesley and Juliette when their life began.  Wesley proudly answered, “5 years ago in Georgia”.  NOPE.  Wesley’s LifeDay was in Mannheim, Germany where we were stationed at the time.  Drew had just gotten home from a tour in Afghanistan.  I thought for a second about how wonderful it felt to be starting our family and heading back to the states with such hope and aspiration in our hearts.  Wesley’s life with us had certainly begun long before the day I happened to give birth to him.  I could just melt into those memories, but pull it together, mom.  Your children will flit from the topic if you don’t seize the moment NOW.   So I ran (well… waddled) to get a globe and show Wesley and Juliette when and where their life actually began.  Buying time, I pointed to San Antonio where we were currently stationed.  As for Juliette, I happened to know off the top of my head that Veteran’s Day in Las Vegas (no, I’m not kidding and that’s why I can remember it without a calendar) was definitely her LifeDay.  I pointed to Las Vegas up here not so far from Arizona where she was born.  Wesley’s date took a minute, but while I was calculating, I spun the globe WAY over to Germany and told Wesley his life began HERE, 9 long months before we checked into the hospital in Georgia to give him his birthday.   January 18th, 2007 is what I settled on for Wesley.  This was FUN so we calculated my LifeDay and my husband’s and their new baby brother’s and anyone else we were curious about.  We decided we should celebrate our LifeDays every year from now on because what kid doesn’t want to celebrate another ME day?!  We did just that when Everett’s LifeDay because his was actually the first one to come around.  We enjoyed the day thinking about how different our lives would be if Everett’s LifeDay had not come to be. This tiny 15 week old baby had changed our lives forever and so had Juliette and so had Wesley.  So now we have a tradition that the LifeDayer chooses something delicious for us to eat and a fun family outing, whether it’s a camping trip or a day at the zoo or a fun movie night or whatever feels like a joyful commemoration of the start of ME!!!

BUT SERIOUSLY, WHY BOTHER?

Parenting is hard.  Why add another thing for me to have to remember and do?  Because children are ego-maniacs.  The fastest path to true understanding for them is self-important evidence.  My life began at my conception, my beginning, on my LifeDay. Therefore, I should be judicial in handing out LifeDays because there are no takesies backsies.  There is only starting a life and ending it and I am capable of both.  Wesley is 11 now and his LifeDay is a part of him.  A few weeks ago he saw me watching an interview on TV with a person discussing the changing late-term abortion laws.  He asked, “What’s abortion?”  NOT how I would have liked to broach the subject, but we were in it, so I had to say something.  I was so very relieved.  This was my big moment and it went something like this.  “An abortion is when you don’t allow a person who has had their LifeDay to have a birthday.  There are lots of reasons this happens to over 2500 people a day in America[2] and every one of those reasons is sad and unfortunate.”  No need to start a long a parental condemnation of those who make a choice that is perfectly legal in America or hop up onto my well worn political soapbox or start spewing some Catholic religiosity code unearthed from a cobwebbed corner of my own childhood brain.  Without another word, Wes curtly said: “I would never do that to someone.”

MY WORK HERE IS DONE, FOLKS!!  HAZAHHH!!!

But seriously, if I never do anything else right for the rest of my life, I can go to my grave with that one little statement from my 11-year-old son echoing in my ears and it will all have been worth it.  I know that his pre-teen ethos may come to blows with his teen and college years mind.  I also know that there are many more moments to come that I will use the LifeDay foundation I have built to help my kids navigate their world and they won’t all be as glorious as this one.  BUT, this first tiny victory was the motivation I needed to get off of my rear end and tell the world about my big idea.  You having taken the time to learn about my LifeDay idea means the world to me.  I would LOVE a glimpse of how you have managed to integrate this celebration into your family life so PLEASE tell me your plan or thought on it so that I can share and grow this LifeDay celebration.

I am going with a group of girlfriends this Sunday to see the movie Unplanned. I CAN’T WAIT. This song just says it all for me…
#UnPlanned @UnplannedMovie
https://youtu.be/ttXoXMBfZ8Q

[1] Seuss. (1954) Horton Hears a Who! /New York : Random House,

[2] 2500/day Statistic based on 2014 Abortion statistics from Guttmacher Institute:

Guttmacher Institute (2018, Jan). Induced Abortion in the United States.

https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states

Are Army Brats the Best Defenders of Your 2A Rights?

What do our Army Brats have to do with the second Amendment? Well, did you know that our constant shuffling of American troops is unique among militaries across the globe?  Yep, we have THE Army Brats.  In most countries, their military units are geographically cohesive.  In other countries, when you go to enlist and your buddy from down the street goes with you, you will be assigned together, to the unit from your area.  You won’t need to leave home while you are in the service unless you are deployed.  Once again, together, with your buddy and you will stay with that unit for the duration of your career.  As a U. S. Army wife of nearly 15 years and mother of three Army Brats, that sound positively DREAMY.   My children would live a normal life (minus deployments) without wondering who they were going to say goodbye to next and whether their new school would have a spot for them on the soccer team.  I wouldn’t live with minimalistic modular furniture, just in case we have to go back overseas and our next living room is once again the size of a shoebox.  My garage wouldn’t be stacked to the ceiling with labeled footlockers and rubbermaid totes that can be put on a truck at a moment’s notice with the least amount of breakage.  I wouldn’t begin to know what it was LIKE to walk into a PTO meeting alone and feel like my strange voice would never be heard by these parents who have adorable kindergarten memories of the other parents’ children in the room.  I wouldn’t trip over myself unpacking my house to perfection in 2 weeks because taking 6 months like a normal human would be a quarter of our time at every duty station spent in boxes!  HEAVEN!!  My husband wouldn’t deploy with a different group of battle buddies every time he went down range and his 15 years in, would have helped him to personally get to know each of the people he serves with and their families.  MAN! That life sounds AMAZING!  Sigh.

Instead, we do the Army tango.  We switch to a new unit every 2 years (three if you are lucky and get stationed overseas).  Not only are we switching, but so is everyone around us. There are constant “Hail and Farewells” to take part in (the traditional Army ‘hello-and-goodbye’ party). We try to do one every other month or so to welcome and say “see you later” to troops and families going in and out of the unit.  So this makes sure that EVERY army unit is made up of people from all walks of life from all over the country and in some cases the world.  This gives our troops a brotherhood based on their patriotism, not their hometown pride.  GENIUS.  That patriotism binds them on the battlefield against foreign enemies.  But what does it do in the case of, God-forbid, Martial Law and domestic unrest and what does all of this have to do with our constitution?

The 2A (Second Amendment) to our constitution states:

A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

The Army my husband serves in is IMHO the greatest and most well-trained fighting force the world has ever known.  Yet, it intentionally yields it’s power to our right to a well-regulated militia by forfeiting the home field advantage!  Armies are the windows to the soul of a nation. If you were going to form a militia, it would naturally be made of local concerned citizens coming together to defend their family and friends against a bloated and tyrannical government.  They would have a solid sense of community and cohesive hometown pride that the incoming federal troops could not muster no matter how well-trained they are. THIS is what the 2A (Second Amendment) is about, allowing the little guy to stand as the last line of defense for our precious American exceptionalism that is our FREEDOM.  The very fact that you are thinking in your head that a militia isn’t necessary in modern America is proof of that exceptionalism and our need to protect that privilege. The framers didn’t make it unconstitutional to ban U. S. citizens from access to firearms for use in hunting, nor in home defense, nor even in self-defense.  The 2A is ONLY and fiercely worded to assure that our right to protect our liberty from tyranny by whatever means necessary SHALL NOT be infringed.  This much we’ve heard a million times.  The eloquent part that makes me so damn proud to be an American Army wife are these lesser-known humble painstaking steps that our country goes to in intricate honor of our liberty.

So, thank an Army Brat today for sacrificing for your right to keep and bear arms.  If you need me I’ll be in the garage adding second amendment labels to our bins to remind me in my brink-of-insanity-moments of Army wife-ing that it’s all worth it.  Please share this with someone who may need some of my 2A bin labels.

I Diet for the People Points.

I resurrected my annual-ish quest to lose 30 pounds, 360 hours ago.  I’m currently sitting on my office bed (yes, I have a bed instead of a desk in my office because I don’t run my business from home for no damn reason!) eating boiled eggs and berries with 10 pound shackles around my ankles.  This is not my preferred state of affairs as you may have guessed by my need to lose said 30 elbees.  #BoujAche, I know.

I have made some progress lo these long 360 hours.  I am down 6.9 pounds.  I know what you are thinking, “Marianne, that’s 110.4 ounces which means I’ve lost an ounce every 195 minutes!!”  I know, right?!  ALSO, my jeans are not currently suffocating my love handles like a noose.  I’m gonna call that a win and take a bow.  I’m ROCKING the shit out of this diet.  To be clear, I DO mean to sound like I’m bragging because that gets at my singular motivation to lose the weight… again.  There is not a smaller amount I could care about values of weight loss.  The number I tip the scales at, the number on the inside of my jeans, the number of calories or “points” I consumed today, all asinine.  I only care that my husband seems to be impressed when those numbers are lower than higher and my friends give me kind words of motivation and love when I tell them those numbers are ratcheting down.  Does that make you cringe?  The beautiful horror of honesty.  Let me break it down.  The numbers have no value to me, but the adulation is priceless and addictive.  So here I am, 6.9 pounds down, but it should really read “I’ve reached one ‘you look like the swelling in your face is going down’, two ‘that diet is working for you!’s, and one ‘Congratulations, if I KNOW ANYBODY who can reach a goal it’s you’ on my way towards the endgame of “WOW, you did it!!  Your tenacity is contagious!!”  I recognize that the right thing to say is that I’m losing weight for me, not for anyone else, and that I just want the euphoric feeling of knowing I’m healthier or some bullshit like that.  Here are the brass tacks though: the beautiful fact that I’m 4 People Points ahead of where I was 360 hours ago, is apparently motivation enough to keep these ankle weights puttering around my house and keep the hay and birdseed shoveling into my mouth hole for a few more trips around the clock.  WHY does this kind of extrinsic motivation make people uncomfortable?  Why is motivation only valid if it’s purely intrinsic?  It’s like we’ve replaced the word intrinsic with altruistic.  I do not think that word means what you think it means, people.  I’ll tell you, I’ve done next to nothing in my life for purely personal ends and I have a pretty sweet life.  I’m a loving wife of 14 years, I operate a successful business, I’ve made 3 humans AND kept them alive AND I go to PTO meetings! I’ll give you the shirt off of my back and I ALWAYS have time to help the people who give me People Points… I mean the people I love.  Truly, I HEART MY LIFE.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got PLENTY of faults, obvious ones, but I’m not willing to include “losing weight for a socially unacceptable reason” among my actual sins.

Here’s the catch though, I’ve done this all before.  I’ve lost count of how many times I have lost this same 30 pounds.  You see, what I do is I lose the weight through one horrific diet plan or another.  Then, once I get to my goal weight, I start to believe the hype.  I think, I’m a skinny person now!! WAHOO!!  We all know, diets are for fat people.  I don’t need to diet, look at me!!  I then proceed to eat like an actual skinny person with a fantastic God-given freakin Ferrari metabolism.  You know where that drives me and my Subaru 4 banger?  Right back to Fatso Land.  SO here’s what I need.  I need lots of encouragement (People Points) when I’m losing the weight. THEN I need lots of reminders of the hard work (cue the “tenacity” and whatnot) that it took to get there and a mental montage of all those People Points I got along the way.   I need a reminder that I’m actually a fat person impersonating a skinny person.  I know, that’s a lot of NEEDYNESS, but please reference my good qualities above, either that math works for you and we’re friends, or it doesn’t.  So anyway, that’s my goal.  Once I lose this weight, I will FAKE IT TILL I MAKE IT.  I will remain aware that I am a chubby monkey precariously disguised inside my beautiful sexy cirque du soleil costume and the tightrope I’m walking is as thin as my “intrinsic motivation”.  I will be in touch with my inner chubby monkey fat girl.  Please keep her in your prayers!  And throw me an adulating bone once in a while, would you? Thanks in advance. XOXO
#BoujAche

I diet for the