A little walk down history lane . . let’s look at my marriage.

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9 days ago this happened!! I married the love of my life in a beautiful ceremony with all of the most important people in our life and no one said one word about the little black girl marrying the white man, but that wasn’t always the case. We as a country just won another monumental history battle for the LGBTQ community by legalizing marriage for their community but in the not so far off past we were fighting for my marriage and for some people this is still the first thing that they see when they look at my new husban and me.

Mr. first pointed this thought out to me on our honeymoon, there was another interracial couple at the resort we were staying at and he pointed them out to me, he stated that ever since we started dating more than 2 years ago he notices these couples more and feels some sort of camaraderie with them, a little head nod in the direction of the guy, a bromance over the love they found with women of different races.

We have been lucky enough to go through our relationship without any real push back or fights over these fact. HIs grandfather when we first started dating famously asked his dad if ” I was just really tan.” And then was equally confused when he met my white mother. But there was no maliciousness to this request just wanting to get his facts straight.

And when a white man walked me down the aisle and gave me away there were murmurs of confusion, questions if I was adopted and where this man came from, but that was it at the end of the day we have had a very easy relationship in this field, and I am grateful for that but that doesn’t mean it was always, or even stil is the case in some places in the world and in this country, so lets look at that.

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50 years ago… Hell 20… probably 10… years ago this card could never have been made.

The United States Supreme Court did not legalize interracial marriage until 1967… 1967 my mother was 7 years old and probably already having first grade crushes on the little black boys in her class but that sort of relationship was illegal.

In 1958 the Loving’s broke this law and wed anyway and were faced with several days of jail time and persecution for falling in love.

When I was given this card for our wedding i was overjoyed I had never seen a card like this, and then I got to thinking why haven’t I?

I can remember a few years ago that my friends went from target to target looking for the glimpse of the first gay and lesbian wedding cards that were being premiered at Target Stores across the nation it was a mini-victory in a fight that they had not won yet.

And yet here I am 50 years after that supposed battle was won for us and I am surprised and beside myself to find an interracial marriage card?

I think that when we are crying love is love, we have to remember how very true that statement is and always has been, people have been falling in love with people they “aren’t supposed to” for ages and every time they have to make this fight, that love is love no matter what

They had to fight between classes, between families, between bloodlines, between races, between genders, and through all of this they cry love is love. This cry is not political or aggressive it is simply a cry to let us love one another.

The same cry we hear over and over again through Jesus’ preachings,

” Love one another as I have loved you. ” No rules, regulations or stimulations. Let us love and be loved.

My walk down history lane reminded me how close I was in history to not being able to marry the love of my life because of the color of my skin, the last law again interracial marriage was taken off of the books in Alabama in 2000!! 2000 I was 9 years old and definitely had a crush or two on a white boy by then.

How is it that in my life time we are still crying Love is Love and begging people to hear. . . when we look back on history how far back was it when you are your love could not have been married? Separated by oceans, languages, classes, religions, country, family, race, gender, whatever else could be used to separate you… if we look back far enough we all had a time when we would have had to shout love is love. . ..

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❤ Kelsi Rae

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For the Bride who didn’t grow up dreaming of a wedding.

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So you know every chick flick shows the little girl with her barbie dream house playing wedding, it shows the two best friends dressed up in their moms wedding gown singing here comes the bride, it zooms in on the Wedding Dream Book that she has been building since she was 14, with all the colors, flowers, centerpieces and wedding etiquette rules all outlined, years of research to perfect it.

And I am sure there are those girls out there, my bridesmaid and college roommate who got married 2 years ago was one of them, her wedding took exactly 2 months to plan and that was only because that was how long it took to execute the plans she had already made.

However for me, and I am sure many others out there this was not the case, I hated Barbies and their dreamhouses, I often found myself playing with Lincoln logs and running outside, and I NEVER thought about my wedding. This is not to say I was a total tomboy,  I wore a dress to school everyday till the third grade, I have famous pink cowboy boots I wore until the toes began to rip. I girly things and things not so girly, but in all of that, I NEVER dreamed of my wedding.

This might have to do with the fact that I grew up in a single parent household wear weddings were not attended regularly, there were no wedding pictures hanging in the house, and it was never expected that you needed to get married, or that you needed a man in your life at all.

So now here I am 24 and getting married and I am expected to know ALL of the wedding rules, who gets invited to the rehearsal dinner, what does the mother of the groom wear, when you do send out invites, is it rude to not allow guests, what are the traditions, what should a reception timeline look like. . . and my overwhelming answer is I DONT KNOW!

Now I am at that 32 day countdown till my wedding and The Knot and Wedding Wire have definitely been some of my best friends throughout this process, I have figured out every question that I have been asked, but this leaves me wondering,

Why am I supposed to have all of this picked out already?

Why is it assumed that I have been dreaming of this day for my entire life? Because guess what I wasn’t I didn’t even think I would get married until I met Mr. I was perfectly happy on my own and I enjoy that I can take care of myself.

So the world needs to embrace these women too, don’t expect too much of your brides, give them time to plan something they may not already have worked out in their heads, and don’t stare at them funny when they say that they don’t care what you wear, or how you do your hair, don’t make them feel less Bride-like because they aren’t obsessed with having the exact shade of grey throughout the entire venue and when they tell you that everything is going to be ok. .. trust them… not all of us are Bride-zillas to be!

❤ Kelsi Rae

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A step inside a Libyan Engagement . . .

Tonight I attended my first engagement party ever.. and it was a Islamic engagement party, there were five of us that had been invited to our friend from Uni’s party. Over the course of this year I had become comfortable asking her questions that may offend others, I asked about the different culture practices, how she felt about Libya, what her wedding (a hypothetical at that point) would be like, the practices of hijab wearing and so on. So when she invited us to her engagement party, we jumped right in to asking questions.

Will there be men there? What should we wear? How will the engagement work?

Now since this was an arranged marriage we asked all sorts of things about that practice as well we learned as much about the practice as we could.

But when I entered this room it was still a shock, some of the most gorgeous women were dressed to the nines a roll away cart filled with Hijab’s and coats sat next to the door,a threshold where you no longer had to be restricted or worry about the happenings of the other gender.

These women had the most beautiful hair of all cuts, colors and styles they had curled it, straightened it, in updo’s. women I otherwise would have spent the night wondering about their hair now moved freely with gorgeous tresses on every head. These women were dressed in full make-up and gorgeous dresses, dressed up for each other, and themselves because truly that is who women have to dress up for everyday as it is. . .

I was lucky enough to sit at the table with the grooms family, Libyans via London, and the nicest women I have been in quite some time. They shared there customs with me, they told me what every piece of food I had on my plate was and invited me to London to relive this experience all over again in December.

While I am sure American’s have these same interactions at weddings, and make new life long friends there was something about this particular experience that was different, I don’t know if it was the fact that it was all women, and therefore no need to compete for the attention of the men in the room, or if it is a cultural difference that somehow in our capitalist, self preservation, separation  of Church and State society that we have lost. Something about this culture welcomed me in.

We ate, we talked, we laughed and enjoyed the celebration of our good friend, and new sisters engagement,  during the middle of dinner about 8 oclock, some women began to leave the various dining tables and make their way to the hijab holder, grab their beautiful over coats and hi jabs and make their way to the back of the room, almost out of sight but not quite. At first the 5 of us that were not Islamic were quite confused and then just as silently these women began praying, one of their 5 daily prayers, in groups of 2 or 3 women made their way back to complete this ritual. There was no interruption of the party even though the party of 98% women who partake in this act of Faith, they allowed the party to go on and each took part in their faith in their own way.

There is something beautiful about that, that these women did not feel the need to flaunt their faith or make their faith more important or better than anyone else’s this was a conversation between them and Allah and they were the only ones that needed to be involved. I think that this type of relationship with your God is a sign of true faith in whichever religion you are practicing.

Then came the dancing, a moment  when 30 women crowded on the dance floor to show off their moves to each other, there was traditional Arabic music and dancing, there was wonderful booty shaking that I think I could master with more practice, there was laughter and trilling that I could not get my tongue to manifest. Then in the middle of it, the music changes to . . . Trap Queen. and every one of these faithful women jumped onto the dance floor, began dancing away and singing every word!

In that moment I looked around, made eye contact with my two friends that were there with me and just thought, ” I love this moment.” ” I have never been more happy to have a new cultural experience than I am right now.

We spent the night celebrating, no competition, no petty drama, just women enjoying the moment in the life of our friend and each other.

And as I left I gave each of my new friends two kisses on each cheek, as four is traditional in Libya, as I learned and said goodbye and I hope to see them in December.

So how can we create these moments, these times when we are all so welcomed into a new cultural accepted as ignorant and unknowing but taught the ways and loved for our attempts at culture? When is there a space in our everyday life that we can invite someone into our culture and take the time to step into theirs? When we are comfortable enough to make the effort with no judgement no reservations?

I hope that I am able to find more times to step into other cultures to learn more about Libya and Islamic culture and to welcome them into mine.

❤ Kelsi Rae

Let’s build a bench…err Marriage?

So a big thing happened this weekend, Mr. and I moved in together! This is the first time I have ever lived with a boy, including family members so I am interested to see the things how the stereotypes live up, so far I would have to say living with a boy is AMAZING. But I am also only 4 days in.

So what does this bench have to do with my marriage?

Well we built it.. no kit, not precut pieces of wood, nope just a youtube video and a trip to home depot later and we were making a bench. This took both of our strengths and some I don’t think we knew we had in order to accomplish it.

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Here I am at home depot, bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to construct our very own bench, something that will hopefully last 30 years so we can pass it down to our children, as his parent just did with a picnic table Mr.’s Dad built 30 years ago.

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Did I mention we decided to build this bench on the day it snowed in May? No? Oh well here I am bundled up in our garage waiting for the snow to melt as we begin sawing.

But we get underway constructing this bench and just like I imagine we will in marriage, we started to hit some bumps, my bright eyed and bushy tailed turned into curse words and we were soon doubting if we could put this bench together at all. It started when we realized we didn’t charge the drill, and were left screwing most of the screws in by hand, do you know how many screws it takes to put a bench together? Way too many to screw them in by hand I tell you that.

I started to think that this was Ben’s fault and that it was his drill so he should have been responsible for the charge of the battery and as my wrist became more and more sore, I had two choices to continue blaming mr. and become resentful, or realize that this is something we are in together, realize we both will make mistakes and that as a team we will work through them, so on I went screwing in screw after screw by hand. ( And to be fair, he was also participating in this, it wasn’t like I was left with a screwdriver on an abandoned island or anything)

And I am sure he was thinking that I could be helping more, or stop nagging him about the directions, I am sure I screwed a screw in wrong, or measured the pieces of wood too small ( ok  I know I did that one once) And he could have taken those things and created a list, an arbitrary checklist of the ways I was failing him and allowed that running record to eat away at his faith in me. in us. But he didn’t every time no matter how frustrated he was he would look at me, smile, say “you are doing great babe”, and move on… EVERY time.

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And then we screwed the legs together wrong, leaving us with what would have been a seatless bench, not very effective right? So unscrew the pieces, and start again, this time following the directions. This is where we could dip deep down into those gender stereotypes pull out the one that says men don’t follow directions put a big ole check mark on it and slip it back into our pocket of low blows to use next time. But if we are going to create a marriage that is built to last, what we really need to be doing is digging into that pocket of stereotypes and low blows and throwing them in that brand new recycling bin we just got and let someone else compost those. Because holding on to these things just creates an environment where both Mr. and myself could be digging deeper and deeper at each other until one of us breaks.

Now 50 years into this bench building marriage we will have so many of these things we could be throwing at each other that there is no way to survive all of those bad experiences, but if instead we choose to recycle that crap, chalk it up to a mistake we both made and move on, then in 2,5 or 50 years we won’t be counting all the ways our spouse has messed up over the years right?

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It was starting to look like a marriage…. I mean bench, the pieces were all where they needed to be, it had legs it could stand on and a sturdy seat two people could sit on. But there was something missing, just like our marriage which has 79 days until it becomes official ,our bench was missing some crucial pieces to it’s structure. But this is where it really got tricky, the video said to put the back at a slight angle so that it would be more comfortable to sit on. The guy used a fancy tool to measure and then drill sideways through the posts in order to accomplish this with ease. However here we were with our dead drills, no fancy tool and only the few screws that we had purchased which were now to short for this job. How were we going to accomplish it?

And then Mr. had an idea, he said why don’t we use extra wood, create a back for the ends and use that to nail into, that would cut down on the amount of screws we need and allow us to create the comforting angle we had heard about in the video.

There you have it folks I am marrying a genius this is where I got to celebrate with him, think about how I never would have thought of that on my own and rejoice in his accomplishments, I could do this without fault because I had already thrown my earlier reservations in the recycling with our bench building mistakes.

So that is what we did, and it worked!

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And there it was our beautiful bench, it is still not perfect all the pieces don’t exactly line up, the wood is not sanded or painted to perfection, the back angle isn’t exactly even or at  the magic comfort angle that was prescribed, but let me tell you what…it is sturdy,

And in 30 years when our marriage has seen the test of time,  I hope we will look at this bench think of all the things we could have held onto over the years, all of the little mistakes that could have torn us apart but instead made us a better team and think it all started with this bench.

❤ Kelsi Rae

Throw out your scale and celebrate your success!

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A major component of the Whole30 that has been difficult for me is the concept of not weighing yourself for the entire 30 days. I enjoy this concept not because I want to stop weighing myself but because of the reason given in It All Starts With Food, the makers of the Whole30 don’t care if you loose weight, this is not a weight loss program, it is a program to become more healthy and aware of the food we are putting in our body, And yes as a result of this you will loose weight, but this is also not always reflected on the scale, sometimes you are loosing inches off of your waist and not moving in pounds because you are gaining muscle. I have been working hard to focus on the weigh I feel and my body composition rather than simply the number on the scale tells me.

With that said it is day 28 of my Whole 30, we are finished on Sunday and I have some major( for me) non scale victories I would like to share before Monday when I jump on the scale and share with all of you the actual numbers, but first forget the scale lets see what has happened in the last 30 days!

First of all I have been trying to “become a runner” for about 4 months now, I started out walking for a minute and than running for a minute, at this point in January I found myself staring at the count down from about 30 seconds on, which means I could only run for 30 seconds comfortably. By the time I started the Whole30 I was able to run for about 3 minutes, still pretty uncomfortably, but I could do it.

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This happened last week! Over 2 miles in 30 minutes!  I accomplished this by running for 10 whole minutes!! Then walking for 2, running for 5 minutes and walking for 5 and then running for 1 or 2. It was not even it did not follow a prescribed running plan, but it was amazing to me! I probably could have kept going after 10 minutes in the beginning too!

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Then there are these pieces of clothing! The white shirt on the left is a medium and it is a littler loose! I am also wearing my favorite pants in that picture, they are way too big for me now, I am waiting to buy new ones next week.

The dress on the left was a dress I purchased last summer and then rarely wore it because I always felt like I was just busting out of its seams. While I still would like to look a little better in it. I can see my curves again and I was comfortable wearing it out of the house.

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And lastly there is this! NO MUFFIN TOP! See ya later flab! I could have taken a picture of a pair of pants that were slightly big on me before and by week two they were literally clown pants that I had to get rid of but I threw them out already.

I am very excited to see what the scale says on Monday, but looking back over the past 30 days I am more than happy with these non-scale victories!

Don’t always focus on the numbers, we are so much more than numbers. The Whole30 has taught me a new outlook on my body composition and the food that is playing a role in that. Even though it has been hard, the last week seemingly the hardest (surprising for me too) it has been worth it!

Mr. and I are going to transition into what I fondly call Pretty Much Paleo after a cheat week from our whole30, I will let you know how it goes, but can’t go back to how things were before now!

What non-scale victories do you cherish? What was the first piece of clothing that made you stop and think “this doesn’t fit” or when you could put on those “skinny” jeans or dress or skirt or shirt and it fit?

We all need those small motivators to get us through a lifestyle change!

❤ Kelsi Rae

Whole 30: Week 1 Trials and Celebrations

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What we ate for day 1-6 of the Whole 30, this was made before I read that smoothies were not recommended for breakfast so that was changed and deleted from the following weeks meal plans.

When I checked in on Day 2, I was in solidly in the hangover phase of my Whole30 and was not very happy with it at all. That passed and for days 4 and 5 I was pretty good, I was happy with the meals I was making and didnt really feel like I was missing anything from last week.

Well maybe I was a little bit more in the Kill all things  mode on day 5 than I would like to admit, it was a Friday night and Mr. H and I had made dinner that was delicious and sat down on the couch to watch a movie ( after eating dinner at the table sans electronics to give the meal its due- this has been a difficult shift, I grew up eating my meals in front of the TV, when I was in high school there was a TV in the kitchen/dining room and my mom and I would make dinner and then sit and watch our favorite shows while we ate, and that has carried over into my adult life, Mr. H and I often cook dinners and put on a movie to enjoy) But this night we sat down to watch a movie and nothing could make me happy, I was uncomfortable, I didn’t want to watch that movie, I wanted to go to bed at 8:30 an then complained when he didn’t want to come with me, I was a hot mess. But I did not want to admit that to anyone!

Then Day 6 hit, Day 6 happen to fall both on a weekend, and about three days before was supposed to start my period. And all I could think about for most of the day was  CAKE!  I cannot say for sure if this was a result of the Whole30 or of my uterus rebelilng against me and my health goals as it does every month.I mean I love cake I always have, if you want to meet a sugar addict if there ever was one, look no farther you found her. I never had a problem with my sugar addiction until recently, until I looked at the scale the week before I went wedding dress shopping and realized I had gained 35 pounds since I was in my best friends wedding two years ago. But this Saturday I wanted cake more than anything, I had done pretty good the first 5 days without it, but on Saturday I am used to more laid back day, I am not busy busy busy from the time I eat breakfast till lunch time and normally this is our snacking day, we eat a late breakfast and then a late lunch and munch on something (popcorn, ice cream, croissants from the coffee shop) until a late dinner and a drink. So needless to say Saturday was rough day for me, but I did it!

I got through Saturday without a slip we even ate out on Saturday night, and even though I felt like a d-bag making all the changes to the menu items we did it! Another Si Se Puede moment!

I am now officially a week into my Whole30! We went grocery shopping today and still spent more than I would like. . if anyone has any good tips for Whole30 on a budget I would LOVE them! We did the starting in the meat section and working our way out, I think its just that we are cooking at home more and using more meat (we were a fairly boring meat family before mostly turkey and chicken) that it is adding up. It also doesn’t help that Mr. H and I aren’t living together yet,so we can’t buy in bulk or create a pantry of stored food it is like we are starting over every week! Soon this will change. . .in May hopefully and I cannot wait!

I can already tell a difference in the way my clothes fit, today I put on the pants that used to be tight on me, ( pre January when I started loosing weight before the Whole30) the fit well after I started working out and eating more healthy in January, I was down about 11 pounds when I started the whole30 but today they were laughable, they were HUGE,! I felt like I could have curled up inside of them and fit better, or fit a small human in them with me just to make them tight, Mr. H said the butt looked like a saggy diaper, not exactly what you want to hear from your fiancé but hey he meant it in love so YAY for #nonscalevictories!

Well cheers to week 2. . this week I am going to try Salmon for the first time, Mr. H loves it an so I figured now is a good time to branch out and try it so Salmon with coconut cream here we come, don’t worry I am making him try brussel sprouts too!

Today is filled with Sunshine, coffee shops with Kombucha on tap, house hunting and meal prep, who could ask for a better Sunday?

Cheers to all the Whole30 goers out there, Si Se Puede!

❤ Kelsi Rae

What is it about 24?

I turned 24 on Tuesday, Tuesday is the least exciting day of the week in my book its not Monday so it doesn’t have any true suckage excitement you have heard everyones weekend stories already, it isn’t Wednesday so we aren’t even halfway through the week, it is just a day you have to get through to get 1/5th closer to Friday.

This is also how I feel about 24. . the least exciting birthday to date.. given Ben did take me on a wonderful Tuesday adventure. But in order to do that we both had to call into work.. which leads me to the real point of this post..

Why does 24 make me feel like such an adult.

It was like magically overnight on Monday, I was supposed to evolve into a fully matured, put together, soon-to-be wife adult. I should have a career and a nice car and stable house and income. I should not be going out on a weeknight, or lets be real any night much past 10 or 11.

Honestly, I fit most of these qualifications anyway, but I have never felt like I was supposed to fit them until now.

I have started cooking myself dinner 3 nights a week, I cannot remember the last time I went out on a weeknight, Even on the weekends you will find me in bed by midnight, a group of friends went out the other night and we were drunk and ready to leave by 10 pm. I would much rather drink a bottle of *cheap* wine or expensive whiskey than any of the nasty drinks I used to drink in college

So why 24, there is no major life event that occurs at 24,

21 – I could start drinking legally, that clearly means I am not going to have my shit together for at least a year.

22 – Graduated college- so I would logically think this is when I should start pulling my shit together, get a real job, move out of my college town. Live without roommates for the first time. Stop going out on the weeknights. .

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Lived in a tiny studio apartment with one of my college roommates for three months before they moved to Seattle, so halfway Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 11.45.55 AM Then I promptly added a cat, I don’t know if that counts as alone.

No real job to be had, I first worked as a day program staff with adults with disabilities, wonderful summer job but not a career. Then I worked as assistant teacher which lead me to my career.

I can distinctly remember a Tuesday night that I got so drunk I lost my phone, I made Ben walk back to the bar to try and find it. . . when all along I had left in my bed. . so no check there.

23 – No major universal life moments. I guess in theory you should be in year number 2 of your chosen career. I was heading back to college, as a grad student that is. .

24 – Nothing major, however here I am feeling like an adult. So lets look at what I am doing

I will graduate grad school in June. . .

I will start my first official adult job in August

I will become a Mrs. in August. . .

I will move into my first “married” home in June

So I guess all these things feel pretty adult like, and yet I still don’t feel like I live up to an adult. We will see how the year progresses maybe I will evolve into a mature adult.

Maybe  I will be a perfect wife by the time I get married. but Hell probably not, I have never even lived with a guy in any capacity before.. but that is a whole other blog post.

So what is it about 24, why do I feel the need to possibly prematurely age myself now? Is this some unwritten rule that I am not aware of? You hit 24 and you are almost halfway through your 20’s better pull yourself together

❤ Kelsi Rae

Why I am thankful for today’s TERRIBLE run!

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There is a park about 1 mile from my house, and it is about a mile around.

So my goal is to run 1 mile there, a mile around and a mile home, that is the goal! So far I have made it a mile there and a mile home!

That is at a snails pace and doing intervals of 3 minutes on, 2 minutes off, the way home is all down hill so I do 5 minutes on and 3 minutes off on the way home.

NOT TODAY! Today I was huffing and puffing wheezing about two minutes in. My normal snails pace began to resemble a crawl, but I kept going, even when that toned girl passed me, looking like she was gliding on clouds as she ran by me. I kept going, it felt like we were the part of the same club now!

I kept running! I decided I was going to start running about 3 months ago, I started running inside and ventured outside about 3 weeks ago. With the snow the outside running has been on and off, but lets be honest it terrifies me to be out there on the street where people can see me all red faced and puffy not looking at all like a “runner” in any sense of the word. I keep having to remind myself that I am a runner simply because I am running!

Everyday I have to get up and try again. I have become obsessed with fitgrams, I love fitteachers and mrsfitteacher for inspiration!

So no matter what you are starting, running, eating more healthy, having positive thoughts or something completely unrelated just keep going and remember everyday is a day to start again.

❤ Kelsi Rae

What would Betty Draper Do?

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Think Betty Draper via season 1, the domestic goddess that she was before shit really started hitting the fan.

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Ok so these are all really funny and I love to poke fun at the domesticity that was instilled in the women of the past. But to be honest I love many of the aspects of the domestic goddess like Betty Draper with a few add ons

1) I love to cook dinner, but you better believe you are going to help clean up.

2) I will clean the kitchen. . you can clean the bathroom.

3) I will do the dishes. . .you can dry.

4) And you better believe that I am going to keep my full time job, and still work when we have children.

I love my job and I think a way to maintain is to be fulfilled with yourself in order to bring the best you to a relationship.

5) When those kids are born we will both be waking up at 3 am

6) And hopefully I will never have to start popping Valium like candy!

But this side of me falls under a lot of scrutiny in the modern age. How could I be content taking care of my husband, ensuring that he is fed, clean and has nice clothes to wear. Where is my feminist streak that screams, he is a grown man he can take care of himself?

Well damn right he can, and he has been taking care of himself for 7 years after he moved out of his parents before I came along. He is more than capable of taking care of all of these things on his own. (I do have to admit that his apartment is full of dishes, and it smells like a man cave most of the time, but he is surviving just fine without me) But what is a better way to show him that I love and value him than by doing these simple things that I have been doing for myself anyway.

And what right is it of anyone else to tell me that, this action is antiquated or anti-feminist?

But this is exactly what happened yesterday. A colleague of mine is in the process of getting a divorce, a younger man that we work with asked us both why we choose to get married as opposed to simply living together. And she went into a diatribe about how she got married because of societal norms and how marriage sucks the all of your personality as you try and conform to social norms.

While this may be true for her, to say that this is the case is all marriages places another stereotype on them. A marriage is a union between two people those two people have to know each other and value what they bring to the relationship, a marriage does not have to look like mine, or eerily similar to the women of the 50’s. A marriage has to look like two people working together to get through life. They are communicating and working as a team in order to succeed. That team can take on many different looks but each person has to feel valued in the team.

It is time to stop stating that I am anti-feminist because I happily sing while I cook and wash the dishes for my future husband. But it is also time for people to stop feeling like a marriage has to look any certain way.  A marriage is as unique as the two people in it.

I have never been happier than I am when I can come home to make dinner before Ben gets home, my friend Shannon’s goal for next year is to get home in enough time to freshen up before her husband gets home, and my colleague that is getting a divorce needs to find a man that as she put it “lets her be the hippy that she is.”

In the end even Betty Draper started looking out for herself.

So remember don’t forget to be yourself and when in doubt, What would Betty Draper Do?

❤ Kelsi Rae

Dreams and Debt

Dreams

Do you have a dream job?

I don’t mean like I want to be a famous actress or a Kardashian ( is that really a job even?) But a job in your field that you could potentially actually obtain. Maybe the job that inspired you in the first place, the job that when you think of yourself, doing what you do, that is where you are doing it? (Does that even make sense) Well I hope everyone has a dream job, even if it seems impossible right now or far off from where you are in your career, but it is attainable. I believe that everyone needs to have positive mental imagery in order to keep moving forward in your personal and professional life.

Well I have a dream job, and my dream job i dangling right in front of me, I am a finalist in the interview process and I do my teaching demo next week ( the final step in the hiring process in my district) I worked in this school as an assistant teacher before I entered my masters program, I have been removed from the school in order to fulfill the requirements for my residency year and now that that is coming to a close, I am back applying for lead teaching positions. The position that I have envisioned myself doing all year, the thing that kept me going when I was at my lowest with mild/moderate education. I was not feeling fulfilled, I didn’t think I was truly making a difference and was unsure if I would last the entire residency year in the placement I had been given. I thought of this job, I thought of what it would be like if by some miracle the teacher left and I could work with my team in my school with those students. I got through the residency and now here I am applying for jobs, when I get the call, that job the one I had been dreaming of, is opening up. . it could really be a possibility for next year.

There is just one catch. . .

As a part of my residency program we are offered full tuition reimbursement if we meet certain qualifications after we finish. . one of which is to work in Title One school in this specific district. . my dream job is not at a title 1 school., not even close. . But the program I would be teaching is still one of the hardest to staff positions in the district, working with the students with the highest academic and social needs, but I will still not qualify for reimbursement. . So here I am stuck in a pickle.

If I was single I would say, done I will take the job, I was lucky enough to only take out a few thousand in loans and the district still offers loan reimbursement so those would still get paid for, I would have to pay my Mom back for the help she gave me. . and my mom is way less scary and interest ridden than the federal government.

But I am not single. . or at least I won’t be officially by the time my next job starts in August, I will be a married a married woman with a family of two to think about. So the pickle gets worse. . .

I know that my fiancé will do whatever he can to get me my dreams, just like he knows that I would do for him. So it is not about permission it is about commitment and compromise. We have to look at our finances and make sure that this is something we can reasonably afford to do. That on top of the new higher rent we will be paying and his existing student loan debt we can take on another large amount of debt. I have done the math for my single income and I believe I could do it.

But is that what is best for my family? Will that be the way that we are the most fulfilled in life and able to begin saving for our long future together?  Is it completely selfish of me to put this on my new husband to burden him with this debt so that I can what, be in a school I know? What if there is another school that I will do just as well at? Is it ok for me to ask for something this big? As much as I want this job, I want a happy marriage more, I want a life that we can say we are both fulfilled and please with the decisions that we have made as a couple. I want us to be able to tackle whatever comes our way together, and I don’t want to start our relationship off with resentment.

I don’t know if that would happen, he loves me more than money I know, And he wants me to be happy but I am just so torn on what is best. We are supposed to sit down and talk about it soon.

compromise

But is this what American higher education has come down too. .Dreams and Debt?

Do they have to go together, even with this debt I will have less school loan debt than most of my friends that only have undergraduate degrees? How is that just in a world where a higher degrees is becoming more and more necessary that this is what it comes down too

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