Numb

This one is a hard post to write tonight. My heart is torn in so many ways, my mind still numb from current events.

Last night, as my city celebrated winning the Cup, another city was in shock over an attack, the brutalist of modern history. Here I was, just living life, tweeting, blogging, watching the game…trying anything I could not to have to think. Not to think of words. Not to think what if it had been someone I loved. Not to…anything.

But I woke today, thinking I should have some thoughts. Something. Anything. And I was still numb, still trying to move on with life life it’s normal – but it’s not.

We Americans are lucky, even in the midst of terror and attacks and numbness and what if. We were founded on freedom, and because of that, we are free from so many oppressive situations that many others in the world find themselves in. Even though we are free, it doesn’t change the fact that hate still exists, that terror is still real, that we live in a post-9/11 world of “what next”. This is our reality.

I still cannot find words. I’m scared of my words. I’m scared they’ll be twisted and turned, my friends on the left thinking I am not doing or saying enough; my friends on the right asking how I can love like I do, how I can be so accepting. I feel in a horrible, awful place…but I know it could be worse…so I am numb.

When I am numb, I go to do the one thing that I feel is right, and that’s talk to the Lord. Tonight, he spoke back to me, urging me to find the stance of the church I grew up in and what they might say to offer me some solace in my numbness. This is what I found, and this is what I’ll lean on tonight…praying it helps me feel better about my lack of saying anything at all.

United Methodists across the world are horrified by the despicable act of terrorism in Orlando, Florida, that took the lives of 49 individuals and wounded 53 others.

We are in shock. We join those who grieve. We pray for the victims, their families, and the LGBTQ community targeted by this hateful attack. We stand against all forms of violence, committed anywhere in the world by anyone.

As the people called United Methodist, let us not lose heart, but redouble our commitment and efforts to fulfill God’s vision of the Beloved Community throughout the world. As we combat evil, let us not let evil fill our hearts. As we struggle to end violence, let us not let violence become our way of life. As we battle terrorism, let us not become terrorists in the process. As we seek to be vigilant, let us not let fear curtail our hospitality. As we pray for peace, let it begin within our own spirits.

(The quote above is from Bishop Bruce R. Ough, United Methodist Council of Bishops President. It was found here.)

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It’s 2013, Right?

On the day after the verdict of the Zimmerman Trial, I have a heavy heart. Social media has been a mess. Greg and I were out tweeting happy things, not realizing a verdict had been met, then all of the sudden caught up with life and we both got pretty quiet for the rest of the evening. In my head, I kept repeating, “It’s 2013, right?”.

To be clear, as the wife of a biracial man and the mother of a bi-racial son, this isn’t about to be a post on a) trying to pull the race card in the verdict, b) trying to say that as a white woman I understand the issues that African Americans face day in and day out, or c) judging others. This is about the fact that it’s 2013, and I think we are letting the Devil win today.

While I am not sure at what point my thoughts will make sense, I am going to try to put my brain mush into a post in order to find some hope in what we as a society are going through.

Let’s start with my “mom” hat. As the mother of two children who are growing up in not the best suburb of Pittsburgh, my heart breaks for Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton. I cannot imagine one, losing my child, or two finding out that the man who claimed he shot (and killed) her son was found not guilty of murder. Not that I don’t hug my babies tight, but I will be hugging them even tighter from now on. You never know when life can take a complete twist and turn, so I will cherish every moment.

On my social media feeds, I saw a lot of pointing fingers. There were many blaming race, others saying it had nothing to do with race. To be honest? I am not 100% sure where I stand. If you are Caucasian, I have to ask you…have you ever been pulled out of your car and away from your wife and kids just because of your skin color? This happened to my husbandHave you ever been called a “mutt”? This has happened to my son. Have you and your infant daughter ever been almost run over by a car because you were with a man who didn’t have cream colored skin? This has happened to me and Arianna. Thinking of these things, it’s really hard for me to think that race had nothing to do with the verdict. (And in the meantime, I have to remember my parents’ advice about raising my children to love all, regardless of skin color, gender, orientation, skills, whatever…it’s the way I was raised.)

A Facebook friend posted that the Devil is the one sitting back and laughing in all of this, regardless of how we feel, and she’s right. We all need to stop judging, start loving, and take action to be sure that gun violence, racism, and hate are a thing of the past. So, as President Obama urged in his statement today, let’s respect the decision of the jurors, find calm, and do as he asked:

“I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities.

“We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis,” Obama said. from cnn.com

So tonight, as you kiss your children goodnight, be sure they know how much they are loved. Tell your partner how much they mean to you. Send an e-mail to a friend you haven’t talked to in a long time. Let your co-workers know you’re grateful for the ‘lil things they do day in and day out to make your life easier. Make sure your communities and networks know you are there.

As the days and weeks after this verdict wear on, I am sure emotions will continue to soar. I’ll be participating in a blog event about justice. Surely gun drops will be called for in communities. Teens will wear hoodies, reminding us that they are Trayvon.

Remember, it’s 2013 and whether you believe the verdict was right or wrong, let’s move on. Through it all, let’s remember the important piece–we were all put on this Earth to live and love. Period.

Me & My Lovelies

Dream

Kids,

I have many wishes for you, but one of the biggest wishes I have for you is this. Love. And love with all your heart. Let that love shine to your family, your friends, your teachers, your bosses, your neighbors, the people you don’t even know.

My wish is a dream, a dream that you won’t let borders get in the way. Opinions, words, laws. Love, just love with all your heart. While I may not ever see eye to eye with every one of your decisions, know that deep down, I love you with all of my heart and soul. Your choices are your own, your destiny is what you make of it.

Don’t let someone else bring you down because of how you feel or who you support. We are a team, our ‘lil family of four, and don’t ever forget that. Love will always win.

Years ago, a very wise man named Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke these words (and they will forever reign true):

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

Keep dreaming, keep loving, keep true.

Love,
Mama

~ ~ ~

PS, that picture above? It’s from a salon–how adorable is that???

‘Tis the Season

Tonight, I have to tell you, I have a bit of a heavy heart.

I mean, we had a great day today cleaning our house and organizing our hobby rooms. Meanwhile, many homeless women, men, and children wish they had a house to have to clean.

I got to pick up toys with my daughter. Meanwhile, some moms and dads would give anything to watch their daughters run and play, and probably wouldn’t worry if a few toys were on the floor (like Lynzie‘s parents).

I found my son sleeping because he’d played too hard. But, I can guaran-darn-tee you that Maria would love to see Christian just play just one more day. (PS, can you help her meet her goal of granting 2 kids Wishes through Make-A-Wish? They are oh-so-close to meeting their goal!)

I had my husband help me carry boxes that were just too heavy and put things up in the attic. And a few miles down the road, I am certain that Julie would give anything to have Derek alive today.

We went to dinner where ‘lil Miss A’s burger was accidentally made with cheese, but she brushed it off because she had enough chips and some of my chicken to keep her satisfied. But tonight, over 3 million kids her age went hungry.

After dinner, we went shopping and snuck a peek at some toys and thought ahead to Christmas. For some kids, they will be lucky if they get a toy this holiday season. (So thankful for Toys for Tots and our local favorite radio station for putting on Stuff a Bus to help gather toys for the drive!)

And after that, we went grocery shopping and filled up our fridge, pantry, and overflow area with cereal, produce, diapers, bread, and meat. But the fact that so many families won’t have enough to eat this week puts a weight on my heart. I know I’ve asked before for help with tote bags and raising awareness about the Food Bank, but please remember again to consider putting a few items into the bins for the Fall Food Share while you are doing your weekly shopping trips.

And as I put the groceries in the fridge, I saw two pictures that brought tears to my eyes. One of my cousin T and her family at her wedding less than a year ago. Today, she is 3/4 of the way through her first round of treatments. The other of my little cousin L who was born to another cousin who survived cancer (on the other side of my family). Life is truly a gift, and I never want to forget that.

When we got home, I kissed ‘lil Miss A and snuggled with ‘lil Man, just thinking about how lucky we have it. Sure, our lives aren’t perfect and we know money isn’t everything. We don’t have the best house/neighborhood and certainly aren’t free of our car problems, time management issues, and missing our SC family and friends. But we have each other, family, friends, and faith–so we know we’ve got it made. In a perfect world, I think we would all feel like that…so tonight, I think of those who don’t have the comforts we have and I say prayers that they will all feel a little extra love tonight.

If you or someone you love is hurting, lonely, hungry, sick, or needs love and prayers tonight, know that God is watching you. I know I can’t take every pain away, but God can. Blessings and love.

A Family Wedding Day

Today, my little cousin (SAS) will be marrying her best friend (The Corndaddy). It is been evident from the day I met The Corndaddy back on Labor Day 2009 that he was a good match for SAS. He made her smile, he was a true gentleman, and he fit in well with our family.

SAS wasn’t the only person to fall in love with The Corndaddy. ‘lil Miss A did, too. Today, she thinks that she is the one marrying him, not just being the Flower Girl.

This won’t be her first stint at being a Flower Girl. She was a charmer at our wedding when she was 9 months old, but I have a feeling today she is going to be 1000 times more beautiful. Our amazing aunt made her a dress out of the extra from the other girls’ dresses. It is extremely beautiful, and makes ‘lil Miss A really look like a princess (or “booty princess” as she says).

We are all looking forward to today. For all of us, it is a blessing to see them become The CornPeople and enjoy married life. For some, it is the anticipation of eating dozens and dozens of amazing homemade cookies at the wedding (a Pittsburgh tradition). For some, getting to show off dance moves. For some, getting to be with family that we haven’t seen in a long time.

For me, it is all of that and more. I will shed tears of happiness for the bride and groom. I will hope that they can forever be each other’s best friend. That they will always be there for each other. That they will cherish the sanctity of marriage and realize it is a truly amazing thing, not something to take lightly. That they will fight over silly things and enjoy the bliss of making up. That they will never stop praying for each other. That they continue to “Love Like Crazy”.

Mr. Burgher and I are lucky because we found all of that and more. Today, as SAS and The Corndaddy say their vows, we will remember the words we said to each other.

For hearing my thoughts, understanding my dreams, and being my best friend…For filling my life with music and loving me without end, I do.

“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living my” Wife “you will be”.

We’ll probably squeeze hands and give each other “the look”. We’ll be happy for them, but also be happy for us. We’ll get to dance in the married couples’ dance and stick around for a few moments (but be jealous of the winners who will have some 50-60 years on us). We’ll cherish every second of today for us, and for them.

Dear SAS and The Corndaddy, we ‘lil Burghers wish you every single happiness in the world. Marriage is an amazing, beautiful thing. It is not always easy, but look to God and each other when it is not. The world needs more couples like you, and we are proud to be among the ranks with you as family, friends, and fellow lovebirds. May today be the first day of the rest of a life filled with Faith, Family, Friends..and lots of Living, Laughing, and Loving.
XOXO

Build Upon a Solid Rock

This afternoon, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit the VA/MD area and here in The ‘Burgh, we felt shakes from it. At first, my boss didn’t believe me when I said the building was shaking, but then we watched in awe as his PC proved me right. Our first reaction was to get to the door and see what others felt. I could see plants shaking above my desk. A co-worker confirmed the quake.
Cell service (atleast texts) was down, so my “did you feel that?” to Mr. Burgher went unnoticed. After a few minutes, I called and talked to him, he saw my fb post about feeling it. Sadly, he didn’t feel it at the house, but I see it as a blessing. Our old house on the hill must be built on solid rock, a firm foundation.

++++

It sure is. Last night, I was teaching A one of my old favorites “Down in My Heart” and I asked her where she had the love of Jesus. Her reply? “He’s in my heart, just like you and Daddy are!”

How marvelous, how wonderful! As we embark on trying to instill values of peace, love, and our loving God into our kids, we worry about mixed messages they see from us, our neighborhood, and society. While Mr. Burgher and I are religiously different (and A will be attending Catholic preschool–which neither of us are), it is good to hear that she does know the basics.

Should anything happen, we can rest assured she is built upon a solid rock.

++++

Speaking of faith, thank you for those saying prayers for us. Tonight, we go from a one car family to a 2 car. No more feeling like we are burdening others for rides or turning down opportunties because one of us has the truck. God really is good, all the time. We are both so thankful that we turned to Him in our time of need and had our prayers answered.

We, too, are built upon a solid rock, and feel thankful and blessed for God’s love. With Him, all things are possible.

Guest Blog Post–Eliz

Today is a guest post from my friend Eliz (of SC and Yup, we’re having twins). Enjoy!

Since Bex and Greg are off on a mini Vegas vacay, i thought i’d share my thoughts on the Willis(north) 4.
I’ve known becky through 5 years and we’ve both changed immensely. We’ve had our share of ups and downs, but we’ve both made it through, and are better people for it. I’ve seen Becky change the most since Greg entered her life. They are truly a perfect pair. Arianna and Evan have just made their circle of love bigger, better, and stronger. Here’s what I’ve learned from them:

1. No matter the situation, there is ALWAYS some sort of resolution.

2. Where there is family, there is <3.

3. You choose your own family.

4. Becky and I CAN keep each other sane, through the trials and error of mommyhood, even from 10+ hours away.

5. We both love a good deal and will search it out. (though Bex is definitely the couponing queen!)

6. Children make great couples even better!

7. You don't need lots of $$ to have fun!

8. Moms cannot survive without our smart phones! hehe

9. Our husbands are the GREATEST!

10. ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE. <3

Hope Becky and Greg are enjoying their vacay and the kids are having a blast with the grandparents!


Me and Eliz before we were mommies and when I was a southern gal she was still a newlywed. Wow how time flies!