7 Quick Takes: I’ve been reading the same book for over two months now

chatter

I’m thinking about offering a whole new slew of items in the shop. I’m thinking brooches, handkerchiefs, earrings, bracelets, rings, patches and more. Thoughts? I just want to offer more price points to all y’all.

instalife

my gram

 

 

 

this week

I care enough to make sure you don’t miss out on anything I posted earlier this week. Obviously you have a good excuse for why you didn’t read. I forgive you. And I update you:

The Perfect Netflix Show for Your Myer-Briggs Type

#5Faves: Summer Beverages

 

 

in photos

unedited for my pleasure.

IMG_3339

Rusted Root played just down the street from our house

Tell me your kids are INSANE when you go to the peds. INSANE.

Tell me your kids are INSANE when you go to the peds. INSANE.

First Food: avocado at CPK because we couldn't take his whining anymore.

First Food: avocado at CPK because we couldn’t take his whining anymore.

big man

big man

This girl is 4. And all she wanted was Build-a-Bear. Kidding. She wanted everything, but she got Build-a-Bear.

This girl is 4. And all she wanted was Build-a-Bear. Kidding. She wanted everything, but she got Build-a-Bear.

 

pinoftheweek

follow me, mmkay?
Then email me a pin from your site so I can feature it. Click pin to read more.

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inmybloglovin

I’m not the only bard in this neck of the Internet. Check out some gems that I didn’t Mark as Read before even getting to. In fact, I saved them to savor later. So, are they good? I don’t know. Let’s find out together:

FAQs with Jenny

highs, lows, bests, and worsts

Summer of Psalms

These Are the Easy Days

Dwija Plopped

currently

with Joyful Life

Reading: I’ve been reading the same book for over two months now aka no kid is currently sleeping through the night

Eating: Mike is grilling us some Costco burger. Up high!

Listening: kids running through the sprinkler

Wearing: actually, all Gap today

Praying: for our marriage – 5 years today!

 

 .

Squaking With Kelly
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#5Faves: Summer Beverages

 

You COULD waste your time at the store and behind the blender making something that your kids are going to beg for sips of. OR, you could just stick to the classics. My classics. My favorite classics, in fact.

This summer, forget the multi-ingredient, involved recipes. Take it easy with these simple drink recipes. I don’t even feel right saying recipes. You can buy a lot of these at the store… | drinks alcohol | drink recipes

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LaCroix: We are all obsessed with this now, yes? I know Brigid feels me. And, how did I never think of this (let me count the ways): you can make the best cocktails with these fizzy beasts.

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Juice Spritzers: You know how you water down juice for the kids so they don’t drive you insane because it’s healthier for them? Do that for you2. My tongue is classy, so I prefer to dilute with San Pellegrino. I think their bubbles are actually smaller and poppier than others.

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Mojitos: There are so many complicated drink recipes out there, and I’m all, “pour some tequila into my tonic water, please. That’ll do.” So, I would like to harken back to the days of olde, before Pinterest muddled up our alcohol – get it? Make yourself one of these simple dudes.

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Capri Sun: Mike bought these for the kids the other day when they were sick. I told him to make sure he bought Pacific Cooler…for the kids. Also, did you know that there is less spillage if you drink a little off the top before giving it to your toddler. It’s just basic, smart parenting.

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Champagne: Because every morning you make it through is worth celebrating.

What are your favorite mamma dranks? Tell me in the comments or link up your #5Faves (about anything!) below.  .

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The Perfect Netflix Show for Your Myers-Briggs Type #streamteam

If you don’t know your Myers-Briggs personality type, take the test here. It’s all the rage, or maybe that’s just my INFJ showing.

Once you know your type, check out which show you should be binging on via Netflix. These are all shows that I have watched and enjoyed (minus Breaking Bad which is all Mike), so either I’m all over the board, or this stuff is mumbo, or OR, the media has us all figured out…or I watch too much tv.

Anyway, check out my pick for you and tell me if I guessed correctly. And then load me up with some other shows you think I might like to marathon with. With which I’d like to marathon. For your trouble, I will smile and wink at you from the other side of the screen.

The Perfect Netflix Show for Your Myers-Briggs Type

Take the Myers Briggs personality test then find out which shows you should be watching on Netflix. Come find your personality type and tell me how I did. I’m an INFJ. What are you? | netflix what to watch | netflix hacks

© hikariphoto / Dollar Photo Club

ENFJ (charismatic): Since you have the ability to win people over with your charm as well as persuade people with your smooth talking, you will identify with the main character of White Collar, Neal.

INFJ (intellectual): As an INFJ myself, I spend a lot of time in my head. I analyze everything I do, everything you do, everything they do, everything I think, sense and imagine. It’s exhausting. Can I suggest a little brain candy? Try turning off your brain and watching Melissa & Joey. Total guilty pleasure.

ENFP (sociable): You’re a free spirit who enjoys chatting. Guess who else does? The Gilmore Girls.

INFP (healer): Due to your loving and calm nature, you are a fantastic person to have around in an emergency. If you’re always willing to help with compassion, watch Call the Midwife.

INTJ (mastermind): I don’t watch Breaking Bad, but Mike has. He says Walter White would be a thinker with a plan for every situation. I take his word for that.

ENTJ (leader): You are a take charge leader who does not give up on any situation. You always find a way to make things work. The females of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are strong as hell too.

INTP (innovative): You always want to learn more and improve upon ideas. Watch The Pioneer Woman cook up all of her specialties, and then create them yourself. No doubt you will find a way to tweak them and make them your own.

ENTP (explorer): Any curious person will love Planet Earth. You will love expanding your mind as well as your views of this world.

ESFP (entertainer): Spontaneity and enthusiasm are nothing new to you. You always have a great story to tell about something you’ve done or something that happened to you. Jess from New Girl fits this bill too.

ISFP (artistic): Bizarre Foods is perfect for someone who loves to try new things. How many of these dishes would you eat?

ESFJ (helper): Like you, Gabi loves to gab and is always ready to help her friends. Hopefully unlike you, she is always meddling too much and causing trouble in this sugary show, Young & Hungry.

ISFJ (protector): Always ready to protect those you love from harm? You will love Arrow – a superhero show similar to Batman. Sounds meh, but so good.

ISTP (crafter): You love to experiment and are great with all kinds of tools, kind of like…McGyver!

ESTP (pragmatic): If you’re great at being aware of your surroundings and you love a little danger, Pretty Little Liars will give you all of that and then some.

ISTJ (inspector): It’s not your opinion, you’re just right, right? People can trust that what you say is true, just like Sherlock.

ESTJ (supervisor): You are great at taking charge and delegating what needs to be done. 30 Rock shows you the funnier side of what you’re good at: being the boss.

 

So, did I nail it? Or did I bloof it? What’s your Myer’s Briggs type? And what do you rec I watch on Netflix?

#5Faves: Articles About NFP

It’s NFP awareness week, my people. So, I’m here to, uh, make you aware. All of the honesty without any of the details! And, since I am doing a craft show this weekend, I will keep this as brief as my Phase 3…ha. Kidding. Sometimes.

| nfp chart | nfp humor | nfp catholic | birth control methods | birth control pills

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5 Ways We Bring Life to Our Marriage

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NFP: Why We Practice

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How to Ruin Your Marriage With NFP

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The Thing I Wish People Would Stop Telling Me

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Why I Don’t Do NFP

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How to Discuss Gay Marriage

I can take absolutely no credit for this post. I simply asked two very intelligent friends of mine to chat with each other about the recent SCOTUS decision regarding the legalization of gay marriage. So, before I let you read their conversation, let me give you some background and ground rules:

Background and Intros

Cara has been my friend for 23 years now. She lives in CA where she works for an organization that helps philanthropists achieve greater good with their resources. She has her Master’s from University of San Fransisco.

Jenny lives in CO and has three children with one on the way. She writes for Catholic News Agency which hosts her blog, Mama Needs Coffee. She studied theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. 

ha. Just realized they both were schooled in St. Francis of Assisi inspired locations. Anyway.

Both people agreed to email back and forth so they would have time to process and respond.

Ground Rules

I invite you to join the conversation these two women have started, but. BUT. I am completely aware of the fact that the readership of this blog will tend to disagree with the SCOTUS decision (myself included), so let me make this crystal clear: please be genuine and tactful in your comments and questions. Both of these women are wonderful people (who I love) with intelligent thoughts on the matter. Please engage them in conversation while respecting their humanity.

Tips for Online Debate

So, let’s get this party started. I hope you’ll enjoy seeing how this conversation unfolded. It was amazing to watch how they were able to

  • address ideas without personal attacks
  • defend their beliefs while inquiring about the other’s
  • understand that they weren’t going to change each other’s minds, but they could clearly lay out their case for others who may be reading
  • know they could help the other person understand but not agree
  • come to a polite conclusion when they felt they had finished

What do you feel the effect of the legalization of gay marriage will be on the future of our country?

p.s. this is long, but oh, so worth it.

With SCOTUS recently ruling wedding rings for all, we are all finding ourselves in need of a lesson in online etiquette. Learn to stay true to your beliefs while still tactfully engaging another in conversation. | gaylove | gaypride | gay marriage | internet safety | debate topics

© Masson / Dollar Photo Club

 

 

Cara:

I was sitting at work in DC when I heard the news of the ruling. It was coming off the heels of another SCOTUS decision upholding the ACA, and it felt to me like a SCOTUS magic week. The news started to ripple through my office, and we all cheered, breathed sighs of relief, and a few people were walking around waving equality flags that HRC was handing out across the street.

I dove into my iPhone to be sure I knew exactly what this ruling meant and when/how the decision would be implemented. The fact that it was immediate law and that couples could get married right away sounded almost too good to be true. I live in California where marriages have been legal and then annulled with the back-and-forth laws that have been state-driven. Throughout the day, I started to hear stories like Jack and George, and I shed my cynicism and believed this could really be a turning point.

Quite simply, when I think about what this ruling will mean for the future of our country, I think it means that we are one step closer to equality and that the future is a little brighter. It means stories like Jack and George can finally be a thing of the past and that from this point forward, individuals can marry who they love and enjoy the legal and societal privileges that come with that. I believe that the next generation will be astounded that this was ever a debate, much the same way that our generation can’t fathom that interracial marriage was illegal less than 50 years ago.

I do still have a very real concern for the future of LGBTQ rights in this country. Same sex marriage is a huge win, but it’s not the end of the fight. There is still incredible discrimination in employment and housing, for example, and the trans community remains one of the most marginalized and vulnerable populations in the US. So, I know there’s a real possibility of the movement losing some momentum after this, which concerns me. I must say though, this ruling has given me so much hope that hearts and minds really are changing and that acceptance in a concrete, legal form has finally been given to a large community.

Jenny:

My heart sank that Friday morning, when news of SCOTUS’ decision filtered down through my newsfeed. I was scrolling through the news and periodically raising my eyes above the screen to see my kids diving off the couches in the family room. My first thought was “what is this world they are going to inherit?”

My next thought was one that I’m convinced of more and more with each day that has passed since the ruling was handed down: “this is the Roe v. Wade of their generation.”

What I mean by that is twofold, one, that the High Court issued a mandate against the will of the people, as she did back in 1973, further eroding State’s rights and, along with them, the integrity of the American experiment a little more in the process, and two, my children will not grow up in a world without gay “marriage.”

Just as I have never known a world without abortion.

I’m not naive enough to think that our present culture places much value on marriage in any form in 2015. No fault divorce and contraception are rampant, and are lauded as fundamental human rights, so on the one hand, why not allow gay “marriage,” along with polygamy and incest and any other sexual arrangement that happens to come into vogue? We’re certainly not living, culturally speaking, an experience of marriage as a covenant of life-long fidelity and fruitfulness.

But I want more for my kids. I want them to see (please God, let them see) in their parent’s marriage the fruitfulness and the sanctifying grace of Christ present in the exchange of love between spouses. I want them to recognize the profound gift of new life in the face of each new sibling that comes along, and the awesome responsibility that we, their parents, have in co-creating and raising them.

And I want that for everyone else’s children, too.

I want them to experience this impossibly wide, self-denying and cross-carrying and soul-stretching love, whether they are called to the married life or to a celibate vocation. Because that is where real happiness lies. That’s where fulfillment of the deepest variety resides. And nothing the world can offer them in terms of popular sentiment or trending behavior can compete with that.

And so my job as a mother got a little harder on June 27th. Because now I must explain to these children of mine that not all laws are good, and that wherever our human laws stray from the natural law which is written on each of our hearts, there is tremendous suffering.

I see a unique opportunity here to impress upon them the incredible dignity of every human person – no matter their race, religion, sexual preference, socioeconomic status, and all the rest. Because there is surely a wrong way to teach the truth about love and human sexuality, and I’ve seen too much of that these past couple months.

But it’s scary to think that in teaching them the truth about their sexuality and how they were made – for communion with one unique and unrepeatable member of the opposite sex, if they are called to marriage – I am exercising what is now considered “hate speech.” I’ve been called a bigot 100 different ways online these past 3 weeks, and worse than that. Not because I’ve spoken ill of any gay person or suggested homosexuals deserve inferior treatment in the eyes of the law, but because I maintain that marriage is a unique arrangement fundamentally ordered toward the creation of new human life and,because of those new lives, is worthy of protection and distinction in the eyes of the law.

I don’t hate gay people. I don’t hate anyone. And I don’t believe there is such a thing as gay “marriage,” no matter what 6 unelected public officials and the far more important court of public opinion says about the matter.

People should be allowed to love – and to contract legally binding arrangements with – whomever they please. In my own state, that way already the case.

But I also don’t actually believe this was ever about securing a legal right for a certain class of people, but was rather about abolishing one of the last vestiges of Judeo-Christian morality from American civil law. And it’s going to be a slippery descent downhill, as mentioned above. Because polygamy, incest, and the like are all coming. And on what grounds can we deny anyone a legally-binding and civilly-recognized sexual relationship with any other person – or creature – of their preference? No matter how self-harmful. No matter how disordered. No matter how utterly incapable of producing new life or of investing in the future of a stable and just society.

We can’t. And that’s the world we’re passing on to our children. Not a world of greater equality and opportunity, but of darkened reasoning and of bizarre sexual deviance that everyone will be required, by law, to applaud for with a straight face, affirming that each choice is equally good and loving and valid, because the tyranny of the individual will now rule over the greater common good.

Cara:

Regardless of how absolutely opposed our views are on this, I do appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me. The shock and sadness I experienced while reading your words made me think about how I really surround myself with likeminded people, for better or worse (no pun intended), and that because of that, I so rarely hear this side of the debate. So, in that way, I’m grateful to hear where you’re coming from and how you think through this issue as it’s honestly a side of the debate I so rarely am up against. Did I mention I live in San Francisco? ;)
There are about a million things I want to say in response, but I thought it might be interesting to look at three big areas where I think we start from the same place and then diverge wildly from a similar origin.

First, I think we both have strong relationships with God and that in big or small ways that is guiding our view on this issue. I was raised in a liberal Catholic home and have kept the main lessons from my childhood as pillars in my adult life. These lessons all center around an impossibly loving and accepting God who creates each of us as intentionally unique and strong individuals who are put on the earth to connect with one another. The God I have known since birth is 100% behind supporting loving gay marriage, and he doesn’t even put quotes around the word marriage! He would urge all of us to fight for the equal rights of everyone in our communities to ensure a safe, just, and loving world. A couple weeks ago, I marched in the SF Pride Parade with my Jesuit-run graduate school. It felt so great to represent a side of the church that is open and excited about this, as I think our voices are often muddled into “religious people” who are categorically opposed to gay marriage.

Second, I think you’re absolutely right that soul-stretching love (I love that wording!) is where true happiness lies. Marriage is an incredibly beautiful commitment between two individuals. I would bet that both of us know of strong and weak marriages. I can tell you with absolute certainty that two of the strongest marriages among people closest to me are gay marriages filled to the brim with soul-stretching love. One of these marriages was put on hold for decades because of archaic laws, while the other marriage is between two young men who were able to commit themselves to each other through marriage own their own clock because they happen to a reside in a progressive state. I am so happy that couples like these no longer have to hide their love away for their whole lives.

Finally, I think we both agree that the creation of a family within a marriage is something very special and something to protect. While I in no way believe that marriage has anything to do with some responsibility or calling to “create new life”, I do believe that a married couple can provide a loving home for children and a great foundation for a family. Same-sex couples do this equally as well as hetero couples, and this ruling offers an opportunity for the creation of so many more families to be formed with such greater ease and stronger protection. How can one not celebrate that?

Jenny:

I’m actually really enjoying that we can go back and forth without fear of misunderstanding or emotional fallout – so refreshing from what I spend a lot of time doing. Because of work I’m actually in fairly regular debate/discussion with people on both sides of the issue, so I’m not shocked by really…anything, at this point.

Oh, and ha! Just to cement our uncanny likeness a little further, I was born in San Fran and raised in the Bay Area. And my spiritual director is a former Jesuit, and my mom is a Santa Clara and USF grad, so maybe one of those is your alma mater too?

To address your first point, I want to challenge the logic of making an appeal to popularity or common option (the other alums and students who dissent from Catholic teaching on gay marriage.) That’s a valid emotional experience for you, but logically it falls under the fallacy “argumentum ad populum,” so it doesn’t strengthen your argument.

I was also raised – and am still a practicing – Catholic, and I don’t like the labels “conservative” or “liberal” – I really think they do more to divide than to unite, and we’re a big ‘ol universal church.

For those who will be reading this, I’d like for us to clarify what marriage is, and what it was created for. Since we’re both coming from a faith angle I think it’s safe to bring that into the conversation, but it could also be made solely from a natural law perspective, so really we could leave God out of it.

He’s already here in our email thread though, so let’s examine what He says about marriage and about human sexuality: first, He created us male and female with a purpose and with a distinct complementarity between our sexualities, to image in a particular way the life-giving exchange of love within the Persons of God, the trinity. And then the first instruction we receive from Him? Be fruitful, and multiply.

This lays 2 clear imperatives from the creator, first that there is something intelligent and intentional about our sexual differences, and second, that we are intrinsically ordered toward the creation of new life, just as God Himself is.

You say that marriage has nothing to do with children, in your mind, and that is probably the most difficult piece of your argument for me to answer, because it leads me to think we’re not actually discussing the same thing.

If marriage is not primarily ordered toward “the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring,” then what, exactly, is the purpose?

I’m guessing you’re going to say romantic fulfillment and life-long companionship, which are two goods of marriage, but are somewhat periphery to the two primary ends mentioned above. So could it be that we’re not actually talking about the same thing at all?

Like I said in my earlier email, our culture jettisoned the idea of marriage as something intentionally ordered towards bringing forth new life and raising that life in faithful, committed love, but does that cultural rejection actually alter the nature of marriage? What I mean is, can we redefine a thing based solely on popular opinion, considering we didn’t create marriage to begin with?

Finally, I want to challenge – so gently – the notion that children adopted into same sex partnerships do equally well as children raised by their biological parents. It’s simply not been borne out in all the research, and many adult children of loving, homosexual couples are coming forward and saying that no matter how loving their two “moms” were, and no matter how much they loved them in return, there was a void where the opposite sex parent was missing. And that void impacts them in a real and irrevocable way. I don’t think it’s right to discount the real experiences of children who are living on the front lines of our cultural experimentation and have something hard to tell us, even if it’s difficult to hear. That invalidates their lived experience in the name of furthering an agenda, and unfortunately many of these kids – now adults – are afraid to speak out or do so knowing they’re going to be alienated and rejected by the very community within which they were raised. Katy’s story of her experience being raised in a lesbian household is worth reading.

One final thought: of course children deserve a loving home and of course, orphans and single parent families and all the other impoverished and imperfect arrangements we find ourselves in, when parents die or the crushing demands of poverty overwhelm them, or when teenagers get pregnant or women are abandoned by the men who helped them create the child in question… because we live in a fallen world, and we’re all sinners. But neither of us would, I think, look at those aforementioned situations and call them ideal.

To intentionally deny a child their right to a mother and a father is a grievous injustice to that child. My favorite Jesuit – Pope Francis, says it well: “Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity.”
So if marriage has nothing to do with children, what is it for? And why should our government take any interest in it, in the first place?

Cara:

So funny – USF is my alma mater! Go Dons!

I think we’re getting somewhere because I didn’t even need a deep breath for this one.

I want to be crystal clear here that my support of gay marriage and equal rights for all forms of sexual orientation and gender expression have exactly zero to do with appealing to some popular opinion or “common option.” There is nothing new, trendy, or popular about this. Same-sex love has been around since the beginning of time and all that is news here is that our country is finally coming around to showing this type of love and commitment the respect and legal rights that this community should have been entitled to for all of history.

My point was that there are many people who identify as Catholic who dissent from the fundamental bible-based Catholic teachings on gay marriage (and so, so many other traditional teachings of the Catholic church). A large group of people who believe in God and feel a connection to the Catholic church fully support LGBTQ rights and full acceptance and love of all people (backed by actually supporting all people to love who they love). Because we have such different core values, it does make sense to me to clearly delineate conservative and liberal Catholics. They are, in practice, such vastly different approaches to life, and to be honest I would be horrified to be bucketed into the traditional Catholic mold. Unfortunately, I think the conservative approach to Catholicism has been much, much louder on a variety of social issues, so the liberal portion of the church has gotten lost in the shuffle. I do think Pope Francis is doing a lot to improve this, and I’m happy to hear we can agree that he’s the best. :)

As far as what marriage is and why it is so important, I think you’re right we can leave God out of this, and I want to do just that. While religions all around this globe treat marriage as a sacred and monumental event, that piece is far more complex than what was decided on a Friday in June. The fact is that while religion can put many (valid and important and beautiful) layers on top of marriage, marriage is a legal contract in which each marriage is as unique and diverse as the individuals within the commitment. Some marriages are religious, some are secular, some are between young or older individuals, some span across states or countries, some include children, and some are between same-sex individuals.

 You guessed that I think the point of marriage is for “romantic fulfillment and life-long companionship” and I find that phrasing incredibly empty and not even close to capturing what marriage is. When two people decide that they want to marry, that is an intimate decision that carries with it so many different intentions and goals. Because of that, I don’t believe there is one “reason” for marriage. I think it depends entirely on the individuals within the relationship. This diversity does extend to whether or not they decide to have children. Deciding to be a spouse and deciding to be a parent are such different decisions and roles in life, and it is for no one but the couple involved to make decisions about this. Do you know any married couples who have decided to not have children? Do you know any who are unable to conceive? Who have fostered or adopted children? Any who have blended families but have not “created life” together? Do you honestly think these marriages are not valid or living up to some “ideal”?

Your point about children being raised by their biological parents being somehow better off than children of same-sex couples just holds absolutely no water with me. I’m very familiar with the argument that some children raised by same-sex parents are somehow dissatisfied with their upbringing, and I had actually read Katy’s letter before. Some children of ALL forms of childrearing are dissatisfied with parts of their upbringing. There are just as many stories coming from children who are happy with their families, like Zack Wahls. So, this kind of “proof” isn’t proof at all. The stories of all families are complex with varying degrees of success and levels of overall happiness, regardless of the sexual orientation of the parents.

Jenny:

iiiiit’s a small world :)

And brace yourself, this is long, because I’m suuuuuper pregnant and was up thinking about it between 4-6 this morning…

Okay, after thinking it over, here’s what I pulled out as your three main points “pro” gay marriage:

1. Same sex attraction/homosexual behavior have been around forever, so therefore it should be legally recognized as marriage. This necessitates a change from the fundamental definition of marriage (which I’ll define as a legally binding, life-long, exclusive public commitment to a spouse of the opposite sex and any children which may result from that union) to a broader range of various sexual behaviors. I’m reading that you don’t believe children have anything to do with marriage unless the individual couples wills for them to, and then pursues them in whatever fashion they see fit. Is this accurate so far?

The main issue with this point is the final piece, because this view of marriage radically alters the nature of the institution, which is ordered toward the creation and development of a family, which is the fundamental building block for our larger communities, and turns it into something else entirely: a sexual partnership which is not outwardly-focused, by it’s very nature, but which is focused inward, on the mutual satisfaction and “happiness” (quotes because it’s a completely subjective state unique to each couple) of the spouses.

This is not to say marriage should not equal happiness, but that marriage in the traditional definition often results in happiness but is not contingent upon it. Happiness is a happy aftereffect, if you will, but it’s not proper end. So we contract marriages because we love the other person and want to build a life and a family with them, but the vision is directed outward, away from the individual couples, and that other-centered love physically begets new life. Children are a natural good of marriage – and an essential part of the purpose for marriage – precisely because they draw the spouses away from one another and toward a common good, and ultimately, the future.

You rightly mentioned adoptions and couples who struggle with infertility. I set those aside for the purpose of our argument because they’re tangential, but since you brought them up I’ll answer that when a couple cannot conceive this is a poverty in their relationship. Yes, they may be able to adopt and take great joy in building a family through alternative means (moral means, but that’s another topic entirely), but you’ll never hear an infertile couple say that their infertility hasn’t been a great sadness or a source of suffering. Is their marriage any less valid? Of course not. That’s like saying a cancer patient’s life has less value than a healthy person’s because her body has succumbed to a disease. It means something has gone awry physically.

For a homosexual couple, the sterility of their love is fundamental. That’s part of the reason I said in our first exchange that I don’t believe there is such a thing as gay “marriage;” marriage, by definition, is open to life and directed to the propagation of future generations. A homosexual relationship can never bring forth new life on its own, and so it cannot be rightly called “marriage” in the real sense of the word. Legal partnership? Sure. Civil union? Ok. But while the government has seen fit to radically alter the definition of marriage to include couples who are fundamentally incapable of fulfilling the essential duties (I’m using that word philosophically) of the office, there is nothing that can be done, legally or semantically, to actually alter the reality that only opposite sex spouses can contract a marital union.

2. When homosexual couples determine that they would like to acquire a child, either through adoption, IVF, surrogacy, etc., this results in a profound commoditization of the child. It reduces the child to a product, if you will, to be added on to their relationship as a kind of familial upgrade.

Do homosexual couples sincerely love the children they bring into their homes and raise as their own? I’m sure they do. But especially in the case of assisted reproductive technologies, there is almost total disregard for the dignity and the autonomy of the child. Their humanity is utterly secondary to wants and desires of the parent(s). Surrogacy is perhaps the saddest example of this commoditization, as it outsources the most fundamental human experience – gestation in your mother’s womb – to an unrelated third party. Does the child have no say in this? And can there really be no consequences to such an impoverished arrangement?

3. I didn’t present Katy’s story as any kind of definitive proof of the inability of a gay couple to raise a happy child, just as food for thought that maybe the children involved in these unions are not being afforded their full rights. We disagree on the nature of marriage as being ordered towards procreation, but there is still an innate drive, even among homosexual couples, to build a family. So the question becomes, what of the rights of the child? Does a child not, as we have legally recovnzzed up until this point, have the right to a mother and a father|? Is it not wrong to preemptively deny them a parent of the opposite sex, simply because two men or two women decide to build a life together?

My final thought is this: if marriage has nothing to do with procreation and building families, then why is the government involved in the first place? Traditionally the government has extended legal protections and benefits to married couples recognizing the unique benefits of marriage to society as a whole, (stable, intact families, healthier citizens, lower crime rates, greater economic stability, etc.) But these all tie into marriages begetting families.

Marriage has been recognized in a unique way because marriage – the sexual relationship between a man and a woman – is uniquely capable of bringing forth the next generation of civilization. Can it be done outside the context of marriage? Well yes, of course. But it’s always at the cost of the children involved, never to their benefit.

Also, if marriage means completely different things to different couples, as you said, if each couple contracts marriage on their own terms and for their own reasons and just wants to call it something that starts with an m….how can there be any kind of legal precedent at all for differentiating what makes the cut and what doesn’t? Can’t I marry my sister? Can’t I marry a second spouse of either gender while my husband is still alive? How is there any grounds, legally, to deny me that?

I’ve really enjoyed the peaceful nature and tone of this exchange (seriously, soooooo refreshing for someone who works on the internet) but I’m not sure we can go much further since it kind of feels like we’re talking past each other on a certain level. We’re using the same language, but we don’t mean the same thing, at all, when we say “marriage.”  So I guess maybe I’m up for one more round of closing arguments, if you will, and then we call it a day?

Cara:

I agree on two points: I really have enjoyed the tone of this, and I think we’re getting to the point of talking past each other in many ways.

There are a number of things I’d like to push back on with what you’ve written here (i.e. those are not my three main points pro gay marriage). I think the fact is that we have wildly different approaches to marriage and family — beyond gay marriage or this particular ruling. I don’t feel the need for closing arguments, per se, as I (thankfully) saw this much more as a conversation than a debate. I would like to offer a couple reflections though.

I will admit that I was a bit nervous going into this. After your first email I had tears in my eyes and ended up going for a couple mile walk with my dog on the beach to de-swell the lump in my throat and unknot my stomach a bit. These types of conversations can be really painful and difficult, but I’m so happy that by this last email I feel better about it all. So — I’m glad we went the email route with this so there was some reflection time built in and an opportunity to compose our thoughts.

Another thing I noticed is that maybe the trick to this is that it didn’t really feel like a debate. We both have clearly thought a lot about this issue and have extremely deep seated beliefs about what is right here. Given that, I think we both quickly knew that we weren’t going to sway the other or “win.” What we could do was explain our stance calmly and (as hard as it may have been for both of us) openly listen to the other side. I think there’s a lot of value in that, and I’m grateful to Jenna for framing this up front that this was to be civil and productive, not a battle or a gotcha debate.

Honestly, I still don’t empathize with your stance at all and I think a lot of what you believe is incredibly harmful to our society, but at the same time I can respect you as an individual and hope that somewhere down the line you have a change of heart as so many people have. And I bet you feel the same about me! At least we’re not apathetic members of society, right? ;) I do feel sure that we both want what we think is best for our world, and those opinions have been informed and shaped in very different ways.

Best of luck with the tail end of your pregnancy, and sincere thanks for having this conversation.

Jenny:

Well, I have to admit I’m a little relieved, haha. Not because it wasn’t encouraging to engage this way overall, but yeah, because it was a little personally devastating to hear someone so passionately opposed to the deepest knowledge of my heart and my faith.

I was telling my husband last night that it our conversation was making me sad, not for you necessarily, but for our culture at large, just because relativism is so overpowering and pervasive, and it makes fruitful dialogue so difficult.

But He is bigger, and I’ve seen firsthand the fruits of continuing to question and seek and wrestle.

I had a massive reversion to Catholicism in college when St. John Paul II died, and I credit him with saving my life. I’ll be asking him to pray in a special way for both of us,

Enjoy your weekend and God bless your willingness to engage in this.

Jenna again. Just popping in to repeat, “please be genuine and tactful in your comments and questions. Both of these women are wonderful people (who I love) with intelligent thoughts on the matter. Please engage them in conversation while respecting their humanity.” xx

#5Faves: Hidden Gems of Mackinac Island

You already know about the parks, fudge, horse rides, bikes, shopping (my fave store), butterfly house, water activities, churches and fort, but here are five little hidden island gems that you probably have never seen. Some of these things I’ve done – some are on my bucket list. And, you can laugh at me all you want, but Mackinac Island is my happy place. Check out their events cal, and make it yours too. xo

This summer, add Mackinac Island to your list of travel destinations. You’ll find the most common travel tips on any site, but here is my list of hidden gems that many tourists don’t get to experience on the island. | mackinac island things to do | michigan travel |

© dantien / Dollar Photo Club

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Duckpin Bowling at The Woods: Owned by The Grand Hotel, The Woods is tucked back into the interior of the island. You can get there by hike, bike or carriage ride. Mike and I enjoyed going there for a boxed lunch, and then we tried our hand at duckpin bowling. They have the oldest working lane in the country. Super quaint.

 

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Help the School: Yep – the island has a school for the children of the 600 year-round residents. And, they (genius-ly) came up with a way to make a little cash for their facilities. Buy a copy of this book at one of the island’s bookstores to learn all about what life is like on the island from those who have lived there all of their lives.

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Enjoy the Grand Hotel: You don’t actually have to be a guest to enjoy some of the Grand Hotel’s accommodations. This site will let you know all of the activities and rates for non-hotel guest fun. My personal favorite (which I have yet to do) is afternoon tea. How freaking fancy is that?? Ahem.

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Music in the Park: Night life is big on Mackinac Island. No cars around lends itself to lots of bar crawls and the like. But, if you want something a bit more laid back, try a little music in the park. The Arts Council also has tons of other activities for tourists and residents; check their site for more information.

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Legends and Lore Trek:  An island resident, Dr. Mary Patay, will take you and yours on a three-mile hike through the national park where you will visit sites like Skull Rock, Sugar Loaf, Arch Rock and a cemetery.

What are your Mackinac Island must-sees? Tell me in the comments or link up your #5Faves (about anything!) below.  .

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Haughty Thuggery: A Blog Post by Ellen

Ellen is really into blogging lately. She tells me that she blogs so she can get packages in the mail. We all have our reasons.

This is her latest post she tapped out. Oh, and there are vlogs. Please don’t ask me what she is talking about. This is her – everyday – and I still have no clue.

Haughty Thuggery: A Vlog by My 3yo Daughter | blogging | blogging for beginners | kids say the darnedest things | toddlers

Haughty Thuggery by Ellen

Think  Gauguin  s f Ford haughty thuggery h hghhhhbh juhhhhhhhh humbug hbgghvf b high gothic egg ggghgvvg toffee that egg f2f :/ beach jinx undue Janie science Hindus Jane find c.f. inched jcjeicbj science Hindu sided nice Negev bubble guppies mama Mims cicada Theodore Sammy Ellen

IMG 3223 from Jenna@CallHerHappy on Vimeo.

IMG 3225 from Jenna@CallHerHappy on Vimeo.

Sorry about the vertical vids. It happens.

7QT: just as I thought

chatter

We had a mouse poop all over our entire kitchen. And our microwave broke. I have titled this week Hunger Games and Paper Plates.

But you know, I feel like a real grown up dealing with grown up problems.

instalife

my gram

 

 

 

this week

I care enough to make sure you don’t miss out on anything I posted earlier this week. Obviously you have a good excuse for why you didn’t read. I forgive you. And I update you:

How to Read to Your Baby and Toddler

#5Faves: Unusual, Easy Breakfast Ideas

 

 

in photos

unedited for my pleasure.

"I pwincess kiddy. Mow."

“I pwincess kiddy. Mow.”

spring cleaning! in July...

spring cleaning! in July…

when you go upstairs for bed and your son is sleeping peacefully

when you go upstairs for bed and your son is sleeping peacefully

playing baseball, obviously

playing baseball, obviously

He loves her so much.

He loves her so much.

ferry ride to Mackinac Island

ferry ride to Mackinac Island

Took Theo to the movies so the big kids could see Inside Out. Turns out my kids are afraid of everything...just as I thought.

Took Theo to the movies so the big kids could see Inside Out. Turns out my kids are afraid of everything…just as I thought.

 

pinoftheweek

follow me, mmkay?
Then email me a pin from your site so I can feature it. Click pin to read more.

980ca02eacc6ac202d2f4ad28a8efcb8

 

 

 

inmybloglovin

I’m not the only bard in this neck of the Internet. Check out some gems that I didn’t Mark as Read before even getting to. In fact, I saved them to savor later. So, are they good? I don’t know. Let’s find out together:

Are We All a Little Oversexed?

A Ballerina Minnie Mouse Birthday Party

Summer of Psalms

Developing and Nurturing Friendships

currently

with Joyful Life

Reading: not much as Theo is a big bag of (thankfully cute) needs

Eating: Aldi Almond Milk Chocolate

Listening: Left Lane Cruiser Radio

Wearing: my new BIS tank

Praying: that I can let go of the small stuff and focus on the big picture

 

 .

Squaking With Kelly
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#5Faves: Unusual, Easy Breakfast Ideas

99% of the time we wake up and I’m like, “Do you want this cereal or that cereal for breakfast? Oh, you want something special? How about I put extra milk in that for you?”

But when I think about it, I actually do have some fun, easy breakfasts up my sleeve. Easy as cold cereal – I swear it-ish.

Here are my five favorite unusual and easy breakfast ideas:

Breakfast ideas for when you’re brain feels french toast but your body feels cold cereal. These five recipes require little effort in the kitchen, but your kids will love them to crumbs. | recipes | soup | easy

© phokrates / Dollar Photo Club

Breakfast Cones: Chop up some berries and coat them with the yogurt of your choice. Spoon the mixture into waffle cones and serve.

Breakfast ideas for when you’re brain feels french toast but your body feels cold cereal. These five recipes require little effort in the kitchen, but your kids will love them to crumbs. | recipes | soup | easy

Breakfast Pizza: Ok, pay attention. First you take the graham, you stick the cream cheese on the graham. Then you cut the fruit. When the ‘mallows flaming (kidding) you stick the fruit on the cream cheese. Then you scarf. Kind of messy, but good! Try some!

Breakfast ideas for when you’re brain feels french toast but your body feels cold cereal. These five recipes require little effort in the kitchen, but your kids will love them to crumbs. | recipes | soup | easy

Breakfast Soup: Seriously just make a smoothie and pour it into a bowl with a spoon. I garnished mine with yogurt and small grahams. Here are my favorite smoothie recipes.

Breakfast ideas for when you’re brain feels french toast but your body feels cold cereal. These five recipes require little effort in the kitchen, but your kids will love them to crumbs. | recipes | soup | easy

Breakfast Triangle Pies: Mix up a regular pancake batter and pour into sandwich press. You can add whatever fillings you want. We like blueberries or chocolate chips.

Breakfast ideas for when you’re brain feels french toast but your body feels cold cereal. These five recipes require little effort in the kitchen, but your kids will love them to crumbs. | recipes | soup | easy

Breakfast Meatballs: Essentially you’re mixing pancakes and sausage together and baking. Just mush it, roll it, bake it. Here’s the recipe.

**no pic bc we ate them all, obvs**

What are your favorite easy and unusual breakfast ideas? Leave a comment below or link up your #5faves about anything at all!

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How to Read to Your Baby and Toddler

There’s nothing wrong with just picking up a book and reading it to your child. You don’t need to get all fancy and educational with it. Honestly, just snuggling close and browsing your latest library choice is enough to instill a love of reading in your kid.

But, if you want some advice on taking it to the next level, try these seven tips. If your child is old enough to think about your questions and respond, great! If not, answer your own questions out loud. Babies and kids love to hear and learn how you work things out in your head as well.

Reading just ten minutes a day to your baby boy or baby girl is a wonderful habit. But, if you want to take it a step further, try these 7 tips for reading to your baby or toddler. So dust off those bookshelves and try these reading strategies that will make your little one fall in love with books.

© Deyan Georgiev / Dollar Photo Club

  1. Before opening the book, talk about the cover. “What do you see on the cover?” “What is this book called?” “What do you think this book will be about?” “How do you think this book will make you feel?”
  2. Let your child hold the book and/or turn the pages. Learning the structure of a book and how it works is important information!
  3. Don’t worry about reading every single word. If you child is interested in something on the page, talk about it. It’s like a baby bookclub! You’re not memorizing the book; you’re just showing your child how to love reading.
  4. Don’t just read the words either. On each page, talk about the pictures and words. “Can you say hippopotamus?” “What does a cat say?” “Can you find the moon?” “Where do you think that little girl is going?” “Let’s find all of the letter Bs on the page.” “How do you think the little boy feels?”
  5. When your baby is playing next to you and you actually have time to read a book, try reading out loud. Kids learn to read from hearing what a good reader sounds like.
  6. When the book is over, keep it alive. Ask you child her thoughts about the book. “How did that book make you feel?” “Do you think you’d read that one again?” And point out things in real life to make a connection. “Look! A cement mixer just like in the book we read.” “Are you frustrated just like the boy in the book? What did he do?”
  7. Read the same books over and over and overandoverandoverandover…which probably won’t be a problem. Kids love repetition because it is familiar, and they learn from doing things again and again. Some of our favorites are:

It Looked Like Spilt Milk

Press Here

Bubble Trouble

Night House Bright House

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

What are your best tips for reading to babies and toddlers? How about great read-aloud book recommendations?

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