A super long post on love, loss, and gratitude.

I’ve wrestled with this post for a few days trying to craft the right message to drive home a point I’m not sure I’m trying to make. I’ve debated posting anything at all because, truly, I just don’t know what to say or how to say it. I don’t do well with this kind of stuff. But then I thought to myself, does anyone ever really do well with this kind of stuff? Is there ever really a point to posting about loss other than to share the heartache of a loved one gone?

The truth is, life really sucks sometimes and you don’t always know how to feel, think, react, or process. Losing someone you love has to be one of life’s most difficult challenges. There’s no guidebook that walks you through how to restore wholeness, completeness, happiness, and/or peace.

Grief is a lonely road you navigate alone desperately searching for someone on the same path as you profusely praying they’ll have the answer to closure and peace. But as you aimlessly search trying to find that said person, you discover you’re actually surrounded by people walking the same lonely path as you… it’s just, we’re all a bunch of broken souls aimlessly walking and searching and grieving in a hundred million different directions searching for different meanings on closure, peace, and understanding. And quite frankly, we’re all just trying to figure out how to live life with the loss.

As many of you have seen through various posts and my sharing of my grandfather’s obituary, we lost my Grandpa Tipton this past Saturday. It doesn’t matter how, when, where, or why. All that matters is that heaven gained another good angel.

I’m not here to falsify a relationship that didn’t exist in order to gain sympathy or feel sorrow in the wake of loss. I wasn’t close to my grandfather and truly never have been. Family dynamics made is difficult I suppose. There are no “good” excuses as to why I never chose to initiate or foster that relationship, but I made peace with my decision and feel no guilt.

My purpose in posting this is to honor my grandfather, not in the wake of his loss, but in the influence of his life. I may not have had the relationship every little girl dreams of having with their grandfather but despite my non-traditional family relationships, my grandfather had a profound impact on my life through the person in this world that means the absolute most to me, my dad.

With loss, there is always a wave of guilt and regret, and my biggest regret is in never sharing my sincere gratitude with my Grandpa Tipton for the influence he’s had on me through my father. That being said, the remainder of this obnoxiously long post is to him.

Grandpa Tipton,

I am incredibly grateful for you because without you, I wouldn’t have the father that I do. My dad, your son, is my rock. My constant. He is a pillar of strength, courage, resilience, and love. My father is one of the most important, imperative, and influential people in my life. My dad chose me and I chose him. We may not have the same blood, but does blood truly define love? My dad and I have an unspoken language of understanding. I turn to him, always. He’s my sounding board for sanity, he’s my ultimate life coach, he pushes me, challenges me, supports me, drives me absolutely crazy, makes me laugh, makes me sad, but more importantly he makes me feel important, worthy, and loved.

I know you know that Tipton isn’t my birthright name, but I want you to know that it’s the greatest gift outside of my son that I thank God for every single day. Tipton is a name I carry proudly that connects me to the people I care about and love the most in this whole entire world. People that are made possible through the life you created in my dad.

Just as I am of the influence of my father, my father is of the influence of you. My dad is the man he is today because of the man you raised him to be. I might not have understood your relationship with my dad or appreciated the way you showed your pride, love, and affection for him, but I know you were proud of him and loved him nonetheless.

I’m incredibly grateful for my dad and my gratitude for him extends through you. You taught my dad a level of strength, grit, and hard work that he has instilled in me. You challenged him to be smart, out smart, and work smart. You taught him to think big, give big, and love big. Your life lessons on work ethic, creativity, never giving up, and supporting those you care about are ingrained in him and ingrained in me. I’ll say you two have never been one for words, but where words fail music speaks. Your love and talent for music carries through my father and carried through to my big brother, another devastating and heart-wrenching loss I struggle with daily. I’m grateful for the music that connected you three because, in some weird and unexplainable way, I feel it connects me, too.

In closing, the loss of you is heavy. You will be missed. But have no doubts while you wait for us in heaven, we’re committed to keeping your legacy alive through the strong life principles you’ve instilled through your life song.

With love,

Courtney Carol Tipton Zeigler

For Ralph W. Tipton’s Obituary, please visit here.

Face Painting 101- As my husband calls it.

Over the years, I’ve had several folks reach out to me about what makeup products I use and some have urged me to make a YouTube video tutorial…. however, I’m still working up the courage for that because I’m no makeup artist and my style is what it is… it’s my style. There is no right or wrong to what I do, and the makeup products I use are my personal preference based on my skin type, color, style, and what I find easy and realistic to use to accomplish my goal of 1) feeling confident, 2) looking natural, and 3) being a little bit glamorous. For those that know me know that I’m a little bit of a diva. No shame in my game.
Anyways, all of this started when one of my best friends asked me to send her a detailed email about what makeup she needed to buy because she was doing an overhaul of her makeup inventory. I drafted a long, elaborate, and obnoxious email that has since evolved into what I’m sharing with you today.
I’ll first start by crediting my dearest mother for raising me into the makeup and fashion loving monster that I am today. I wouldn’t want it or have it any other way. She taught me at a very young age that “To glam is to give a damn.” I’m sure some of you have seen this phrase written “Too glam to give a damn” but that communicates an entirely different message. Reread both phrases, think about it, and reflect. The purpose of me writing this post and sharing this information with you is to inspire and motivate you to give a damn about yourself. Invest in yourself by giving a damn about your appearance. That’s not vain or materialistic. It’s you communicating to others that you prioritize yourself, which is a powerful message of confidence, strength, and poise.
All that being said, here is my two cents about makeup must-haves. 😀
We all have dark circles and a good concealer is your best friend. If you trust me on this one, I would go to Sephora (or you can buy on Amazon) and get the BEST concealer, in my humble opinion, that I have found, which is ITCosmetics “Bye Bye” Under-Eye. Now, this concealer is a little on the expensive side BUT my tube of concealer lasts me 12+ months no lie. A little bit goes a very long way. You only need to apply concealer under your eyes and on your blemish spots.
Click HERE to buy on Sephora.
Click HERE to buy on Amazon.
Okay, you need a good long-lasting and non-greasy foundation. I prefer liquid foundations but some prefer other types. I think liquid lasts longer and looks more natural. Don’t just get a “tinted moisturizer”…. that’s not foundation. The moisturizers will wear off before the end of the day. I personally think the BB and CC creams also wear off throughout the day. You really don’t want that.
Bare Minerals, ITCosmetics, Nars, Pur, and Tarte are really good brands, and it’s also worth looking at Clinique. I like Clinique’s face moisturizer but am not a fan of their  foundation- however, I know some folks that love it. Personally, I absolutely love Estee Lauder‘s Double Wear foundation. I’ve been wearing Estee’s Double Wear foundation for 10+ years. You can buy it on Amazon, but I don’t suggest that because if you buy it at an Estee makeup counter you can capitalize on their free gift with purchase. Just call your nearest department store and ask when their next “gift with purchase” will be. If you are buying foundation for the first time, I recommend going to the physical brick and mortar store like Sephora, Ulta, or a makeup counter at a department store so they can match the right foundation color to your skin type/color.
Click HERE to buy on Estee Lauder’s website.
With foundation, there is an age old battle of how to apply it. Some people swear by applying foundation with a sponge-like brush, some apply foundation with an actual brush, and others (like myself) use their fingers. Your fingers are the cheapest and cleanest option in my opinion. Always wash and DRY your hands before applying, and be GENTLE when rubbing the foundation in around your face. The elasticity in your face isn’t going to last forever, so preserve it the best you can. Your pinky fingers, ring fingers, and middle fingers are the gentlest of your digits, so I recommend using those three amigos to rub your foundation in and blend around your face. Don’t forget to apply foundation down along your neck to blend and on your eyelids to help the eyeshadow to stick and stay longer.
You need a loose powder to set your foundation. I would purchase the same brand of setting powder as you do your foundation to keep it consistent. For example, I use Estee Lauder’s foundation and powder because I think they compliment each other well. Plus, I just love love love them. (Unfortunately, they don’t sell Estee at Sephora or Ulta…which frustrates me. I have to buy my Estee makeup online or go to a department store like Macy’s, Dillard’s, or Nordstrom’s to restock.) Now setting powder is not the same as bronzer so don’t get confused. Wherever you go to purchase your foundation, ask them to match you with a setting powder to go with your foundation. Apply your powder all over your face and down along your neck… pretty much wherever you applied foundation apply your powder.
It’s worth investing in a good blush. You can buy cheaper blush if you’re looking to cut corners on cost, but don’t buy super cheap. Remember, you get what you pay for…
As for picking the right color, if you aren’t used to wearing blush I would start with a subtle pink. You don’t want anything too orange-y or too red, but you do want a color that “pops”. I would recommend buying a blush palette with a few pink-y options. That will give you some variety to help you decide on the color you like most.
My favorite blushes are Nars “Orgasm” or “Super Orgasm” and any of the ITCosmetics blushes. I also really like Tarte and Estee Lauder blushes. I find it helpful to apply your blush with the fish face, and don’t forget to take your blush to your hairline. After you apply your blush, then you want to apply your bronzer/highlighter for a more chiseled and stunning glow (see below).
You can check out the blush brands I like below:
It’s also worth investing in good eyeliner. However, in my opinion, eyeliner is something you need to experiment with because everyone’s eyes are shaped differently and water or dry out differently. All of which impact what eyeliner will work best for you. If you go to Sephora, Ulta, or a department store makeup counter, just ask for assistance with picking out a good eyeliner for your eyes. I prefer pencil eyeliners but I know liquid liners are the latest craze. I branched out and got my first liquid eyeliner a year or so ago and am not a huge fan. I use it when I go out for a more dramatic look because I don’t find liquid liner (on me) to be very natural, but I know some liquid liner stays on longer than pencil liners so it’s totally up to you.
In terms of color, I would stick with safe/natural colors- black, brown, and gray. If you want different color liners for specific looks or effects by all means you do you. Remember, these are simply my recommendations based on my personal style.
I always recommend lining your top lids, but use caution when lining your bottom lids. If you want to line your bottom lids, do it softly.  I recommend tracing the shape of your eye for a natural look… the winged eyeliner is tricky and dramatic, so watch a YouTube video or two before trying. A fun little trick that MBT (aka my mom) taught me to soften your eyeliner for a more natural look: After you apply your eyeliner and your eyeshadow, instead of going over your eyeliner with a pencil again, go over your eyeliner with a darker/matching color eyeshadow using a very small brush. Essentially tracing your eyeliner with shadow.
I have used various brands of eyeliner but have found my favorite to be Estee Lauder’s pencil liners. I know, you’re probably starting to see a trend here… I’m definitely an Estee girl. However, there other brands that I also like and use such as Sephora’s brand of eyeliners, Clinique, Skone, Kat Von D, and Lancome.
Click HERE to watch an eyeliner tutorial on YouTube.
This one is tricky because I have a mash up of so many different eyeshadows and palettes that I’ve collected over the years. You want plenty of neutral options, matte and sparkly options, and bold color options. A great way to start building your collection is to capitalize on the “free gift with purchase” at Estee, Clinique, Lancome, or other makeup counters. They always throw in an eyeshadow or two. I would also check out Sephora and/or Ulta to see if you can’t snag a good deal on an eyeshadow palette.
I absolutely LOVE the Urban Decay Naked Palettes. You cannot go wrong with Naked 1, 2, or 3. I’ll be real with you, the Urban Decay palettes are expensive BUT the shadow lasts all day long and the palette itself will last you forever. I’ve had my UD palettes for years and am still going strong. Urban Decay also sells individual shadows if you’re not interested in buying palette, but again, they can be pricey. I would recommend checking out Sephora’s brand of individual eyeshadows. I have bought quite a few and like them a lot. They, too, should last you all day and last I checked, they’re only $10/each which is a great price.
Always apply a lighter color directly under your eyebrow to highlight and provide a “popping” effect. From there, just apply your eyeshadow how it’s comfortable for you. You can never go wrong with a neutral shine. Again, everyone’s eyes are shaped differently, crease differently, and water or dry out differently. All of which impacts what colors you use and how you apply. I would recommend watching a few “How-To” YouTube videos on how to apply eyeshadow.
Click HERE to watch a great video on how to apply natural looking eyeshadow. Don’t feel like you have to follow every step of this video…. it’s just a great tutorial to show you how to color different sections of your eye.
Click HERE to check out the Naked2 Urban Decay Palette.
Click HERE to check out the Naked3 Urban Decay Palette.
Do you have an eyelash curling brush? If not, you need one.
I am VERY picky about my mascara and have finally found one I love and works great for my lashes. But just like all of these recommendations, what works for me might not work for you. I wear “Better than Sex” mascara by Too Face. I have used mascaras from Clinique, Estee, and Tarte, which I like and would consider buying in a pinch if I can’t find my tried and true “Better than Sex” mascara. Plus, how fun is the name?
I will try to make my mascara tubes last 4-5 months, but you have to be careful because your mascara is the dirtiest of makeup (in my opinion). Old mascara collects bacteria and junk and you don’t want that on your eyes. And NEVER use someone else’s mascara unless it’s your mom’s…and even then, use caution. And NEVER let someone else use your mascara.
After I curl my lashes (one eye at a time), I apply this L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Primer before applying my mascara. I let the primer dry for just a second and then apply my mascara. Fun little tip, you can add one drop of your favorite essential oil to your mascara tube to help it last longer and not dry up. I personally add a drop of Jojoba oil to my mascara tube to promote lash growth.
Click HERE to buy Better than Sex by Too Face from Sephora.
SIDE NOTE: I also love Chanel mascara thanks to my fabulous Mom-in-Law but it’s super expensive so I stick with my Too Face brand. However, if I made way more money than I do currently, my lashes would be rockin’ some Chanel mascara.
I’m not really sure why but this is a new venture for me. I just started applying highlighter as an every day thing not that long ago… and let me tell you… I will never go  back to my old non-glowing ways. I bought the Anastasia Summer Glow palette for $40 and absolutely love it. It has a bronzer, a highlighter blush, and two different lighter shades of highlighter.
Because this is a new area for me, I would recommend watching a few videos on YouTube on how to apply blush, bronzer, and highlighter. I personally like to apply my blush first, and then I apply a LITTLE bit of bronzer directly below my blush line and then blend. From there, I apply a LITTLE bit of highlighter above my blush line and the peak of my nose and then blend. After all of that, I always go over my blush line one more time very softly to blend.
Click HERE to check out the Anastasia Summer Glow Highlighter Palette
As you build your makeup routine, you will quickly discover what brushes you need and use the most. The brushes I use are unique to my makeup routine and what I’m comfortable using… I use a loose powder brush, a blush brush, a highlighter brush, a bronzer brush, various eyeshadow brushes and applicators, an eyebrow brush, and a small brush for tracing my eyeliner with shadow. I bought my brushes on Amazon and have been very satisfied, but you can buy makeup brushes anywhere. If you really aren’t sure what to buy, I recommend you Google or YouTube reviews and recommendations.
Okay, now those are the absolute essentials. If you’re on a budget and you need to crunch somewhere… crunch on eyeshadow, loose powder, and blush. Do not crunch on concealer, foundation, eyeliner, or mascara. Also, consider investing in good face wash and moisturizer if you haven’t already. I’m not the best at this, but it is so important for the health of your skin to wash and moisturize your skin at night before you go to bed. Your skin needs to breath so it’s imperative that you wash the makeup off your face at night and let your skin rest while you get your beauty sleep. 😀
I haven’t perfected the face wash/moisturizer concoction, but I have invested in better washes, masks, moisturizers, oils, and anti-aging creams. One of these days, I’ll make a post about all my skin care recommendations.
I could keep writing, recommending, sharing, and elaborating, but I feel like I might have already lost quite a few readers. Let’s just say makeup is my hobby. I love shopping for it, trying new things, watching videos, and sharing recommendations with anyone and everyone that asks.
If you’re new to makeup, take time to YouTube beginner videos. If you already wear makeup but are just looking for recommendations, feel free to reach out. I’m happy to share what I wear and know, and love getting feedback and recommendations from others.
That’s all for now. 😀

A passionate, purposeful, outspoken, independent, and somewhat sassy woman’s open letter to society.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted but I’ve been consumed with a lot of frustration and anxiety about the “societal norms” surrounding my womanhood, my purpose and value, and my plans regarding procreation that writing a blog post is the only way I know how to share my thoughts and feelings on the matter, without interruption, in hopes of changing people’s behavior and perspective.

I am 27. I have been in a relationship with my best friend, Benjamin, for almost nine years. We have been married for almost three years. Since the day we committed ourselves to each other, we have always had the intention of getting married, starting a family, and building a life together…. a life that WE wanted to build not what others wanted to build for us. Our relationship was rather unconventional from the start because we lived 900+ miles apart and we did so for 3.5 years. Our independence was extremely important to us. Having our own identity was extremely important to us. Having our own careers was important to us. We made a long distance relationship work because of the affection and adoration we had for each other, the unwavering trust we had for each other, and the constant communication. All this being said, Benjamin and I alone (and God) have built a foundation of understanding, respect, intimacy, and love, and we have done so without the background noise of unwanted opinions, inquiries, societal pressures, and others impressing their thoughts and beliefs on what they think is best for us. Granted, we value the opinions and advice of the people we love, but we take opinions and advice for what they are… simply, opinions and advice.  Not what’s right or wrong or gospel.

We have been raised by the most selfless, patient, supportive, and loving parents, and we are surrounded by the most amazing and compassionate friends. I can confidently speak for both of us when I say that we are so blessed, grateful, and abundantly appreciative of the support, encouragement, and excitement surrounding our relationship and inevitable family planning. By no means is this post directed at one particular person or group of people. However, this is a candid and heartfelt request to everyone in our lives to be more considerate and respectful of our privacy in regard to having children and building our family.

To answer everyone’s burning question, yes, Benjamin and I plan on having children. We want kids and we want to build a family, but it’s not the business of our family, friends, colleagues, and strangers alike to know when we want kids, how many kids we want, whether I plan to breast feed or use formula, how we plan to discipline, how we plan to raise them, and what my plans will be in regard to my career once kids are in the picture. Yes, Benjamin and I have been married for almost three years and we are inching towards our 30s. We are well aware the “clock is ticking” and we are closing in on our window of opportunity for children, especially if we want more than one. We are also very well aware our parents are anxious for grandchildren and our families are chomping at the bit for us to add little ones to the family gatherings. And yes, Benjamin and I are very excited for all of that, too. However, all of this will come in due time and it will happen in the privacy of our own planning and praying.

Now, let me take a moment to own that Benjamin and I have always been extremely open, transparent, and candid about our life plans with anyone and everyone that cares to ask. I’ve never let it bother me and I’ve never harbored ill feelings about people’s inquiries, but as of lately the questions and constant prying into the privacy of our lives has ignited significant unrest for me. Truthfully, I feel most of the questions and inquiries have been targeted towards me, not Benjamin. I’m the one that has to field the persistent nosiness of when I plan to have babies and what I’m doing to prepare for pregnancy. It’s somewhat violating. Quite frankly, I’m exhausted, I’m overwhelmed, and I’m stressed out with everyone’s persistent and constant interest in our plans for children. I hoped that being open about our plans would keep people at bay, but it’s in fact done the complete opposite.

Truthfully, society suffocates me with the scripted timeline and milestones we are expected to accomplish by certain ages, and the expectations of gender roles in relationships and parenting and careers.  You graduate high school, you go to college, you hopefully continue to graduate school, you get a good well-paying job, you get married, you buy a house, and you start having children. And then, once you have kids, the man of the house continues to work and be the “bread winner” while the woman quietly assumes the role of “stay at home mom” and sets aside her pursuits of a career.

For the most part, Benjamin and I have stuck to the prescriptive life plan of what society tells us is “normal”. We’ve almost religiously abided by the expectations of what society tells us should be our life plan. But as the years pass and life experiences wear on our hearts, we’ve started to realize that life is simply too short to allow “society” to dictate what our plans should be, how we should feel about or react to things, how we should fit the mold, or how we should prioritize what’s most important. Not to be harsh, but society needs to fuck off and people need to leave us alone. People need to be educated on manners, etiquette, what’s appropriate, and when to mind their own damn business, especially when it comes to pressuring couples about having kids.

I mean the constant assumptions that Benjamin and I (or anyone for that matter) will easily be able to create life and bear children without complications, or issues, or heartache, or disappointment is infuriating. People in this life truly struggle with infertility, miscarriages, and other medical complications hindering the ability to bring life into this world. And honestly, those personal and very private issues are at the discretion of the couple to share, but not to defend or justify or explain unwillingly to people in their life that just can’t shut their fucking mouths and mind their own business. Obviously, I hope that having children will be as easy as everyone assumes, but the timeline, the details, the planning, the praying, the excitement, and all the other waves of emotion that come with creating life should respectfully and understandably be kept between the two people that are making it happen.

I’ve adopted the following list from an article I read on this very topic because it captures all of the issues surrounding why you should never ask couples when they plan on having kids.











To read the full article, visit: https://www.bolde.com/stop-asking-me-when-going-have-kids/

And so my request to all is, let us be. Let the above list soak in. Think about it. Reflect on it. Allow these 10 things to stop you in your tracks the next time you ask someone when they plan to have kids.

And to tie all of this back to my opening statement:

My Womanhood– Times are different than they used to be. Women are more than just vessels for childbearing. We’re more than housekeepers, cooks, and caregivers. Women are valuable, influential, resilient, intelligent, and very powerful. Women offer more to this world than just our ovaries and uteri. Yes, childbearing and motherhood are very beautiful things, but it’s extremely unnerving that society defines our existence on childbearing alone.

My Purpose and Values– Everyone on earth struggles and wrestles with finding their purpose and value in this life. If we didn’t struggle and wrestle with it, there wouldn’t be mental illness. The epidemic of mental illness in this world, not just the U.S., begins and ends with people losing themselves in the inability to feel important, valuable, and purposeful. Because in those three things, we find belonging and happiness. The issue is that society impresses upon us a value system, a ranking, a standard, expectations… things that lead to judgement, unbelonging, and a constant feeling of comparison and inadequacy. All that being said, we need to stop. We, as a society, need to stop perpetuating these issues.

From this day forward, I refuse to allow others to influence and impress their thoughts and opinions about my purpose in this life…. as a woman and having kids included.  I seek purpose and value through my faith, and if God manifests His plan for my life through being a mom then I will happily and humbly oblige. My sole purpose in this life is to chase the plan that God has already so gracefully planned for me. My purpose is not defined by the number of children I able to bring into this world or the mom I will some day be. My purpose is not defined by what my role as a woman should be. My purpose WILL BE DEFINED by what God intends, by the happiness and joy and positivity I can bring to my loved ones, by the friend that I am and work to be, the productivity and value I find in my work, by empowering those that society deems “less than”, by the wife and life partner I am to Benjamin, and so much more. And yes, part of my life’s purpose when the time comes, God willing, will be to love, protect, and care for Benjamin and my children. But I can tell you one thing is certain, there is more to me and my purpose than the mom everyone is anxious for me to be.

My OUR Plans for Procreation- They are just that… they are OUR plans. Thank you for your support and excitement, but stop asking.


San Francisco, CA: An itinerary that surely won’t disappoint.

My husband and I love travelling and exploring, and simply, just being together. Every summer, we try our best to plan a trip with friends or a trip for just the two of us. This summer, we decided to plan a trip for just the two us to explore the fun, eclectic, and beautiful city of San Francisco, California. We have heard so much about the city, the bay, the attractions, and all the fun things you can do, so we decided to check it out for ourselves. Neither of us has been to California or spent much time out west, so we decided to book a flight and hotel and head west for a one week vacation/exploration to San Francisco, California.

My husband and I are planners but we like to keep our travel itineraries light with plenty of room to fill in the blanks. Now, don’t get me wrong, we always plan out the essentials: flight, hotel, and transportation. However, we leave the rest to curiosity and spontaneity. For San Francisco, we had a pretty comprehensive list of things we wanted to see and do, but as we ventured into one local place after another, we asked the locals to help us fill in the blanks.

We have since returned from our trip and had an absolute blast. My husband and I both agreed that we could not let the details of our trip go without being shared with others to also enjoy, so I’ve committed to sharing our updated itinerary with all the details and tidbits of information we learned from our trip on my blog. The goal is to build a running list of several itineraries we’ve created and experienced to share with readers, but to primarily share the raw and honest details that you don’t always get in your planning efforts.

Lombard Street

GG Bridge


The Good:

  • The weather is fabulous during the day!
  • It’s very easy to get around so there isn’t a need for a rental car. (Unless you prefer to have your own wheels! However, consider this a warning, parking is charged daily and is very expensive, so be prepared to pay a hefty price!)
  • There is so much to do and see that you could easily spend four days to a week and a half depending on what you pack into your trip. Needless to say, you will not get bored.
  • The people are wonderful and very welcoming. The residents of San Fran and nearby cities recognize and understand the city is a touristy place, but they very much appreciate the business and are happy to share details about their city and great local places to check out. You just have to ask!

The Bad:

  • The temperatures are colder in the morning and at night, so dress in layers! This can often be annoying if you plan on being out from morning through evening and don’t plan on pit-stops to your hotel or carrying a backpack. One minute you’re chilly and the next you are burning up. (See second bullet.)
  • The hills. The city of San Francisco is built on hills. What you’ve seen in the movies and on TV shows is no joke. The hills are often steeper than 45 degrees. That being said, you might be burning up walking up one of those steep hills, but once you are at the top and catch that wind you are instantly chilly.
  • San Fran is a very touristy city. There are people from all over the world that travel to the city for the same reasons we travel to the city: to see what all the talk is about. That being said, the crowds are often big, the sidewalks are busy, and depending on what you have planned there might be lines. (I’m not saying this is a terrible thing, it just requires patience and understanding.)

The Ugly:

  • San Fran is very expensive. I view San Fran as the New York City of the west coast. Like I said before, it’s a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, so prices are inflated in popular areas such as Fisherman’s Wharf, anywhere along the bay, and around Golden Gate Park. San Fran is sectioned off by districts and I recommend checking out Little Italy (North Beach) and China Town for reasonable prices on food, drinks, and souvenirs.
  • There is a lot of homelessness. I am certainly not saying homeless people are bad. However, homelessness is something that is conveniently left out of a lot of travel sites/blogs/etc. when describing certain travel destinations. Homelessness is an unfortunate reality for too many people, and I have found that homelessness populations are greater in high traffic tourist destinations and in places with more consistent weather patterns (i.e. New York City, Tampa, the Carolinas, and California.) All this being said, I think it is important to highlight that homelessness is a serious issue in San Francisco and it requires a level of awareness, understanding, and empathy when you plan to visit the city.

A few quick tips:

  • Weather (as told by the locals):

    • December-May is pretty chilly averaging around 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the day with colder temperatures in the morning and evenings.
    • June-August it starts to get a little warmer during the day averaging around 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit during the day with colder temperatures in the morning and evenings.
    • September-November is the best time to travel to San Fran because the temperatures are warmer during the day, the wind off the bay isn’t as cold, and the evening temperatures aren’t as chilly.
    • Overall, the weather in San Fran is beautiful with blue skies, mostly sunny, and very few chances of rain. Please keep in mind the Pacific Ocean is significantly colder than the Atlantic and Gulf. If you are used to the Great Lakes temperatures, then you will be perfectly fine. I just worry about the Midwesterners, Southerners, and east coast folks that are used to warmer waters. San Fran is on the bay (duh, I know!) and I say this only because the wind coming off the Pacific into the bay is cold and the wind can be ruthless. Be sure to pack layers and a wind-breaker if you have it.
  • Getting around:

    • Walking is the absolute best way to explore the city! Be sure to pack comfortable walking shoes or tennis shoes. You can certainly bring a cute pair of pumps or wedges for a nice evening out to dinner, but don’t plan on wearing those types of shoes during the day. For good foot health, I would also avoid flip flops or shoes without good arch supports. Like I said, walking is the best way to get around the city and you will do a lot of it, so you want your arches, your heels, and the balls of your feet to be supported and comfortable. Flips flops just don’t cut it.
    • Bikes are another great way to explore San Fran. There are several different bike rental companies spread out around the city with tons of different “drop off” points. My husband and I biked across the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito, and on a different day we biked the Golden Gate State Park to Ocean Beach, Lincoln Park, the Presidio, and dropped them off in the Marina District. We saw several people biking through the city, but I caution biking through the city because of the congestion, busy sidewalks, and smaller roads. It just becomes a little more dangerous. I recommend biking through the Golden Gate Park, along the Presidio, close to the Golden Gate Bridge (or across it), the Marina District, Fisherman’s Wharf, and along the Embarcadero.
    • The Pubic Transportation SystemĂ  BART, MUNI, and Cable Cars. This takes a little self-direction and guidance, but it’s worth it. The BART stands for “Bay Area Rapid Transit” and takes you to limited places in the city because it primarily serves as a rapid transit for commuters into San Francisco and surrounding areas. The MUNI is the inner-city bus system that is your best bet for getting around if you aren’t into walking or biking. The MUNI will pretty much drop you off in the heart of the different districts of San Fran such as the Financial, Union, Mission, Civic, North Beach, etc. The Cable Cars, in my opinion, were hard to navigate and required standing in line because they are a popular tourist attraction. It’s worth getting on a Cable Car though just to say you rode one! Google Maps is your BEST friend when navigating the bus routes, stops, and streets you need.
    • To and from the Airport. On the way to our hotel from the airport, my husband and I took the BART to the Embarcadero Station on Market Street, which is one of the popular areas in the city. From there, we bought tickets for the “F-Line” (the street car) to Fisherman’s Wharf, which is where we stayed. From the hotel to the airport, we reserved a shuttle service with our hotel concierge that was relatively low-cost and took us directly to the airport.

Sunday, July 2

Flew from Cincinnati directly to San Francisco on Frontier. Frontier is not my favorite airline (that would be Delta for those interested in knowing, haha), but our tickets were priced well and it was a direct flight there and back. For us, Frontier worked out for this particular trip but in case you didn’t already know, Frontier charges $45 for checked bags AND carry-on bags so be prepared when they nickel and dime you.

We arrived to San Francisco, took the BART, MUNI, and F-Line (Street Car) to get to our hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf. We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Fisherman’s Wharf on Columbus Avenue because we got a good rate. I would recommend checking out Groupon, Living Social, AirBnB, and other travel booking sites for competitive rates.

After getting checked into the hotel, we spent the evening walking around Fisherman’s Wharf and indulging in an infamous clam chowder and sourdough bread bowl for dinner.

Financial District/Union Square


Monday, July 3

We wanted to grab breakfast at the Hollywood CafĂ© but the line was wrapped around the block with no end in sight so we ended up at Darren’s CafĂ©, which was very tasty and had great service!

We walked the entire city! No joke. My husband and I walked just over the equivalent of a half marathon on our first day in the city (13.66 miles). We started out in Fisherman’s Wharf and made our way to the infamous Lombard Street (“Crookedest” Street), walked through Russian Hill and then over to China Town. From there, we walked through China Town making our way towards the Financial District, Union Square, the Yerba Buena Gardens, and the Civic Center. After the Civic Center, we walked to the Mission where we stopped for dinner at El Techa (a great rooftop bar) and a few beers at Zeitgeist (see comprehensive list below.) After dinner and drinks in the Mission, we headed for a quaint little bar called “CC’s” just south of Pacific Heights or “Pac Heights.” At CC’s, we experienced the California Special which is a shot of Fernet. I strongly advise anyone and everyone to avoid this shot at all costs. The bartender and a few patrons at CC’s recommended we check out a pizza place around the corner and then head to “Buena Vista” for a famous Irish coffee, so we followed their directions! The pizza place we stopped at was okay, but not good enough to remember. However, the “Buena Vista” bar famous for their Irish coffee earned our business four of the six nights we were there. Again, see bar list below.

Tuesday, July 4

We rented bikes close to Ghirardelli Square and biked the perimeter of the bay following the pathway to the Golden Gate Bridge. From there, we biked over the Golden Gate Bridge, which I highly encourage if you’re up for the challenge. It’s actually not too bad of a bike ride, but there are a few hills you have to tackle. The view from the bridge is absolutely spectacular, but you have to see it for yourself to truly appreciate its beauty. After crossing the bridge, we biked down the hills into Sausalito, which is a quaint little town along the bay with a fabulous view of the city of San Francisco. Restaurants, breweries, and shops decorated the main strip of Sausalito, so it’s safe to say we also enjoyed our time on the other side of the bridge.

We were going to take the ferry from Sausalito back to Fisherman’s Wharf, but the ferry schedule was limited and delayed due to the 4th of July holiday. We ended up grabbing a taxi back to the Wharf, due to timing, because we booked a 4th of July Bay Cruise for that evening. The Bay Cruise was a bust because the fog was really bad that evening so we couldn’t even see the fireworks. That’s okay though! It was a gamble that we took.

Wednesday, July 5

We booked a Muir Woods/Sonoma Wine Country day tour that took up the majority of our day on Wednesday. Muir Woods is a must see if you are making the trip out to California! The redwood trees are God’s work right before you. They are so beautiful and so mysterious at the same time. The only logical explanation is God’s craftsmanship.

After our trip to Muir Woods, our tour bus/guide drove our small group (12 people total) to three wineries and a short trip to the town of Sonoma. Overall, the wineries were great. I mean, it’s wine, right? How can you complain about that? However, Benjamin and I live in Bourbon Country where spirits have a rich history and deep family ties. In my opinion, the particular wineries we visited lacked the history and identity we were expecting or hoping. Our favorite winery we visited was Jacuzzi! If you are making your way through Sonoma, I would strongly encourage you stop at Jacuzzi and check it out.

Thursday, July 6

Thursday was a pretty relaxed day! We were exhausted after three longs days of adventuring and excursions. We slept in and eventually made our way to Starbucks. From there, we walked to the Golden Gate State Park from Fisherman’s Wharf, which is a pretty lengthy walk. Once we got to the park, we rented bikes and biked the monstrosity that is the Golden Gate State Park. The park is enormous with so many different attractions. We took the bikes from the far east point of the park all the way to Ocean Drive. We followed Ocean Drive up to the Cliff House and just kept going. We ended up biking all the way back to the Marina District where we returned the bikes. We staked out a quaint place to take in the gorgeous sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Friday, July 7

We were completely wiped out by Friday so we spent the entire day hanging out in the Little Italy and Chinatown districts just drinking and bar hopping. There is a spunky bartender at Northstar CafĂ© in the North Beach district (“Little Italy”) that gave us a laundry list of bar recommendations for that afternoon/evening. We followed suit. Comstock was one of the bar recommendations because on Fridays they give you a free lunch with a purchase of a beer. Granted, you only get one lunch option, but it doesn’t matter given that it’s free. There isn’t much to elaborate on for Friday because the whole day was spent drinking and hanging you at different bars talking and getting to know San Franciscans.

Free Lunch at Comstock!

Saturday, July 8

On Saturday, we bought tickets for the cable car so we could closeout our San Francisco experience. Our flight left San Francisco early evening on Saturday, so the day was spent walking around Fisherman’s Wharf for the last time, eating the last of the grub, and packing up all our souvenirs.

Riding the Cable Car

What we missed:

Monterrey Bay



The “42 Must See Bars in SanFran” (copied below) became a city guide for us. We planned our day around the districts we wanted to visit and the bars in those districts we had to check out. Let me tell you, we were not disappointed. We shared this list with every bartender we talked to because we needed confirmation that these places were worth our while. The bartenders put their stamp of approval on this list and agreed this is a comprehensive and impressive list for drinking enthusiast.

42 Must See Bars in SanFran 


Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives


The Main Attractions:

Ferry Building
Golden Gate Bridge
Pier 39
Fisherman’s Wharf
Ghirardelli Square
Golden Gate Park (deYoung Museum, California Academy of Sciences, Rose Garden, Japanese Tea Garden, AIDS Memorial Grove, Conservatory of Flowers)

Ocean Beach
Alamo Square Park & The Painted Ladies
The Mission District
Ride on the Cable Cars and Street Cars
Haight-Ashbury District

Duboce Park
Dolores Park
The Castro (Castro St from Market to 18th; birthplace of the LGBT Civil Rights Movement)
The Women’s Building
Murals in the Mission (Clarion Alley)
The Embarcadero
Muir Woods
Point Reyes
Monterrey Bay & Aquarium


Running for the Ability Experience: Please help me reach my fundraising goal!

One of my dear friends, Chelsea Ball, started working for the Ability Experience last year and has inspired me and one of my best friends, Jennifer Jane Farinella, to get involved with the organization and its mission. The weekend of November 10-12, 2017, we will be running in the Geico Rock ‘N’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon event raising funds and awareness on behalf of people with disabilities. I am taking on this challenge for many reasons, but primarily to support a dear friend and an organization and cause I care deeply about, The Ability Experience.

Everyone runs for different reasons, but I feel inclined to share with you why I run. Every time my feet hit the pavement, I run in honor of my big brother, Larry E. Tipton (LT2). My big brother suffered and he hurt deeply, and I run in hopes of taking away even the slightest of his pain. I run to be close to him. I run for him and I run towards him. I pray he is with me in every step, in every breathe, and in every beat of my heart. When I run, his pain is my pain. For this particular race, I not only run for him, but I run for people near and far that suffer from any form of pain or disability.

I run for my cousin Kaydin with down syndrome, I run for my cousin Carli that suffers horrible juvenile arthritis, and I run for two of our family friends, the Walters and the Barrs. No matter the pain or disability, emotional/mental/physical, I run for you. I will channel your spirit, your adrenaline, your strength, your love, and your happiness. You are worth it and you are able, and I run for you.

Funds raised by our team will go towards helping athletes with disabilities get the opportunity to experience endurance events like the one in which I will be participating. It is our team’s goal to raise over $25,000 through the Geico Rock ‘N’ Roll event, but I need your help and support to reach my personal fundraising goal of $800.

Together, we can create a community, one relationship at a time, where the abilities of all people are recognized and valued. If you feel in your heart this is a cause you wish to support, I encourage you to donate not only to help me reach my personal fundraising goal but to contribute to a cause that empowers. If you could, please take a moment to make a tax-deductible contribution in support of my half marathon and witness first-hand how your gift will impact the lives of people with disabilities. Please click on the donate button below to be routed to my personal fundraising page.

On behalf of The Ability Experience, my fundraising team, and people with disabilities whose lives will be impacted as a result of your support, I sincerely thank you.

An un-BELIZE-able trip to Belize!

As I reflect on my trip to Belize, my heart turns to scripture because what I learned and experienced on my trip can only be translated and felt through His word.

Philippians 2: 3-4

Family and friends have been asking me about my trip and it’s been difficult extracting the highlights of my trip because, to me, everything is worth highlighting. I went to Belize with the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Louisville as part of an international learning experience trip for our education majors. Our team was comprised of 18 of our best teacher education students, two faculty members, and three support staff. We left early on Saturday, April 29th and returned in the wee hours of the morning on Friday, May 12th. It was a very long and emotionally and physically exhausting trip, but it was a truly life changing experience.

Our group at the Louisville airport anxiously awaiting our flight to Belize!

I wanted to share a screenshot of Belize on GoogleMaps for a frame of reference. See below:

Belize (Big Picture Location)

The Country of Belize

Our first few days in Belize were excursion days. We crossed the border into Guatemala to visit and hike the ruins of Tikal in the Tikal National Park. The Tikal National Park is one of the largest archaeological sites of the Mayan Civilization. The structures were so advanced and it was amazing to see how progressive and intelligent the Mayan Civilization was for its time.  It reminded me of Pompeii in Italy. If you’re interested in reading and learning more about Tikal and the Mayan Civilization, I recommend checking out this website: http://www.tikalnationalpark.org/

We did a little shopping on the Guatemalan and Belizean border before heading to Cardie’s (our hotel) in Independence, Belize. My days are running together as the weeks have passed since our return, but I think we arrived in Independence on Monday, May 1st. Independence is a bustling little town. There is one main road that runs through Independence with several breakaway neighborhood streets that lead to supermarkets, schools, and other local businesses. Our hotel, Cardie’s, was a modest place with only enough rooms for our travel group. There was an upstairs dining facility where we enjoyed homemade breakfast and dinner every day throughout the week. The wonderful ladies that worked in the kitchen also packed our lunches each day we traveled to the schools. Needless to say, we completely took over Cardie’s for the duration of our stay. Several us enjoyed our evening jogs to the port and rickety wooden dock overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

Tuesday, May 2nd was our very first day in the schools. We divided up into two groups; Group 1 was assigned to teach in the  Village of San Pablo and Group 2 was assigned to teach in the Village of Red Bank. See image below. For our first two days in the schools, I went with the San Pablo group where I completely fell in love and left a piece of my heart. The Village of San Pablo is tucked approximately 10 miles into the rain forest surrounded by hundreds of acres of banana farms. The drive into the village is a long, narrow, and bumpy drive down a dirt/dust road, but the stretch of banana farms along both sides of the road is hands down a site to be seen. I learned that the working conditions of the banana farm workers is terrible. It’s a physically taxing job in the unbearable heat of the tropics that pays very little. Now, every time I eat a banana I think about the workers in the banana fields on the way to San Pablo giving it everything they have to make it through the day.

The backdrop of San Pablo was breathtaking. I mean, God’s canvas just came to life as I was staring up at this mountainside soaking in the vibrant colors of the trees, flowers, birds, and skyline. It reminded of a scene from Jurassic Park and I was just waiting for a T-Rex to come barreling down the mountainside.

The backdrop of San Pablo. This picture does not do it justice.

Looking down into the village.

School Building

School Building

School Building

The three pictures above listed as “School Building” are just that…the school buildings in San Pablo. In Belize, free education only goes through our equivalent of 8th grade. If the Belizean students wish to continue onto to high school, they have to pass all their standard exams, seek approval and support from their family, and find/work for the money to continue seeking their education (similar to how we pay to go to college). A lot of families expect their children to make it through the 8th grade and then start working in the banana fields (or other labor intensive jobs) to help contribute to the household income.

What I loved most about the children in the schools was their excitement and enthusiasm to learn. I feel like students in the states enjoy being at school for the most part, but lack the enthusiasm to learn and expand their minds. In Belize, the students have a genuine appreciation for learning, for being and learning together, and for the opportunity to have an education. On Mondays, the school day always starts with worship in the church building. From there, the standards (grades) break up and go to their respective buildings. Each standard (grade) shares a room and teacher (1 shared with 2, 3 shared with 4, 5 shared with 6, and 7 shared with 8). Can you imagine our 5th graders being in the same classroom with our 6th graders? The learning disparity between the grades is significant (at least in the States), but unfortunately in Belize that’s their only option due to resources, space, and money. I was thoroughly impressed with the teachers and their ability to make the absolute best with what little they have.

Anyways, as I said, I spent the first two days at San Pablo, and then went to Red Bank with Group 2 on the third day. I’m not going to lie, I was really frustrated about going to Red Bank because I didn’t want to be anywhere but San Pablo loving on those kids. However, my experience at Red Bank turned out to be just as wonderful. I ended up assisting one of our UofL students in a Standard 1 and 2 classroom (I think those were the standards). The two of us were in charge of 40-50 four and five-year-old students. I say “in charge” but those students ended up being “in charge” of us. We tried teaching them their numbers but we couldn’t get them to sit still and pay attention unless we bribed them with Skittles. Finally, my student and I decided to take the kids outside to play duck-duck-goose, which turned into a chasing game. Teachers versus kids. There is a video out there somewhere of me being chased by 50 four and five-year-old kids that inevitably ended up with me being tackled to the ground and mobbed by the crazy firecracker energy of these sweet babies. Here are a few photos from my time at Red Bank:

Red Bank School Buildings

Just some funnies with the kiddos.

Alexander (4-yrs-old) brought me this homemade basket as a gift when he returned from lunch.

Walking Alexander home.

That weekend our group took a day trip to Placencia , a tourist town, to go snorkeling, shopping, and to gather our physical and mental energies to tackle the week ahead of us. It was certainly refreshing to have the time to relax, but all of us were anxious to get back to the schools to spend time the kids. For me, I wrestled with sincere guilt being in Placencia “relaxing” knowing the families and kids in the villages we were serving didn’t have the same opportunity. The families and kids deserved the time to relax much more than I did, but I enjoyed reflecting and being in raw thought nonetheless.

I returned to San Pablo for the remainder of our time at the schools (Monday through Wednesday) and tried to enjoy and appreciate every last second I had with the precious children. It was a bitter sweet experience getting to know and love these kids knowing I would leave them at the end of the week. Wednesday, May 10th was our last day in the schools and there was a somber feeling in the village knowing the seconds were counting down to goodbye. If you know me, you know I’m not much of a public crier, but saying goodbye to those precious souls brought out every possible tear stored inside me. My heart was so full having met them, gotten to know them, and shared invaluable moments together. There were a handful of kids (you can probably tell which ones based on my pictures below) that easily hugged me goodbye ten times. I told a few people that asked about my trip that I have never felt a hug the way I have felt their hugs. When they hug you, they mean it! In closing, it is safe to say that I had an unBELIZEable time and a very humbling life changing experience.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures:

Our San Pablo Group


My Farm 14 Crew ❀

A little Carolina shout out! I gifted my USC water bottle to Kaitlyn (center) because she didn’t have anything to drink water out of like some of the other kids.

The end.  ❀



It’s been awhile.

Let’s just say it’s been a minute since I’ve shared anything on my blog. I renewed my blog domain name with WordPress a few weeks ago but seriously considered not renewing because of my lack of involvement and commitment to write and reflect.

Last year, I started a cosmetic overhaul of my blog revamping my pages, updating photos, and attempting to make it more aesthetically pleasing. I also wanted to make my pages more robust and informative so I had something more valuable to offer my readers than just my random, not-so-valuable, and often obnoxious blog posts. However, life got in the way and I allowed every day busyness to distract me from the time I wanted to dedicate to my blog. After much thought and reflection, I decided to renew my blog with the promise to commit to writing and reflecting and sharing with my readers the random chaos that is my brain.

That being said, hello.

It’s been two years since I’ve actively updated and posted on my blog. Isn’t that crazy?! Time sure flies. There has been a lot of life crammed into these two short years since I’ve posted. I don’t want to get into too much detail on this post about the last two years because I am going to write a separate post dedicated to just that, but I can honestly say the last two years have been 90% good and 10% bad. Given this crazy place we call life, I would say that 90/10 breakdown isn’t too shabby. Things could always be worse.

Anyways, here’s a quick life update for the day:

  • I work at the University of Louisville now. I left Indiana University Southeast in December 2015 and started working at the University of Louisville in January 2016.
  • Benjamin is in his 4th year working for LG& E and KU. He still enjoys the day-to-day of his job and is working hard for a higher position with the company. Benjamin also started the UofL MBA program last fall and is trucking through this thing like a champ. I am so proud of him!
  • Benjamin and I bought our very first home last summer! We found a great deal on a beautiful (older) home in Oldham County, which is exactly where we want to be. We are on a whole new level of adulting.
  • Sophia, our cat, is sassy and spoiled as ever. She loves the new house and thoroughly enjoys her bird feeders we put right outside her favorite windows.
  • I ran two half-marathons last year (KY Derby Half and the Urban Bourbon Half) which was a physical and mental feat that I never thought possible. I have plans to run a half marathon this November in support of the Ability Experience, but am hoping to run a few more road races beforehand.
  • Benjamin recently traveled to South Korea and China on an international learning experience trip with his MBA program. I recently traveled to Belize with the College of Education on an international learning experience trip with our elementary and middle/secondary education students. (I plan to write a separate post about my Belizean experience. It was life changing.)
  • Benjamin and I are gearing up for our vacation to San Francisco this coming July. We are so excited to explore San Fran and the northern parts of California as we both have never been.

I will call that a wrap for the afternoon and conclude with my promise to be more engaged, more involved, and more committed to my blog and all it’s randomness. 😀

My sweet Sophia…

I am the world’s worst cat mom.

I adopted my sweet sweet Sophia over three months ago and have yet to write a post about her. Ugh! Here’s the short and sweet story about my precious cat:

After my first week at IU Southeast, a student came into the advising office to talk about how busy she’s been with classes and travelling. This particular student was concerned about her summer class grades, hence why she spontaneously dropped into the advising office. However, in the process of her venting about her stresses, she randomly asked if we knew of anyone looking for a cat. Apparently, with all her travelling, it’s too hard for her to care for her cat. I immediately sprung out of my office chair and said, “yes, yes, me me me! I am looking for a cat!” The student was in disbelief, she said, “Are you serious? I need a new home for my cat.” The rest of the story is history. After we figured out her summer class grade situation, I followed this student to her apartment to pick up this cat- previously named Jingles. The student told me Soph was previously a stray cat. The student rescued her, took her to the vet, fed her…. and 20 pounds later…Soph is now a healthy, spoiled, and lazy inside cat. Haha. I brought Soph home and it only took one day for her to warm up to me and Benjamin. Here we are, three months later, and Soph is still a healthy, spoiled, and lazy inside cat. She loves feathers, birds, sunbathing, eating, and sleeping. When it’s convenient for her, she loves to cuddle and be pet between the ears, under the chin, and on the nose.

All the hastags affiliated with my cat include, but are not limited to, #sweetsophia #catsofinstagram #divacat #sunbathing #sleeping #eating #petme #cuddleme #wherearemytreats #precious #queenbee

Anyways, please enjoy a few pics of my sweet Sophia! 🙂


The terrible cat mom.

Sophie 2Sophie

One can only pray.

It’s unfortunate really. The news that is.

Just today, I am so graciously informed by the local broadcasters that ISIS terrorists are increasing in numbers, in strength, and in threat. Just this week, ISIS decapitated an innocent American journalist. If my memory serves me correctly, that American journalist wasn’t the first to have his head CUT OFF by this disgusting group of pigs we call ISIS. To make matters worse, these pigs film the beheading so people worldwide can see just how barbaric they really are- and to somehow prove they have leverage and power. If you want my honest and ever so humble opinion, I think the scums that make up the ISIS group are pathetic pig-like douchebags crying for help. Sorry you dumb shits, you get no pity from me. The only people in relation to you that get pity from me are the people that raised you. Shame on them and shame on you. What you will get from me is prayer. I will pray so hard for your pathetic people that every night you go to bed, your heart, your head, and your soul hurts as bad as the people you’ve harmed. God has a will for your people, it is not my place to understand that will, but you must know He has a powerful will that demands peace, love, and grace. May peace be with you, and may the power of Chrsitian prayer consume you.

Even more aggitating, the leaders of this country have only managed to accomplish profound speeches about what they plan to do about the ISIS murders and threats, but still nothing has been physically done. Oh wait, that’s right, the members of NATO found time on their busy “peace-keeping” schedules to come together to talk about what they plan to do with this ISIS group. Again, if my memory serves me correctly, I remember a few weeks ago the same group of world leaders sat around the table to discuss Russia’s latest stupidity….that was productive.

In other news, I am reminded that professional athletes busted for drug abuse and domestic violence get more news coverage than the murders, discrimination, bullying, and injustice that creep our streets. Granted, professional athletes are high profile individuals, but it certaintly doesn’t justify glorifying their poor decisions and making them a week’s worth of  newsworthy news. Also, spare me ESPN with your “everyone makes mistakes” bullshit. Continuing with my news updates, a young boy is missing in Green County, Kentucky, and I know he’s not the only missing person in this country. Seven young girls were molested over a span of five years from an ice cream truck driver. Last week, a baby girl was shot to death on her mom’s front porch. A local college woman was stabbed to death and left in the woods. A state trooper was hit and thrown 10 feet while at a traffic stop along the highway- the driver that hit the trooper was a druggy. Two people were recently busted for possession of high quality meth and marijuana. Our politicians can’t seem to find a way to campaign without insulting the opposing candidates. The Ebola virus has reaked havoc on the people of Africa, America, and others- every day we see pictures of people suffering, attempting to recover, and hanging on to the last moments of their life. I can’t possibly keep up with the celebrities getting married, divorced, adopting, committing suicide, and/or being accused of corruption, lying, drug use, violence, and taking naked pictures. And if it couldn’t get worse, the leaders of major non-profit companies are stealing your money with every donation. I don’t think I need to expand upon the Ferguson protests and the death of Michael Brown.

I know you’re already exhausted reading this rant, but sorry friends, it doesn’t stop there. In airplane news, who has the right to incline? Really? And in the last six months, how many flights have crashed, made emergency landings, or made pitstops to kick people off? Too many to count. To avoid sexual harassment and the possibility of rape, college students have to go to the extreme of carrying a mattress around campus as a form of protest, and creating a nail polish that changes color when detecting date rape drugs. The debate of samesex marriage is ingrained in everyday news now because the political leaders, religious leaders, and citizens of this country are reluctant to allow humans to marry other humans. The sad part about all of this, most of what I talked about is just happening in Kentucky- minus the few worldly items I mentioned. I am not even scratching the surface of corruption in this world we call home. I am an avid news watcher and listener. I wanted to be a journalist. I watch and listen to the news every morning. I try my absolute best to stay informed and up to date with today’s current events, but it’s just too much. It’s too much to keep up with and it’s too much to bear.

Millennials are faced with such harsh criticism for being such a disengaged generation. We are disengaged with religious organizations, politics, and current events. Apparently, we are only passionate about social media, fashion, sports, and getting a college degree in order to get a job. Quite frankly, given everything above, do you blame us? Religious organizations have been in constant battle since before our time. They contradict the very beliefs they stand on in order to fight for what’s right or wrong. Not to mention the judegment. What makes us, as millennials, want to be part of such an organizaton? As far as politics go, seriously? How can we make an educated political decision when everytime we read, watch, and listen to political news- it’s bias, packed with lies, far from the truth, out of context, no significant details, and no one wants to make it easy to understand or research. And current events, need I say more? What is enticing about hatred, illness, injustice, and the loss of hope? Why subject ourselves to the darkness that has come over this world?

This post is the product of an internal war inside myself. So much of me is hungry for information and details- but the more information I know- the more information I don’t want to know. I am in a love hate relationship with every news source I encounter. I am constantly in conversation with God asking why. Why the corruption? Why the injustice? Why the hatred? Where is the compassion? Where is the courtesy, decency, love, and hope? All I find myself doing is praying for everyone- from world leaders to people with no homes. It just seems the past few years, the bad has just far outweighed the good. There is no profound ending to this post other than a call for prayer. This world we reside so desperately needs prayer. Please, if you took the time to read any of this post, please just pray for our people.

With love,