Ciao! The last few weeks have been pretty tough on a lot of us as we grapple with what's going on with asylum-seekers at our Southern borders (as well as, ahem, other things). I'll be getting a little more into that later in this post, but I'm kicking off with some wellness and motivational tricks that I've been using to keep me from flying off the handle at the slightest provocation, when what I'm really ticked off about is what's happening to my beloved country.
I've started off nearly every morning this summer with this gorgeous watermelon smoothie, which is so delicious and cleansing that I literally flash back to it when I feel like I need to center myself throughout the day. It couldn't be easier to make, and all the ingredients are in whatever proportion works for you.
I'd love to say I get to the yoga studio every day, but the truth is, it can be nigh on impossible to fit it into my schedule. Given that, I take classes when and where I can find them... which means I don't have a membership anywhere... which makes it expensive. Thanks to my friends at Good Skin Day in Springfield, MO, I've gotten turned on to Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. All of the sessions clock in at about 30 minutes or less and are accessible to all levels. (Plus, if you're like me, you'll appreciate the fact that they're not at all woo-woo, like some YouTube yoga can be!)
Also, I'm taking full advantage of the early sunrise by trying to run every morning. I love having an hour to myself to check out all the gorgeous landscaping in the neighborhood and watch the baby bunnies play, but it's not especially meditative since I'm usually listening to Crooked Media podcasts and getting all fired up.
Which I need, because calling my reps in Nebraska every day can feel like a pretty hopeless cause. They're all zero tolerance people and they all toe the current administration's line on every major issue. But I'm doing it, and I'm doing it in front of my daughters, because I want them to know that every voice matters and, if we keep speaking up, we will eventually make our elected representatives listen.
That's also why my husband and I brought them to a Families Belong Together rally this weekend. It was a galvanizing experience, with speeches from religious leaders from the Christian, Muslim and Jewish traditions, a song sung by three beautiful young siblings that were recently reunited with their mother after four months of separation, attorneys from the ACLU explaining the situation from a legal perspective, and people of all ages, and all walks of life, coming together to show our support for the thousands (and counting) of families being punished for seeking asylum. If you need to catch up on what's been going on since Trump signed the executive order officially ending the policy of family separations, Senator Elizabeth Warren's recap of her visit to a Customs and Border Protections processing center is here.
On a more empowering note, we got to show the girls one incredibly positive outcome of activism by taking them to Omaha's Heartland Pride festival this weekend. I think we've taken them to Pride every year of their lives and a few people have asked us why it's so important to us. After all, while some of our closest friends and relatives are members of the LGBTQ community, we are heterosexual, cis parents and none of our children have yet indicated that they are trans or queer.
We take them because it's a really joyful way to let them know that we will always love and celebrate them for who they are, and also frankly, to show other young people that -- even if their own parents don't support them -- there are families in their city that will.
As the years have gone on, Trixie and Irish have started to realize that Pride is more than just crazy outfits and getting candy and rainbow tchotchkes from booths, and they've started asking questions. Throughout June, we talked a lot about Stonewall and how, even now, some businesses refuse to serve members the LGBTQ community. Then, we made more than one hundred rainbow pretzel wands to hand out at our church's booth, and joined our community -- which on this day, included some of the biggest, most conservative businesses in the city, nonprofits, teens, millennials, GenXers and seniors, as well as gay, straight and trans families just like ours -- to show what it means to come together in love, empathy and acceptance.