We’ve Stopped Taking Photos By Taking Too Many

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My dad and me pretending to know how to read.

    Since the boom of the iPhones, selfies, photo bombs, and snaps have taken over the simple candid of a sweet moment where no one constantly went “Ew retake that!” I’ve noticed over time as I’ve been collecting pictures from my grandmother’s house that there aren’t many recent pictures in there. The last family candid moments and group photos date back to around 2007. So what is it? Why did we stop taking pictures of our kids eating a popsicle on grandma’s sunporch or a funny picture of baby Jimmy falling asleep on his grandpa’s belly?

    From my personal observation being on social media and all, I noticed (and guilty myself) that we are more focused on what’s a “perfect” picture to share and if a selfie looks good enough or how to catch that super cute quote-worthy picture with our boyfriend and best friends. We have all these options now to retouch our photos before we share them with anyone on our phone’s apps from filters to cropping out the people we no longer want included in the memory.

    I don’t know about you but I love and treasure old photos. I giggle at the pictures my mom took of me holding my forearms up to the camera with a big cheesy smile proud of the pen art work I scribbled on myself. Its nice to have these private photos and I don’t known what I would do if my mom had a Facebook at the time and shared the laugh with all her friends and acquaintances. Its nice to laugh at cute things kids do but sometimes I feel like we lose the value of a photo or memory by over sharing it. I mean do we really need to document your kid’s potty training experience? Is he/she going to laugh and want to recap on the moment he dropped a poop into the big kids toilet? I don’t know, maybe it’s easy for me to say now since I don’t have any children. I’m open to criticism on that one.

    I love selfies and I’m all for sharing pictures of your vacation and what not but I am starting to feel a trend of over sharing, myself included. I don’t share as much as a lot of people I know, so it made me stop and wonder if anyone really cares or is everyone just caught up in the “oh let me share this” moment because we are encouraged to share so much of everything we do.

     I guess I am just an old soul. I almost wish we could go back to a time where we took pictures on a camera and then waited a half hour for our photos to be developed. It was nice to see pictures we forgot we took or how bad/good they came out. Since there are a lack of photos I have been able to find of myself in my teens because at the time I uploaded everything online (which got deleted overtime and now I wish I had saved them somewhere) I made a vow to myself to take photos of my future children’s mile stones so that maybe one day they will treasure a moment I was able to catch and print out that I will put away in an album for them to enjoy.

~Liz~

I Won’t Shut Up About Human Trafficking

   I haven’t addressed this topic on this blog yet, but I feel it is time to start. Each day my heart aches more and more at the thought of someone being exploited in some horrible manner this very moment. I almost wish one day a report will come out saying “it’s all a joke, no one really sells children and women around like their pieces of meat.” But the realist in me knows better. I know this will never stop, I know no matter how much advocating I do will not stop it, I know no amount of laws will stop it. I do however, know that even if organizations like these stop only one group of traffickers or save one girl, then that’s one more person not being harmed anymore. Luckily, they’ve stopped more than one sick twat and have rescued many many girls and boys.

So as long as organizations keep dedicating their resources to rescue missions and creating awareness at places like airports, truck stops, and hotels, the world will slowly become a little bit of a better place.

I, personally, am not a religious person and didn’t get involved in advocating this because of any religious belief, but no matter your reason for wanting to end human trafficking, I commend you.

Right now, advocating is working. Research is working. Talking instead of ignoring a possible issue is working. So don’t do it for your mom, don’t do it for your church, don’t do it because you feel God called you to do it, do it because you’re a decent human being who believes all humans should be treated with respect, love, and dignity.

~Liz~

Home Is Where They Are

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(This is something I shared on my Facebook a month ago and thought I would share it here as well. Trying to get back to my blogging.)

I realized last night that it would be my last night ever in this home, my grandparents home. This was THE house to be growing up. My grandparents had 4 children who then gave them TWELVE grandchildren, me being lucky enough to be one of them. I know this post won’t be as sentimental to most of you, but seeing as how I share little moments of my life on here I thought I would include this one. Many summers, holidays, birthdays, and random visits for sled rides happened here. They’re kids lived very spread out, from Russia to Maryland, though they all eventually made it to living in the states. This was home.

    If you were ever fortunate enough to knock on their door you’d be greeted by the most polite and humble human beings on the planet. Their yard saw many childhoods, and made for many memorable tree climbing, hide and seek, fort building, and sled riding. I learned to plant a flower garden here. I learned to make my bed here. I learned to walk (literally, Easter Sunday). I learned that my grandma is a very wise and intelligent woman. She is so thoughtful and has spent her whole life serving others despite her amazing potential. She decided to direct her skills towards her family, and for that I am forever grateful. My grandfather set the standard for all men to me. He still tells her she’s beautiful, he still brags about her like she’s the hottest thing to walk the earth. He’s also a very handy man in every area. He made sure all his grandkids knew what they were doing no matter what it was. From cars to laundry, he was a very handy man despite his limitations due to accidents. I could go into so much detail on how this house help raised me. I’m sad to see my grandparents moving.

   But after all, time does it’s thing and has made it hard for them to move up and down the stairs that wrap around this home. They will be in an easier laid out place and my grandma will probably relax knowing she doesn’t have as much to keep up with. I’m happy to see them excited about a change. Though I never came from much, I feel like the most fortunate girl on the planet to have been cared for by these people. I will never forget the memories on Mogadore Road.

~Liz~

Trying To Call Mom

Yesterday I sat out in the warm sun, a different setting compared to my gloomy room that’s been absorbing my cold, trying to work up the courage to call my mom. It shouldn’t be this hard and it shouldn’t require this much thought, but considering our past history over the course of these last three years, I was having trouble. I found myself tearing up.

You see, I grew up with a kind and fun loving mother. She hid her demons well, despite the little moments they broke lose. She never hurt us, at least not physically, and she always promised to love and care about us children. I find this ironic, and it may be immature or lame of me to admit, but her attitude and lack of love and caring of me as a teenager pushed me to move out on my own at 18. I will forever regret moving out so soon, that night, so fast, waiting until my dad arrived home late from work to say goodbye, because the least I could do was tell him in person. But it hurt them to see me leave, and it hurt me that they could not grasps the damage that had been done by their words. I can’t go in to too much personal detail, but it mostly involved my christian conservative parents disappointed that I had plans to move in with my boyfriend. Thus forcing them to accept that their once missionary-to-be daughter was “ruined.”

“You are going to hell, we raised you better than to be a slut.” Something a few harsh weeks before I moved out my mother had yelled at me. She later regrets it, and apologized, but it made me realize there is this blind that no one wants to open in that house and that is the fact that a human being can make decisions for themselves without it being dictated by a God or a book or something as simple as a traditional upbringing.

I was not a slut, and I would like to believe that my soul will reincarnate into a mermaid when I die. However if there is a hell, I hope people who have done far worse than say those things to their daughters, and people who have done far worse than commit the sins of this daughter, are living there.

It’s been almost two years since I made the choice to move out, or rather was evicted from my own home with a month “to get myself together.” Two years and I am still with the boyfriend that created me into a “deceiving, dishonorable, slut.” He does not abuse me, he does not take advantage of me, and he most certainly does not call me any of these degrading names. He’s no prince charming on a white stallion, but he does drive a red mustang and can cook up a feast for two in fifteen minutes.

I did not distance myself from them as much as most young adult females would have. I still had a younger sister I wanted to see, and I still loved and missed my parents. I never had any intentions of hurting them, so I have made every effort to show them that. With little bits of progress here and there, by visiting on holidays and birthdays and random Sunday’s, things have gotten less tense. They still do not accept me, they claim to love me and would let me move back in, but they refuse to see or allow my boyfriend over to visit, or even speak of him. This, will ultimately be what keeps us from ever having that “bond” again.

Despite the baby steps, I’m still feeling like I’m alone in this process. I need my mom a lot, I miss my mom. I miss who we were, when we would go to tea party’s in Amish country and watch romantic comedies on repeat.

But yet, I can’t call her. I just saw her a few weeks ago while saying goodbye to my sister as she was packing her car up for college. My mom was crushed, she had spent most of her life raising three children, and they are now all moved away. Of course the closest one living near her would be me, the one she least wants to see most likely. I don’t want her depression and own personal demons to ruin her anymore than it already has, so despite the fact that I may have done some kind of damage to her condemning judgmental soul, I still care. I still cherish the memories. I’m still the “positive thinker” in this family.

So why don’t you call me, mom. I will try not to cry if you start crying. I will try not to bring up things that upset you, I will listen to what is wrong, and I will make plans to call you more often.

I want you to be happy when I get engaged, married, have children.

But how can any of this happen, if I can’t even call you?

-Liz