By Jacob Ladue
Frozen, Walt Disney Animation Studios – PG
Disney just released their latest animated movie, Frozen, from the same creators as Tangled and despite lackluster marketing that might suggest differently, this movie is not like any of their others. Frozen was released on November 27th and it’s already grossed over 100 million dollars in the United States alone and there is a reason why: this movie has heart and messages (yes, multiple) that actually mean something.
Frozen is loosely based off Hans Christian Andersen’s classic The Snow Queen and features two strong young princesses, one named Elsa (Idina Menzel) with a power to create snow and ice and the other, Anna (Kristen Bell), her younger sister with a hopeful and playful personality. One thing that immediately stands out is that Elsa is born with a power rather than being cursed by a cruel or evil witch. But after an accident involving her ability, Elsa and Anna’s parents ignorantly try to protect their family by shutting away from everyone in the kingdom and by deciding to never speak of her power again. Any gay person in the audience can relate and see the parallels between her ability and homosexuality. It was something she was born with, but people didn’t understand it, they even feared it, so they tried to keep it hidden.
As a young gay man, I use to (and still do) loathe watching movies because I knew there would eventually be a worn out heterosexual love story that was only there because two people of the opposite sex were single. I also (being the little romantic I am) scoffed at how two characters could fall in love so easily, seemingly in a day. Frozen hits this nail on the head brilliantly by having young Anna, so desperately seeking love after the accident and isolation thereafter, meet a young prince, Hans (Santino Fontana), and decides to marry him that very same day. Elsa, recently coronated as Queen, denies her approval of this hasty decision and this is when the story starts to take off. In the effort to create her own life and happiness, Anna upsets her sister, so much so that Elsa accidentally reveals the power she kept hidden for so long. Startled, the townspeople throw slurs and shocked remarks and Elsa flees the kingdom unknowingly throwing the world into an endless winter.
One amazing thing about this movie is that, there are no evil characters; only human ones (good and bad) and the subsequent fear humans create from the unknown is the true antagonist. Elsa flees to the top of an icy peak and creates a world for herself and in a Broadway style number sings,
“Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
Well now they know…
Let it go, let it go”
Elsa is finally coming to terms with her abilities and try’s to accept herself, but simultaneously shuts herself off from the rest of the world. How many times has a young gay person learned to love themselves, but the culture around them hasn’t so they flee to a more accepting land? In an attempt to not spoil the rest of the film, Elsa confronts herself, her abilities and the ones she loves to fully embrace herself as a whole.
Frozen doesn’t only have story lines comparable to homosexual acceptance, but creates refreshingly needed characters without gender stereotypes. In Anna’s attempt to find and bring her sister home, she meets a young ice harvester (rough time for that career) named Kristoff (Jonathan Groff). Not only is Groff the first Disney “prince” voiced by a gay actor, but also his character is unlike any other prince seen before him. He’s awkward and kooky, often has conversations with himself as if he’s his pet reindeer and most importantly doesn’t view women as objects, but as equals, equating Anna’s ability to her personality rather than her gender. (Later in the film he even ASKS PERMISSION to kiss rather than assuming his affections are reciprocated). Kristoff is a “prince” that often needs saving and more often than not he’s saved by Anna.
Disney is slowly transforming into something different than it’s racist and sexist roots, but they aren’t off the hook yet. Even the animators of Frozen have gotten themselves into some hot water, but it is truly refreshing to finally see such positive role models in one of their films. Most of us have fond memories of watching Disney movie’s growing up, so we tend to try to ignore the negative lessons in many of the films, but the world is changing so it’s only right they catch up as well. The biggest morals Frozen is trying to convey is that love of family and communication between loved ones is what is most important in life. Love of a man shouldn’t be (and isn’t) the most important thing to a young woman and opening up about a part of oneself, instead of locking it up within, is what is most healthy. (Not to mention the musical numbers are amazing!) If you’re trying to figure something to do with your family this weekend, go see Frozen, you won’t be disappointed.
P.S. Josh Gad plays a touchingly sweet snowman named Olaf who just wants to find out what summer feels like and I promise he’ll have you in stitches.
By Meika Rouda
I haven’t been writing much this year. A slow spell of overwhelm came over me and I found it hard to muster the energy to write. It felt selfish of me, a purely indulgent act when so many other things needed to get done. First off are the kids, they need, well, everything. Food made, butts wiped, shoe laces tied, booboo’s kissed, nightmares scared off, hugs and kisses and books read constantly. Then there is housework, the laundry, the bills the groceries and the dinner to be made for my husband not to mention the bonding dinner time conversation so we can continue having a loving relationship even though I just want to go to bed and read a book alone. The writing was for me and me just isn’t a priority right now. I don’t mean to sound like a martyr but I realize I am always in a rush, not just on a daily basis to get the kids to school or be at an appointment on time but in a rush to make things happen. I want to finish my book and move on with other projects. I want to see The Next Family Anthology come to fruition and be published. Everything feels like it needs to happen now or else. Or else what? Maybe rushing isn’t what it is about? Right now I need to think about my family, my son’s multiple doctor’s appointments to treat his self control issues, my daughter’s gymnastic classes, my husband’s demanding job and allow myself a stint on the sidelines. I haven’t exercised in ten months and the lines on my face are growing at an alarming rate but still I am grateful that I have this life. That these children who tirelessly need things are my children. I am grateful to have this time to be with my kids even if they drive me crazy sometimes. I know that my time will come, my time will come.
By Melissa Mensavage
For the last few months I’ve felt stretched very thin. No solid focus on any one thing. No completion of a task fully.
I hate unfinished projects or tasks. I mean literally, I’ll wash half of the dishes. Or get one of three loads of laundry done.
Is this motherhood in general? Or is this single motherhood?
Either way, its driving me crazy.
A perfect example is the due date for my writing. It comes every month and its on my mind, but a three year old and an 18 month old suck the life out of me playing referee. Mind you, we are getting better at playing together, but that is only roughly 15% of the time.
I love this task. This lets me take what is on my mind and in my life and put it into words. LOVE IT!! Brandy has been very kind, and I swear I will do my best every month to be on time. I know as a mother she gets it, but as an editor … she has a responsibility to get content published to keep her readership.
They say raising a child takes a village … or whatever the saying is. I’ve been trying to do it all on my own lately because I feel like I rely too much on my village. I don’t want to burn that bridge for when I REALLY need them. So here I am doing all of the doctors appointments with two kids, referee, illnesses, parties, household chores, etc, all on my own. And I guess that is why I am stretched so thin.
Will this burn me out? I am pretty sure of it. When? Don’t know. I do know that I am seeing the signs – I’ve been yelling at the kids quite a bit lately. I hate that I yell. Or I get frustrated with the fact that they don’t know everything. (I mean how stupid is that? They are kids, babies still and they shouldn’t know everything!)
As you can see this post is short this month because I am multi-tasking my passion for writing with my passion-less job. Need to cut it short so I can make sure I still collect a paycheck and have insurance.
Maybe someday in the near future I’ll be able to focus again, or maybe this is the new way of life. I am so unfocused right now I cant even come up with a closure to this jumbled post.
Happy Holidays everyone.
(Where’s the egg nog?)
By Lisa Regula Meyer
Today marks the start of the holiday shopping season, the day after Thanksgiving, when Americans take to the malls in droves looking for spectacular deals on the latest, greatest thing for this year. Or at least it had been the start of the shopping season until the recent craze of opening earlier and earlier began. So this year while most of us are home enjoying a holiday feast with our loved ones, retail employees will be stocking shelves and ringing up orders of people who can’t wait another day to spend.
I’ll admit that I have a vested interest in maintaining the day off that had been far more common just a few years ago, as Dwight works in retail. Having a day off to celebrate the holiday with family is also something that I believe is just plain the right thing to do. It’s not often that families today have a day set aside that everyone can be together, between more businesses being open more hours, and many people working more than one job. The biggest irony that I see is the messaging that we send- give thanks and treasure time with those you love on one hand, and love is equal to a purchase, but especially a deeply discounted one, on the other hand. It’s a sad way to start the season, in my opinion, focusing on the purchases and the profits instead of being together.
I realize that their are some people who want to work on the holiday to earn extra income for the holidays, and I hope that those are the people who are the ones staffing the Thanksgiving retail floor, but I also know that at most stores these will be mandatory work days to make sure that staffing levels are high and customer service is up. Wouldn’t valuing families mean paying people enough that a day off with their own families was a sacrifice that they could afford?
As much as I may be complaining, I’m thankful that- for the most part- we’ll have some time together as a family this holiday season. I cooked for our kin that can make it, and lit a candle for those that couldn’t. It’s entering the end of the semester, which is a busy time for the students and teachers alike, and we have both in Dwight’s side of the family. I’m thankful for the chance to do what I love and teach biology to undergraduates. I’m thankful to have my dissertation done and submitted, and my hooding coming up. I’m thankful for the families that I’ve seen through the family building process, and child-free friends who remind me of my more carefree days before kids (and let Kenny and I participate in their big Random Acts of Kindness endeavors).
Being thankful for these things makes me want similar privileges- family, friends, living wages, education- for other families as well.
By Lisa Regula-Meyer
I’m a biologist, and as such, I care about the words we use for things. Words, especially names, in biology mean a lot- they can tell us details about who an organism is related to or similar to, or some of that thing’s history (where it was found, who described it), and they can be very descriptive like the newly discovered ligament in the knee. It’s being called the “antero-lateral ligament” because it’s found on the lateral (outside) side of the knee, and is anteriorly placed (or closer to the abdomen than the foot). Names of things can also give an idea of when it was discovered, as trends in names have changed greatly over time, from being more honorific to being more descriptive. Yeah, I kind of like etymology.
While there’s a ton of thought that goes into naming something in biology that we don’t think of going into naming everyday objects like “cat” or “ball,” to a person just learning any language, there can be a lot of thought in figuring out what words like “cat” and “ball” mean. This is even more the case for new learners of any language- young children. Trying to discern how general a term like “cat” or “ball” is, and how large a group it encompasses- deciphering what makes a ball a ball and not a cat- is tough work. My cat is rather large and often curled into a spherical shape- will she bounce like a ball does? This new ball is soft and squishy like the cat- why doesn’t it make sound? From an adult perspective, these questions are ridiculous and sound like something a person on drugs would come up with, but to someone who is figuring out the meanings of words for the first time, they’re valid questions.
And then there are proper nouns, that have a specific thing to which they’re tied, but of course those terms are not marked in some way in verbal communication. Thus, every bearded man wearing flannel becomes “Uncle Mark” until we learn otherwise. Possibly the most difficult are those terms that can be specific or general, like “grandma” or “doctor.” As adults, we know these terms are roles, and act as descriptors for the names with which they’re attached- I am Dr. Regula Meyer, noting both who I am and what I do; “Grandma Sue” tells both the specific person and the very important group of people to whom she belongs, grandmas.
Lately, Kenny’s been figuring this out with me as we talk about common names and species names, and he’s learning that not all “finches” are the same type of “finches” and how to tell them apart. We’ve even stocked up on our bird feeder supplies, in hopes of continuing watching and learning through the winter. Miss E, on the other hand, is learning more simple levels of this discussion, and trying to figure out family configurations. What roles are there in a family, who fills them, and what do you call them? She’s made the mistake a few times of calling either daddy or papa by the term “mama” because they were doing something that the “mamas” of her classmates do- baking, hugging, reading, and whatnot. I’m sympathetic to this plight, while I can laugh at it, remembering all the times that Kenny has (and still does) call me “dad” or Dwight “mama.” It’s rough building all those neural pathways to fix a language in your brain. Even harder is having to make all those connections on your own, without someone who speaks “Babyese” to help explain the nuances.
Speaking seriously, this is why reading and talking to children is so important, so that they can experience words in multiple scenarios and make those connections, generalizations, and specifics more quickly. Taking a more light-hearted approach, it makes for great stories when they’re older, about incorrect or inappropriate use of words as they were still practicing these language skills. And finally, from a more reflective position, thinking about all the work that goes on to try and communicate, even with people closest to you and whom you hold dear, might give us a bit of appreciation for the tough life of a child, how they can expend so much energy and get tired so quickly, and maybe why tantrums happen to frustrated, tired kiddos who have spent all day trying to decide just what exactly “blue” means.
By Ann Brown
Next April, when I turn 60, I will be eligible for senior services, including moving into the Jewish old age home.
This is awesome news.
A nice apartment, a restaurant on-site, a cleaning service, transporation to anywhere I want to go in Portland, and an emergency call button next to the toilet. Really, is that senior residential care or is it HEAVEN? I do not understand why anyone wouldn’t want to live there.
Fuck the commune, friends. We’re headed out to Jewish senior living. Pack your Zumba shoes and follow me.
Old Jews are my kind of people. Who else will be continually interested in the comings and goings of my intestines?
I bet in the Jewish old age home no one pressures you to, say, join the polo team or pray to craven images of God (which is what I suspect they do for leisure in the non-Jewish old age homes), two activities that I can do without.
On the down side, however, I bet they put out a better Happy Hour cocktail selection at the gentile home down the road. I suppose I could hit the old Jews for the brunch spread and then meander over to the gentiles for an apertif.
Whew. Okay, got that worked out.
I can tell you one thing for sure: my mom is NOT going to move to the old age home with me. She is – at age 89 – anti-old people. Whereas I – at age 59 – am already one.
She recently returned from a trip to Italy. She had invited me to go with her but I couldn’t, of course, what with my grueling schedule of avoiding working on the novel and posting selfies of Phila and me on Facebook. Plus, I’ve been to England and France and Greece and Israel and I cannot imagine there’s much in Italy that I didn’t already see in those other countries.
Except, according to Mom, penises.
I endured a ten minute phone conversation with her in which she described her two-week art tour, penis by penis.
“So many penises,” she said to me, while I desperately tried to unhear what she was saying. “You can’t believe the penises on those statues!”
Now I don’t know about you, but I am pushed way out of my comfort zone when my mom says the word “penis” even one time. When she says it eleven times in one conversation, I get clammy and woozy and look for the emergency call button next to my toilet.
“Penis” is not a word that sounds normal in a mom’s voice. A mother’s voice should say words like “soup” and “I bought you some new pajamas”. And, “you sound tired. Did you have a bowel movement today?”
Not my mom. She says “penis.” And “those penises were huge!” And, “they had big holes in them. Do you want to know why?” (no). “Well, I’ll tell you…”(please dear God, no)
I never should have let her go to Italy to look at art. I should have made her go to, I don’t know, Branson, Missouri. I bet you could spit a hundred yards in Branson, Missouri, and never hit a penis statue.
My mom is very comfortable with penis talk. I think it has to do with her becoming a therapist during the late 1960′s when nine out of ten therapists recommended that everybody let it all hang out. Unfortunately, during the late 1960′s I was a teenager. When ten out of ten teenagers recommended that their mothers put it all back in.
“You go to the plazas,” she told me on the phone, “all you see are penises. You go to the museum – penises. Statues everywhere – penises, penises, penises.”
“Uh-huh, ” I said, jamming the phone repeatedly into my eyes for distraction.
“Mom,” I said brightly, “how was the food?”
“Horrible. Feh. Although the fruit was delicious. But enough, genuch with the penises already!”
I’m pretty sure that’s how Pope Clement put it, as well, back in the the 1600′s. Presuming he spoke a little Yiddish.
So he ordered metal fig leaves to be put over all the penises on all the statues.
Which is why they all have those HUGE holes in them.
Hey, if I have to know, you have to know.
By Parenting Consultant, Ann Brown
As I write this article, we are already encroaching upon 2014. Because I am an old crone compared to you who will be reading this, I can remember, back in the 1960’s, the awe I felt when I imagined what the new millennium would be like. The idea of the year 2014 was mind-blowing to me. It still is.
The world your children will grow to inherit is already so much different than the world I inherited. My world had the first color TV, a man on the moon, polio vaccine on a sugar cube, the Pill. My childhood was filled with wonder, not only at the marvels of the time but also at the natural, almost magical happenings around me. I was five years old when my childhood cat had kittens. My sister and I sat on the kitchen floor while Gigi delivered nine gooey, red and white striped babies (Moses, Hebsibiah-Tzipora*, Pegasus, Penny, Fluffy, Sarah, Rebecca, Piñata and Pierre) onto my favorite Lanz nightgown with which we’d lined a cardboard box from the grocery store garbage bin.
Karen and I watched silently as Gigi did what ancestral knowledge guided her to do. She hadn’t read What To Expect When You’re Expecting Kittens, or gone to Lamaze class or sat in a crowded primary school auditorium with the rest of the fourth grade girls in her class to watch the 8mm movie about menstruation; the movie from which I gathered that when you are around twelve years old you get your period and continue to get it every day until you are fifty or so..
Witnessing the miracle of Gigi’s delivery and the birth of the nine kittens incorrectly answered as many questions in my young mind as it created new ones, and my sister and I spent years afterwards jumping to some alarmingly wrong conclusions about how species procreate, including, but not limited to, my sister’s insistence that babies are made in the shower (my sister recently explained to me that she was pretty sure people were naked when they made babies and the only place she could fathom anyone would be naked would be in the shower) and the belief that if a cat and a dog made babies, half of them would be kittens and half would be puppies. Our homegrown information about the miracle of life also reached, tragically, to the miracle of death where in the process of our extensive research, I am sorry to confess, many innocent pet turtles with painted shells, purchased regularly on Los Angeles’ famous downtown Olvera Street, gave their lives in such heroic ways as being lost behind the living room couch and being abandoned in the blazing LA sun when we grew tired of turtle races in the tall grass of our front lawn, only to be discovered days or weeks later by my mom and flushed down the toilet. I fully expect to see those turtles, their backs brightly painted with the colors of the Mexican flag, waiting for me at the Pearly Gates with a major chip on their shoulders. And well I deserve their wrath. Although I might point out, just fyi, that the paint those poor turtles were covered in was probably toxic and they weren’t destined to live a long, healthy life, anyway. Not that I am trying to worm my way out of my own accountability.
My world still has sources of wonder that are beyond my understanding: installing apps into my i-phone, using the hashtag correctly; things that have turned me into an embarrassment, a dolt, a technodinosaur; someone who, say, would have tried to play a vinyl record on her Polaroid One-Step camera. I kinda like that. I like knowing that every day, if I wanted to, I could find something unbelievable in this ever-changing world.
I’m not so sure that your kids will be as mystified by life as I was and am. Your children live in a world of instant information, of explanation, of empirical evidence. Parents today need to work hard to protect the gift of wonderment for our children. The world is so scientific, so informative, and so little is left to the imagination. Children are expected to learn the way adults do, and adults are expected to learn like machines. There is a dearth of acceptable opportunities for learning by experience or apprenticeship or just plain passage of time. Learning by experience leaves room for misinformation, to be sure but it also makes room for imagination, hypotheses, confidence, perseverance and acceptance of occasional failure. It also makes room for something even more important – the space to not know something until the time is right to know it.
What leaves with wonder is a sense of possibility that lives outside our realm of control – a sense that we might be surprised by life! There’s not much today about which your young children cannot access information. Computers tell them that teeth fall out because of physiological readiness, TV commercials tell them that Christmas toys are made at the Mattel or Nintendo factory, not in Santa’s workshop. Our kids are woefully sophisticated these days about the ways of their world.
I think that’s a shame.
Granted, maybe I am woefully uninformed about certain things – I still say “i-pad” when I mean “i-pod”, and vice versa– but I believe that if we crowd our young children’s minds with facts and information, it will be at the expense of leaving no room for magic and wonderment.
When my children were little I used to cut their apples in half in a way that the seeds made a star shape in the center. Now, certainly there is a botanical answer to why that is so (or so I presume) but my kids thrilled to believe it was magic their mom could summon by saying, “apple, apple from the tree, make a star that we can see!” before she cut into it. I imagine that my cerebral, brainiac boys figured out the scientific reason for the seed placement long before I did (uh, I still haven’t….) but they still enjoyed the flourish and pomp with which I cut their apples. In fact, even though they are both grown up, out of college and out of law school, I cut apples that way every once in a while, just to remember the old days. When I knew more than they did. A long, long time ago.
Children have a way of figuring things out. True, they are usually wrong. But they need the opportunity to be wrong and later discover a new answer. They have a lifetime to learn what they need to learn. The Information Age offers us a tempting buffet of learning everything now, quickly, all at once. It takes willpower to hold back, to give our kids factual information and experiences slowly, in appropriate moderation. It is hard because today there is a sense, in our culture, that we can know, and thereby control “it all.” That we can “fix” life. Yet…there is so much in life that you can’t muscle your way through – tragedy and joy alike. Our culture steps a bit roughly on the hope of the unexpected. In grooming our kids for success from infancy, we squash the “Gee, I wonder where life might take me?” that earlier generations had. At age 6, my son hated for people to ask him what he wanted to be when he grew up. He shed tears of frustration over kindergarten career day. He felt like they were asking for too much of a commitment. And I don’t blame him. I think it shows great wisdom – not wanting to open that present yet. Why ruin the adventure?
The tradition of misinformation being passed from sibling to sibling was continued when I had kids. One day, I overheard my then-four year old son telling his nine-year old brother about menopause.
“It happens to all of them and it takes a really long time,” my four year old explained.
“How long?” my nine-year old asked him.
There was an awed silence. Then the nine year old spoke. “Explain it to me again,” he said, “because it really doesn’t make sense.”
The four year old sighed with an exasperation I’ve recently recognized when he’s had to explain to me for the gajillionth time how the Electoral College works and why we have the Iowa caucuses.
“Okay,” he said evenly, “it’s called menopause. And she stays in the cocoon for a whole, long winter and that’s where it happens.”
I was rooted to my hiding place behind the door. This was something even I didn’t understand about menopause. Guess my big sister didn’t tell me everything, after all.
“In a cocoon?” asked the older one, “are you sure?” He was beginning to sound alarmed. Frankly, so was I. I had to break in.
“What are you talking about?” I asked them. My younger son eagerly shared his knowledge with me.
“Menopause,” he said, “you know, how the caterpillar goes into the cocoon and comes out a butterfly.”
I was slightly hindered by a weak high school background in science and a college degree in Ethnomusicology but even so, I felt capable of asserting my educated opinion.
“Do you mean ‘metamorphosis?’” I asked him.
He considered my question for a moment. “Oh yeah”, he said brightly.
Albert Einstein said, “there are two ways of looking at the world: that everything is a miracle, and that nothing is a miracle.” I choose to keep some wonderment, some miracles in my life.
Especially when it comes to installing apps on my i-phone.
Ann Brown has a private practice in parenting consultation
At the end of this month I will have what I hope to be my final appointment with my doctor for my post-partum depression diagnosis I had received after I gave birth to my youngest son, Theo. Eighteen months of periodic check-ups with my primary care physician, bi-weekly therapy appointments and countless mornings where I forced myself out of bed.
I had no clue I would ever suffer from such severe depression. I had mentioned previously that I had situational depression episodes throughout my life but nothing a night out with friends drinking my sorrows away didn’t cure. Or a few weeks time of eating and watching sappy romantic comedies. Though neither of those solutions would have worked in this case.
My world was black. My thoughts were fuzzy. I couldn’t comprehend too much. I was in care-taker mode of an infant and a two year old. I didn’t sleep. I cried. A lot. And then I cried some more. I hated myself. I hated my kids (oh do I have guilt for that). I hated the world. I hated that I wasn’t married.
My mother and I fought constantly. She was trying to help me, and I was being a perfect bitch. She comes from an era where you either just deal or you brush it under the rug. She didn’t get it why I was so crazy. So when I showed up at her house, sobbing, to drop off Max so I could go to the doctors, I think she might have gotten it then. I know she was concerned.
And during this whole time – this first 4 weeks of Theo’s life, all I said to myself was, ‘What have I done?’. What had I done to my family dynamic? What had I done to bring this kid into the world – who is not perfect in my eyes (yes, of course he was he just wasn’t what I knew – Max.).
About a year prior to this I sat in my fertility doctor’s office saying to him with confidence I wanted to try for another baby. He smiled and said, ‘fantastic!’. I smiled knowing in my heart this is what was right for me and my life. I got pregnant after the first try. I was shocked, I had expected it to take a bit longer. I was then excited and felt SO blessed beyond means. Little did I know about the change that would occur when I brought Theo home from the hospital. When people ask how it went, or how it was going, I was honest. It was hard. It was a huge change for all of us.
Yet, we made it. We made it through the tough parts. I started taking an anti-depressant after my initial appointment. I started feeling better about three days after that. Therapy helped. Getting some sleep made it even better. I started to research this diagnosis on the internet. (A big fat no-no.) Women die from this. For some reason they couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I pray for them. I pray for their children. I am thankful everyday that those types of thoughts NEVER crossed my mind.
Its been a rough October for us. We were plagued with illness after illness. The boys are finally healthy. Though I had a pretty bad case of bronchitis, and now an ear infection, I feel great. I feel happy. I am SO thankful for my two beautiful boys. Life is good.
I never could comprehend why people would take their own lives. I never understood why they didn’t think they were worthy of living. After the black period I experienced, I now get it. It breaks my heart to know that people don’t feel worthy. I wish a hug would help. And maybe it does in some situations. So to anyone who might be feeling this type of pain or know of any one, you are worthy. You belong here.
By Rosy Barren
It’s November and The Next Family wants to give back to all it’s readers by announcing a Thanksgiving Giveaway! To say thanks, The Next family has assembled a mystery basket full of family friendly prizes that will be customized to the winners and will include gifts from our sponsors, Converse Eyewear, Melissa & Doug and Amy Conway. We will post clues as to what might be in the basket through out the month… and trust us there are some great prizes!
The rules are simple: Like The Next Family Facebook page and you’re automatically entered to win prizes from Converse Eyewear, Melissa and Doug, Amy Conway and more! Longtime readers you’re in luck, if you’ve previously liked our Facebook page you’re already entered! If you’d like to increase your chances, share this Facebook post about our giveaway on your wall to receive an (1) additional entry. The giveaway will be held until Thanksgiving, November 28th at 12:00am PST and we’ll announce the winner shortly after. Stay tuned for clues as to what prizes are in the basket. Thank you for your continued support! With love, The Next Family