Before Gay Pride Month comes to a close, I thought it was important to honor it properly. Everyone should be guaranteed equal rights no matter gender, race, sexual orientation or other groups with restricted rights.

Earlier, I mentioned that my cousin wrote a poem to honor Gay Pride, dedicated to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders. {And more specifically, his brother, Charlie, and his partner, John.}

You Know Who Else Had More Than One Father? America!

Here in America, we have built quite a myth
It's one Americans should all be concerned with
It's the myth of family, and what that entails
As if kids couldn't be raised by two loving females.

Opponents say children need a mom and a dad
"Two mothers? Two fathers? It would just end up bad.
There's a model fam'ly you should strive to achieve."
Ward and June Cleaver? Jerry Mathers as the Beav?

With a divorce rate of nearly half and rising
It is difficult not to find it surprising
That we do not yet allow same-sexes to wed
And enjoy the same right to a marriage they dread.

"It just isn't right to have multiple fathers."
No matter the stats or how little it bothers?
"Nothing is conceived by multiple fathers -- duh!"
Oh? Not even a li'l place called... AMERICA?

America is a child with fathers galore!
More than two or three, and ev'ry one of them fore
They broke from mother England to raise us this way
And that's back in a time when happiness
was gay.

But then the debate turns to a biblical sell
"It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!" they yell
And yet the forefathers include, would you believe,
Multiple Adams and at least one guy named Steve.*

There wasn't an Eve in the whole congregation
Except for the night before founding this nation
That prides on equality, colors that don't fade
It has all the makings of a gay pride parade!

The Declaration and Constitution in mind
Let's thank our forefathers and their eye for design
Think on their queerness; America, for the win,
The same-sexiest fam'ly that has ever been.

*John Adams, Samuel Adams, Stephen Hopkins

Chicago's 41st Annual Pride Parade
{Wish I could have made it to the parade. Looks like they had amazing costumes and support.}

Also, Brent Sopel, of the Chicago Blackhawks, brought the Stanley Cup to the Pride parade to show his support.

{Drawing by Maggie Dosemagen, all photos via Chicagoist}


bachelorette parties

along with wedding season comes... bachelorette parties. a perfect excuse for cosmos and dance floors.

now don't get me wrong, it can be a great time. i've already received invitations to a few parties... complete with a pole-dancing class, lingerie party, dinners at fancy restaurants, dance parties, drinks and games. i'm excited to see many friends that i haven't gotten to hang out with in a while, but, to be perfectly honest, i'm not really excited by the whole bachelorette party deal. i'd almost rather just enjoy a bottle of good wine and even better conversation with friends. sounds a little too mellow to be a bachelorette party, huh?

i guess that's s sign that i'm growing up.

i'm sure bachelorette party season will be fun though.

{image via}



don't they just make you want to pack a bag, hop in the boat and sail into the sunset. if only. {i'm so jealous of my friend zach who is doing that very thing this very moment... through the greek isles.}

mount rushmore smooching

my sister and cousin are teaming up on a project for an art publication. he's writing a poem and she's doing the drawing to accompany it. the topic: gay marriage. it's an absolutely hilarious poem that makes you think of gay rights in a different way. i love it.

here's a sneak peek at the artwork:


millennium park stroll

my friend and i took a stroll down to millennium park yesterday. it was an absolutely beautiful day to spend outside. the children looked like they were having so much fun that we joined in, took our shoes off and walked through the water. such a little pleasure, but it made my afternoon. {well, that and bill.}

sometimes i miss being a kid and splashing around in the water.

I Know Why the Caged Bird

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hill for the caged bird
sings of freedom

Align Center

Incredible. I’ve heard so much about Maya Angelou over the years but had never read her work. Finally, I decided to pick up a few of her autobiographies. {Well, it's really only one autobiography split into four books.} I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was incredibly written, but the story told was amazing. The obstacles she overcame in her life were immense but nowhere in the book does she ask for sympathy, but instead embraces her past as fond memories that brought her where she is now. I think I finished her first book in less than two days; I couldn’t put it down. I have a few books waiting for me next, but I’m sure I’ll get to more Maya Angelou soon.

She is an inspiration.

"Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it allows me to survive, and better than that, to thrive with passion, compassion, and style."

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain."

"A cynical young person is almost the saddest sight to see, because it means that he or she has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing."

{image via bbc}

first day of summer

today is officially the first day of summer and it's finally beginning to feel like it. wonderful.

summer means: watermelon. fireworks. golfing. sprinklers. popsicles. lawn chairs. picnics. lemonade. ice cream. grilling out. movies in the park. outdoor concerts. festivals. zoo trips. sandals. sunshine. dresses. and so many more fun things.

{image via}


@SenJohnMcCain & @Sn00ki continued...

Have you heard about @SenJohnMcCain's Twitter response to @Sn00ki on June 9th? It's hilarious.

@Sn00ki u r right, I would never tax your tanning bed! Pres Obama's tax/spend policy is quite The Situation. but I do rec wearing sunscreen!

{In case you don’t know, Snooki is a TV personality on the MTV reality show The Jersey Shore. The Situation is also a cast member. I’d like to say now that I have never watched the show.}

The Twitter reply was funny enough on its own, but my cousin wrote a Part Two of the conversation for Huffington Post. You have to read it.

left in the dark

i hate thunderstorms. i especially hate thunderstorms when they knock out the power

last night, well about 4pm, a terrible storm with hurricane-like winds struck, ripping trees from the ground, flinging shingles around the neighborhood and leaving me, and others, in the dark.

i had big plans for the night, all of which required electricity. instead, i sat on my front porch with a glass of wine and read by moonlight. it turned out to be a very relaxing and calm night. much better than i had originally planned. i'm going to have to do it again. soon.


Happy Monday

Happy Monday! I had an absolutely wonderful weekend, I hope you did too.

One of my best friends from middles school is getting married in less than a month so we threw her a sweet, simple bridal shower on Saturday. There was a lot a lot of preparation and some nerves that it wouldn’t turn out as well as planned, but it did. And she was so happy throughout. Plus, it’s always good to catch up with old friends. Speaking of which, I got quite a few emails and texts from friends I haven’t seen in a while. {The perfect way to make me smile. I’ll have to try to keep in touch with them better from now on, but that always seems like a goal of mine.}

{image via romantic.posterous}


Letters from abroad

I’ve been writing to my best friend in Rwanda for a while now, but I finally got a letter back. When I saw the ragged, duct-taped letter in my mailbox with stamps of iguanas, straw-hut villages and dancing men, an enormous smile crossed my face and, I’m slightly embarrassed to say, a giggle escaped my lips. I’ve gotten emails and Facebook messages from Jessi, but there’s something special about a hand-written letter. She posted the letter about a month ago, so I’m sure much has happened in both our lives during the postal journey, but I’m glad to get the letter nonetheless.

Today I’m heading to the coffee shop and plan to write one long note than I’m sure will make her giggle too… about a month from now.

{image via pibburns}


chicago celebrations

today chicago celebrates. thousands of blackhawks faithful will line wacker dr. to cheer for their stanley cup champions. there will be cheering, screaming, chanting and probably a few tears.

boy, do i wish i could be there. unfortunately, i will be at work, probably checking the chicagoist and chicago tribune for updates and photos. this season has been absolutely incredible. from the start, it was clear we {yes, we} had a shot at the cup with the amazing talent of jonathan toews, patrick sharp, patrick kane, dustin byfuglien, marian hossa {jury's finally in on the ex-wing: he's ok in my book}, kris versteeg and the ridiculous defensive pair of brent seabrook and duncan keith. i'm forgetting to name so many other amazing players. i mean, c'mon, the hawks had 6 olympians and 4 of them were medalists.

point is, they're a young team and they play with amazing heart. you have to respect and admire that.

game 6 ended in probably the most anti-climatic stanley cup win {kane slipped the puck in, but no one seemed to know for sure except him}. it was sort of "yeah, we won! did we win? what... yeah, we won!" i don't care how it happened, it happened. for the first time since 1961.

this season, and more importantly, this stanley cup playoffs run has severly damaged my nerves. the games were so good, so close, so incredibly exciting that i may invest in a defibrillator for next season. but, boy do those deserve the cup. good job blackhawks and happy celebrating, chicago!

also, adam burish, it's good to see a badger with the cup!

{image via chicagoblackhawks}


little notes

dear blackhawks.
i love you. after a fantastic season, you did it, you brought the stanley cup back to chicago. thanks for a season full of thrills and chills. love, your devoted fan.

dear janine.
i'm so glad you moved to chicago. it's such an amazing, charming city, you'll love it. and it'll love you. have fun.

dear mish and bobby.
welcome to a life of love and enchantment. congratulations to you both.

dear marissa.
thank you for such wonderful book suggestions. i just started reading mountains beyond mountains by tracy kidder and it is absolutely amazing.

dear mom and dad.
happy anniversary. one more year of love, laughs and crossword puzzles. congrats and love you both dearly.

{image via weheartit}


things that made my week

warm, sunny days & cool, crisp evenings
my little sister graduating high school
running into old friends
tomato linguini with roasted red pepper sauce
emails from africa
blackhawks wins
watching kites fly on the lake front
maya angelou
reading on the train
bouquets of colorful daisies
cannoli and coffee
a new book at the coffee shop

{image via weheartit}

graduation ceremony

my little sister's graduation ceremony on saturday went well. the speeches were touching and funny, the decorations were beautiful, the music was amazing, the students were thrilled and the field house was hot. overall, it was amazing and i'm incredibly proud of my little sis. {and all of her friends who also graduated}

{she's singing bridge over troubled waters by simon & garfunkel. it's a tradition at our school for the past dozen or so years.}


happy graduation

my little sister isn't so little anymore. i knew this day would come but it always seemed so far away that i never really expected it to arrive. this saturday, my little sister, cecilia claire, graduated from high school. i'm so proud of her. i know she's been busting her but at school lately and i'm glad she'll finally have time to relax and appreciate all of her hard work.

i wanted to do something really cool for her to celebrate this moment but i could only come up with some pretty cheesy "oh, the places you'll go" moments. but that's exactly what i'm feeling now, so i'm going to go with it. i'll be the one tearing up in the bleachers as my little sister crosses the stage and accepts her diploma.

congratulations ceci!


little felt creatures

my mom's artistic. my sister's artistic. it seemed to skip me though. anything, absolutely anything involving artistic creativity and ability, my big sister is good at. a couple months ago, she started needle felting. she's already taught classes at a local art shop and has made a bunch of cute little creatures. {like these} she includes such intricate detail as eye lashes and i can't seem to make the stuff form a ball.

maggie made me an orange, purple and red duckie creature as a thank you for moving her to new york. i absolutely adore him. {what a sweet gesture too, so much more meaningful than a gift card.} she's also made creatures for her nieces' birthdays and others. i think she should also open an etsy shop but i have no idea where she would start with that. i think there are a lot of people who would want to have such an adorable animal around.

i heard she's finishing up natural disasters and moving on to a sloth next. i'm excited to see what other creatures she comes up with.

{all photos by mags}


26.6 miles in 85 degree heat

Sunday morning in Madison, Wisc. was sweltering. Temperatures hit almost 90 degrees with a dew point over 65 and a blazing sun. It. Was. Hot.

So what did we do? Well, seven friends ran the half marathon, two ran the full and one biked about one and a half marathons delivering water to the runners. I can't believe that they actually made it. At one point officials flagged the race as dangerous- they stopped official timing about 4 hours in and, while the water and medical stations remained open, they encouraged runners to stop. {At this point I was sitting under a tree with my friend's 4-month-old, sipping an iced latte and trying to stay cool. Poor little girl.}

My friends who ran the half marathon all finished around the hour two mark; one finished as early as about 1.5 hours. Out of the two marathoners, one rocked it and finished in about 3 hours and 40 minutes, but heat got to the other one a bit more. By mile nine, she said she couldn't breather and had stomach pains. {Many runners faced the same heat exhaustion.} I am very proud to say that, despite the terrible running conditions, she did finish the race in about 5 hours and 40 minutes. This is about 2 hours longer than her previous year in which starting temperatures were about 20 degrees cooler.

I love how much the community got behind the runners. Even if they didn't know any. Their support was incredible and some signs they made were hilarious. My favorites: "That's not sweat, that's your fat cells crying" and "You're no longer a runner, you 're a marathoner." There were also people with a stand at mile 4 handing out beer or bloody marys to runners. {Only in Madison, Wisconsin could you find this. Actually, only in Wisc. would you see people accept their offer.}

My running friends had a few great moments during the race. At mile 10, Lindsey to Sam: "Samantha, I'm not a runner." I guess this earned her a few odd looks from those around. {I bet she wouldn't have said that if it wasn't quite as hot.} Also Lindsey, "Oh my god, I see a hill and I am NOT happy about it." There was no hill. Apparently this was during her delusional phase. Funny.

Surprisingly, even after their intense runs, we all went to Brat Fest and enjoyed a few brats and Capital brews.

Congrats to Alyssa, Betty, Samantha, Lindsey, Gretchen, Lori, Heather, Savannah and Betsy!

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