In Closing...

[I have a lot of catching up to do in the comic department, but this beautiful warm day has given me just enough good feels to get it done. Or at least try.]

I hope you all had a warm, uplifting and satisfactory Christmas/Holiday weekend.
Ours was exhausting but in the best way. Jaxon discovered the magic of Christmas (minus the whole Santa Claus thing, which I may post about later) and Roran just rolled with it, like everything else in his exciting young life.

Despite the plethora of celebrity, family and all around human and animal deaths, never ending car break downs, junk yard and mechanic visits, the painfully abrupt start of the slow (aka DEAD) season where I work, and general adult struggles in the insurance/bills/taxes/credit areas...
2016 wasn't any more devastating than past years, really. Besides, Roran debuting half way through pretty much outshines any loss that would and did inevitably occur.
(As heartbreaking it is to write that while still mourning the sudden loss of the beautiful Princess, Carrie Fisher.)

That being said, I'm not throwing all my chips in for 2017 either. Life has never really worked like that. Sure, we can make resolutions and even stick to them and do our best to make it better, personally. But death cannot be stopped, no matter how much we hope, pray and try to hold it off.
I don't really make a list of resolutions anymore. Not ones that I could and should be doing every day as it is. We should always have goals and dreams. We should always be striving to be better and do better. At least that's how I see it.

That doesn't mean that I won't take this opportunity to reflect, recharge and prepare myself for another long year of everything life will chuck my way. This post is part of that process for me.

At this time last year, we had just announced my second pregnancy, we had just moved into this tiny, old second floor apartment, and Jax had just started speaking phrases and almost real sentences.
Now Roran is almost 6 months old, this apartment is full of stuff but still has bare walls, and Jax is speaking almost as clear as an adult and understands probably too much.
A lot freaking happens in a year.

My physical goals are to say my final goodbye to both the Outback and the Civic and make Josh's Forrester my own, get my mixology certification and RAMP renewed (maybe then I can make a few more bucks until I can work around Josh's schedule), and maybe make my full transition to veganhood (I ditched meat this year and have been slowly finding ways to substitute dairy and other animal products with great results).

My spiritual goals are to learn more about myself and my purpose as an empath and possibly venture into crystal and reiki healing. I have always felt things deeper than some others and even as a child wondered why that made me so different. Until a few short years ago I just assumed something was wrong with me, that I'm just too sensitive and emotional, even though I've never been a full on drama queen. I'm excited to see where that leaves me.

As a mom, I just want to keep Jaxon curious, considerate and everything he is, which is awesome. I want to get better at recording Roran's milestones and both my boys and our little family as a whole. I slacked big time this year for whatever reason and I need to snap out of it. This time is crucial and goes way too fast as it is.

As a girlfriend/wife/partner/bff, I want to keep trying to go above and beyond to appreciate Josh and at least try to give him a glimpse of how wonderful he has been and how much I love and adore him and everything he does for us. He has given me almost 4 fantastic years. I need to step up my game.

These are things I've been working toward anyway, but I'm the kind of person that needs deadlines and start times. It helps keep me focused and motivates my procrastinating butt. It will be interesting to look at this post a year from now and see the progression. Hopefully it will be encouraging.

My advice is to reflect first, set your goals high, but reachable, and share your goals with at least one person who will keep you accountable without judgement or pressure. You don't have to broadcast it, because that may set you up for disappointment, but having someone close to keep you looking forward is something we all could use. And don't be afraid to go big. I try to set one major goal that I've either been putting off or that requires more from me than anything I've faced yet. Small goals are great because reaching them encourages you and keeps you motivated, so always have those. I personally need those accomplishments daily just to not feel powerless and pathetic. But I'm harder on myself than anyone could ever be.

Bottom line, it's not about making a wish list of things you want to have happen. It's about looking back to see how far you've come, and how much farther you can (and will) go. The future is unwritten, therefore hope is always very much alive.

So yeah, I'll say it.
Bring it, 2017.


This Special Time of Year

If you haven't already figured out from my facebook and instagram feed, I am a bit of a tree hugging, meat ditching, baby animal obsessed aspiring vegan and environmental/animal activist hippie.
Although, "activist" might be a bit inaccurate currently.

Don't worry, I'm not going to write an exhausting novel on my personal beliefs and lifestyle goals riddled with statistics and rants and articles and photos of our planet's current state and what we should be doing to change it.

You can get all that from my other social networking outlets. You honestly already should have.

This post is about what I am doing. How I am living out my beliefs and what my eventual goals are as far as activism and life callings go.

I am but a humble 25 year old mother of 2, college dropout and server for a hotel restaurant in a tiny, civil war obsessed tourist town not exactly known for being "progressive."
How in the world do I plan to make even a dent in the infinite life threatening struggles facing our beautiful and spoiled planet?

Josh has his heart set on tortoises, turtles, snakes and reptiles in general. We all know I'm a cat lady.
My dreams are to have an animal rescue and sanctuary for more than just cats and reptiles. I want to save goats, chickens, pigs, sheep, turtles, indigenous souls considered "pests" like raccoons, opossums, groundhogs, squirrels, deer and even snakes, and eventually cows, donkeys and maybe horses. I don't draw the line between exotic, endangered, companion, farm or food. I want to save them all. They are all here living, surviving on and sharing this home with us.

I'm tired of expanding and taking over their only homes in the name of "progress" and "growth" and not being held accountable and taking the responsibility of all of that seriously.
I grew up in a beautiful valley full of all kinds of wildlife and scenery. I used to watch for deer wandering into our backyard to snack on the fallen mulberries from our trees with so much excitement and awe. Now whenever I see one sneaking around my formerly wooded, now super populated neighborhood, I hold back tears and say a quick prayer that their life is long and peaceful and that they stay nearby where it's safer and hopefully hunter free.

Pocahontas is still my favorite Disney "Princess" and movie.
I used to run barefoot through the wooded lots surrounding our house (before they were flattened and replaced with more homes) pretending I was her. Watching for stray cats and abandoned or orphaned baby animals. I've attempted to save and rehabilitate many a victim of my multiple cats' hunting trips.
I was born sensitive and aware.

I'm not going to school to be a vet. I've never felt a pull that direction. Confused? Me too, honestly.
I have this passion, this fire building in my heart to work closely with vets who share my love for life of all kind. To work closely with other rescues, farms and sanctuaries and be a part of a community setting the standards and raising the bar for a purpose filled way of life.

So where does that leave me now?
I'm living in a tiny second floor apartment smack dab in the middle of a town known for their big loud trucks, louder redneck drivers, dairy and meat farms, unemployed obnoxious import driving drug dealers and mid 60's decor masked by endless daycare facilities, antique furniture shops and "art" galleries.
Not exactly the ideal setup for a sanctuary for anything but maybe cockroaches and maybe "stray" (aka abandoned) cats?

Obviously, I'm not in the position I'd like to be in. Not for lack of trying, mind you. Having a second baby, having to abandon a car we just bought 6 months before and then having to finance a new one just to have reliable transport anywhere around this mountain we live on, right before my job's slow season, pretty much sank our dream boat of owning our own property. For now, that is.
I'm not giving up. Not by a long shot. I may not have accomplished a ton in my 25 years, but I have a lot of life left to live, and I have never felt more sure of my purpose. After becoming a mom, I realized that I was meant to be a mom to more than my sons. I have a ton of love to give. I want to give it to those who haven't been able to experience it properly. I may not be a super model, wonder woman mom blogger, but I am a pretty decent cat/baby/toddler/animal mom, at least that's been my experience. 

So for now, I'll be Jaxon and Roran's mom (which I'll always be) first and foremost. I'll raise them to have tender hearts and teach them everything I learn and know about our world and all that inhabit it. I'll keep up with rescues and sanctuaries and tender hearted heroes, I'll donate what I can and keep spreading the word and be a voice to the voiceless. I'll never stop thinking about the babies being torn from their mothers, slaughtered before they can live, treated like just a number, tossed out like trash when their little bodies give out. I'll never forget the look in the eyes of those headed for slaughter, fully aware of the horrors about to unfold for them, all for our convenience and taste buds.
I will never stop FEELING. Never let myself become numb and indifferent. I will never shrug it off and say, "someone else will help them."

One day I will be that someone.

So what does this have to do with you, dear reader?
If you have not gotten around to it yet, check out my vinted closet at

Because for the entire month of December, I will be donating 100% of the proceeds received from my sales to Rancho Relaxo (@boochaces on instagram) and Goats of Anarchy Rescue (@goatsofanarchy on instagram) to help their current rescue efforts.
These ladies have one of the hardest jobs in the world, and they are living my dream, inspiring me daily and reminding me why I am still here and what my goals are.
Please buy something, spread the word, and/or donate directly to them through the links on their instagram profiles.

[Rancho Relaxo and the misfits:]

[All above photos belong to Cait and Rancho Relaxo]

[Goats of Anarchy Special Needs Goat Rescue:]
[All above photos belong to Goats of Anarchy Special Needs Goat Rescue]

This is what I can do now. That's why I'm doing it. It's be best time of year to do it, too.
(Not that there's ever a bad time to give back and bless and help others, of course.)

You don't have to share my feelings and beliefs. You don't have to want the same things I do. We don't all have the same dream, nor should we.
But you CAN shop for yourself, get something cute and know your entire purchase is going to directly benefit a creature in need. You CAN share the love and spread the word and give attention to something other than celebrity gossip and sports statistics.
WE CAN all help be the change.

Santa's not the only one who can give the best gifts....

[Photos coming soon!]


Position Accepted.

I need to learn to stop leaving hints and half promising things for this blog when the only thing I've been consistent with is not following through. With anything.

Mom bloggers must either have a very wealthy husband or someone they pay to write things for them when they can't or don't want to. That's my official theory.

Because I enjoy writing/typing. I enjoy rambling. I enjoy designing my blog and planning out all the fun things I want to do and say. I enjoy hitting that "Publish" button and feeling confident and accomplished.
And I really enjoy the encouraging words I get from friends and readers after they read my silly posts. I'm kind of a needy wimp like that. Shocker, I know.

But how the hell am I supposed to keep any sort of "regular" posting schedule that not only stays relevant but keeps things interesting with giveaways, brand plugs and other goodies for you, the reader, when my car, that I just used my entire savings on in March, breaks down out of nowhere so I suddenly have to drive my two door civic again (that I'm supposed to be selling so I can pay my parents back for what they gave me to help get THAT car when I needed it 4 years ago), I can't catch up on ANY type of savings or even Christmas or birthday money, because I'm barely breaking even after all the bills and grocery shopping (you know, just the essentials, not a bunch of comforts or luxuries) after having Roran, Josh starts working more because his busy season started when my slow season started at work so we have no days off together, not to mention, we're STILL working on getting health insurance for Roran because neither of us get any sort of benefits so we have to get state insurance which takes months of just trying to get the timing right, so he's behind on his checkups and vaccinations which makes me feel like a horrible mother....?

I don't think "pro" mom bloggers have to deal with any of that. I truly don't. They get to stay home and blog and knit and talk about how wonderful motherhood is like it's a Lifetime movie while I'm waking up with a headache every morning and neglecting anything and everything related to myself because I'm 100% only focused on keeping my kids happy and healthy, or dog and reptiles happy and healthy, and attempting to keep this tiny old apartment from being completely destroyed by Jaxon's restless toddler energy tornado. It literally takes all my energy on my days off to care for my kids, keep the pets fed and clean, keep up with laundry and dishes, clean up enough that you can still find the seats in the living room and have a clear path to the bathroom, and maintain any sort of grocery list and dinner menu. If my house looks neglected it's because I have days I am drained before I even get out of bed so I scrape up what I can and use that to keep my toddler fed and busy and my baby fed and changed. 

I forget to eat. When I do remember to eat, it's usually a piece of Halloween candy or a small handful of goldfish or cereal. I go days without showers because if my kids don't happen to be napping at the same time, it just doesn't happen. I am alone with them 4-5 days in a row every week, and only see Josh before he leaves for work in the morning and after he finally gets home, usually after 8:00. I look forward to seeing him so I can finally rest, which is usually why I'm in bed shortly after he gets home and eats. He stopped asking me about the apartment and I stopped asking him to stop for things at the store on his way home.

My life is not hard. My life is stagnant.

Except for my kids.
Jaxon drives me nuts with his endless energy and constant curiosity, but he's also my little knight who notices when I'm spread thin and at the end of my rope and looks at me with his ice blue eyes and I know he can feel me and he stops and hugs me.
Roran worries me with his rolling and vulnerability and I cry every time I let the dark depressing thoughts about my milk supply in, but his bird noises and dimples when he smiles every time I talk to him melt any darkness from my being, even if just for a moment.

I know it won't be like this forever. I know that Josh and I will find a way because we always do. I know that I'll look back and treasure the moments I have with my kids and the time we spend together.

And if waving as the holidays pass me by, sacrificing days off together, and backing away from Facebook is what I need to do to get through this chapter with my health and sanity in tact, then that is exactly what I will do.

Now back to changing diapers and keeping Jax away from our tiny, not yet decorated Christmas tree.......


I Don't Feel It

Not ready to work today. Not ready for Halloween. Not ready to plan Christmas shopping.

Just not feeling much for any of these things and I don't know why. I miss my excitement for life. I live in a constant state of anxiety and worry and life really isn't that bad but I just feel like I'm drowning and can't catch my breath.

I know it's a combination of pressure from myself, from social media and from the stress of responsibilities so I guess I'll be distancing myself from Facebook and others for a while. It's gotten to the point where I'm so overwhelmed with how behind I am on blog posts, vinted posts, bills, finding a car and desperately trying to hang on to my milk supply, that my stress is literally making me physically sick. My body is dry my face is oily, I'm always cold and aching, my hair is still falling out and my bloated tummy is constantly in knots making me feel nauseous.
Nothing feels right. Not this apartment, not my job, not this town, not the weather.

I keep my kids fed, dressed, clean and alive.
That's it. That's all I got.

I'd love to take them to pick pumpkins and dress them up to go trick or treating and buy them new clothes for winter and bake them cookies and meet up with friends for play dates or drinks. But I'm broke, exhausted and mentally and emotionally shut down.

So yeah. No "I told you so's" or advice or pity necessary. I need to be quiet and distant for a little while. It may not help but at this point I doubt it will make it worse.



Just Another Day In The Life

Still can't decorate the way I want to. Still can't afford a vacation. Still behind on projects and blog posts. Still can't get more than one room cleaned. Still not getting enough sleep. Still can't energize myself enough to show decent physical affection. Still have these stupid dream catchers taking up space and reminding me of all the time and money I somehow manage to waste even though I still can't accomplish anything except sometimes I get my contacts in and my teeth brushed.
Still have NO clue what I'm supposed to do with my life and "gifts/talents" or how to even try.

Still the black sheep. Still don't care. Still don't regret anything that led to my own little family.

Still alive. Still physically healthy.
Still, by some miracle, trying.

Still trying.


Mombie Life Is Real

I'm alive, guys.
Oh wait, you know that. Duh.

Let me just say that anyone that thinks "maternity leave" or any time off of work after a mom has a baby, is just a glorified vacation, can kindly fall down a slide made of razor blades and land in a vat of alcohol.

(That's my way of saying that I was stupid to think I could satisfy the needs of a newborn, chase a two year old, maintain a safe and somewhat clean home, care for 5 reptiles and a dog and continue to regularly post on this blog.)

So, sorry for neglecting you. I'm not going to make any more promises. Hopefully as Roran grows and sleeps more, and I can afford to make some improvements to my organization and sanity, I can get into some sort of routine again.

But again, no promises.

Roran is doing great, and I have good days and bad. I'm usually good when I'm showered and get my coffee, but otherwise I'm generally overwhelmed and slightly depressed. My boys are my joy and keep me going. Also, Josh helps sometimes so that's cool.

Back to pumping, feeding, chasing and yearning for sleep!


Beyond Beef Chili and Potatoes

If you weren't already aware, (and you'd only be unaware if you weren't following me on any other social media site) I am a huge animal welfare advocate as well as an advocate for the welfare and health of our planet and thus, us humans. I am what some would call a "tree hugger" because I am not okay with a lot of practices and how things are currently being done, particularly in the meat and dairy industries. I believe (based on information, evidence, recordings, footage and personal experiences that you can check out yourself through my facebook posts) there needs to be major changes made, or needs to be done away with completely, for the sake of us, the animals and our lovely planet. I also believe the best and healthiest way to accomplish this, at least for those of us who don't hold more "powerful" positions, is by not buying or consuming those products.

I'm an aspiring, work-in-progress, soon to be vegan, okay? There. Now let's move on.

Before I lose you because of "shoving my food choices and beliefs down your throat" (just wanted to give some sort of intro), here is my recipe for the Most Bangin' Vegan Chili I've ever made.

My ingredients:
For The Chili:
> 1 bag of BeyondMeat "Beef" (or your favorite Plant Protein Crumbles)
> Various Sweet & Spicy Peppers from my boyfriend's garden (I used 2 "Bullhorn" Italian Peppers and 1 "Cherry Bomb" pepper, but 1 Green and 1 Red Bell Peppers would be perfect)
> 1-2 cans of Beans (I used black and normally I throw in either red kidney beans, pinto beans or butter beans, cause I love beans, but I only had black beans this time for some reason)
> 1 12oz can of Tomato Sauce
> 1/2 Yellow/Cooking Onion
> 1-2 Tbsp Chili Powder (Eh, sprinkle to taste, and don't skimp)
> 1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper (for heat)

For The Potatoes:
> 4-6 Potatoes (you choose the size and quantity)
> Margarine 
> Almond or Coconut Milk
> Ground Black Pepper
*Optional - Dairy Free Sour Cream

 Peel and cut the potatoes into small chunks or cubes and place in pot of water and bring to a boil.
Cook on medium/high for about 20 minutes.

Throw the crumbles in a skillet/pan/wok with a spoonful of margarine or your favorite vegan butter and heat on Medium/High for about 5 minutes or until it starts smelling yummy ;)
Toss in diced and sliced onions and peppers. Cook for another 5 minutes to cook in all that yummy flavor.

Add tomato sauce and beans and stirrrrr it all together.

Finish with sprinkling in the chili powder and cayenne. Stir and let simmer while you finish the mashed potatoes.

Drain the potatoes and mash, adding in margarine and milk to taste (don't go overboard with the milk unless you like soupy potatoes)
*optional - stir in a scoop of sour cream.

Season with the black pepper.

Serve the chili over the potatoes and enjoy!

I will definitely be making this regularly because it's really good and I could eat chili every day of the week. In fact, one day soon I'm hoping to enter my chili into one of the local chili cook offs because....well why not? Who doesn't love a good cook off all about chili and beer??

Let me know how it turns out for you and any mods you made. That's probably what I love most about chili; it's completely customizeable and always turns out delicious!!

Comment below if you have any questions, ideas or feedback on your chili!! I'd LOVE to hear and see what you lovelies come up with!



Roran Alexander

Almost an entire month later, I am FINALLY posting again!

I initially took a break just because being 38 weeks pregnant was freaking uncomfortable and I didn't want to think about anything except having this stinkin baby.

Well, at exactly 3:00pm on Friday, July 1st, 2016, Roran Alexander Markle finally made his debut.

I began having contractions the night before, but they were spaced out by 3+ hours and weren't super noticeable until the morning. We decided to go somewhere I could do some walking to get things moving. We planned to go shopping in Gettysburg because it was kind of a half way point from our place to the hospital we preferred to go to. Along the way we stopped at Walmart and then my parents' house. My contractions were getting closer together by this time. They were about 6-7 minutes apart when we left Walmart and were at 3 minutes and much stronger by the time we were at my parents. 

Why we were so nonchalant about this, knowing how quickly things happened with Jaxon, is truly beyond me. We should have gone directly to York Hospital first thing, with it being over an hour away and my history of quick birth[s]. Looking back now, I was literally less than 10 minutes away from having to give birth in the car.

I've never been one to obsess over a particular "birth plan",  but that probably would have ruined a few things for me, mentally and physically.
Thank God we made it in time.

Let me share with you exactly what I mean by that. I'll give you a play by play.

Josh pulled up to the emergency area and got out to help me and was greeted by a valet who told him he'd park his car and where he was to go. Meanwhile I step out of the car and see a young nurse with a wheelchair ready for me. I sit down and she steers me directly inside, asking me how far along I am, how close the contractions are, etc. I didn't see Josh and Jax again until I got to the check in desk. Luckily, he was able to answer their questions while I was directed to an examination room where I changed into the cute hospital gown I'd be wearing for a whole 20 minutes.

As I was changing, my contractions were almost constant, incredibly painful and began causing me to make noises I had no control over. I demanded Josh take Jaxon out of the room and told him to get someone in here ASAP because this baby was coming NOW.

I laid down on the bed and gripped the mattress as I was surrounded by three nurses, a doctor and a midwife. I struggled not to scream as I told them that it felt like I had to poop and my body was beginning to push on its own. No time for an epidural, no time for an IV, no time to even get all my insurance or medical history or even my hair up.

One of the nurses wanted to move me to a "birthing table" instead of the bed, but the doctor said, "nope, no time. Get me mats and tools. This is happening now."

She checked me, said I felt ready, stuck a wand up to break my water for me, and I knew the drill after that, or at least my body did. I threw my knees up to my chest and the screaming and pushing began.

We got to the hospital at 2:50. Roran was plopped on my chest at 3:00.

Weighing in at 5lbs, 6oz and 17 &1/2 in long, Roran was an even tinier canon ball than Jaxon, and Jaxon was 5 weeks early. Smaller head, smaller body, darker hair and perfect all over.

Hopefully that wasn't too graphic for you. I know some folks have crazy horror stories about their birthing experiences and I know they love to share every gory detail. Mine just happened way too fast for any of that, I guess.

It happened so fast, I honestly didn't fully catch up for almost the entire 2 days we spent at the hospital. For having such a similar birth experience to my previous one, our stay at the hospital after was completely different. With Jax, we spent almost 2 weeks in the NICU because he was considered preemie and had some breathing issues for the first 24 hours, and he had trouble latching on and getting the sucking motion down when it came to breast feeding initially. That whole story is for another time, though.

As tiny as he is, Roran has been a champion feeder since his first latch at 2 minutes old, had no breathing issues and aced all his tests and pricks like a pro. He was also much nicer to my body on the way out too, which I appreciated. 

Now, almost 2 weeks later, I'm sitting on the couch typing while Jax is napping, Josh is running errands and Roran is in his bouncer swaddled, full and content. I honestly haven't had peace like this in these entire two weeks until now. I've been feeding, pumping, changing, snuggling and smooching. 

Jaxon was hesitant at first of course, but has since become very aware and even protective of his "baby" as he calls him. I was prepared for a jealous battle but so far he has been incredibly supportive and gentle through the whole process. Sometimes he tries to be a little too helpful, but he means well and I'm so glad he does. He's still a 2 year old, though, so the fit throwing, hitting and screaming is still going strong, but at least it's not about the baby, I guess. 

It's been an exhausting adjustment period for me, and it's certainly not even close to being over, but I adore my boys and am incredibly blessed and grateful to have such healthy, perfect babies, especially Roran, being the second born, because he has made the transition so much smoother than I expected. I know it will get worse, than better, than worse again and eventually better, because I remember Jaxon's growth phases. But I'm enjoying my time taking it all in, and am looking forward to everything yet to come.

My family is complete and I couldn't be happier.


Nerd Girl Crush Part 1

This has been a long time coming, I suppose.

If you've followed me or been a friend of mine (through social media or otherwise) for really any length of time, you've probably made the observation that I have a thing for the super villain-turned new wave obsession that is Harley Quinn.

Besides the fact that her solo New 52 series is what started my comic collecting, I have been captivated by her antics since I first saw her appear in the older Batman series on TV that I watched every single day after elementary school. You know the one I'm referring to.

I'm sure you've also been able to observe by now the fanatical obsession with her and her many many outfits, personas and rewritten appearances has become....annoying, for lack of a nicer word.
As much as I hate being associated with every hot pants wearing, inflatable hammer wielding, maniacal giggling teenage girl who thinks being a psychopath is cute and her boyfriend would make the perfect Joker just so she can get away with terrible clown makeup and torn fishnets at comicon......I still adore miss Harleen Quinzel with all my heart.

I'm not saying I'm more of a fan, or any better than any other fan of HQ. I mean, I've dressed up like her too, with my then boyfriend as the Joker, for Halloween. It happened, it was perfect and I rocked it. No regrets.

I'll just get down to it. Here is my list of reasons why I am, and will probably always be, a Harley Quinn Fan.

#1. She is a work in progress.
In the New 52 series of hers, she starts out in a shipping container full of junk hiding from the world. She then gets word that a former cellmate from Arkham Asylum has recently passed and left her his entire business and property along Coney Island, NY.
Her entire series is about her starting over. She pushes herself to her limits and beyond to maintain and save her new home and business on top of trying to fulfill her childhood dream of being a real superhero. With Joker in Arkham, she is free to be who she chooses to be and she chooses to try to be a hero this time around. Obviously she's far from perfect and still has plenty of psycho killer and twisted maniac sides of herself to battle with, and sometimes she loses. She's got a long way to go, but she's on the right track and it's so much fun being along for the ride.

#2. She shares my heart for the less fortunate.
Namely, animals. She loves animals. She is still a psychiatrist, after all, and is a sucker for sad stories and screwed up innocence. When she sees injustice or abuse, she does something about it. It may not always be what Batman would do, but she tries.

#3. She got rid of the toxicity in her life.
A huge part of her new life is learning to live without the Joker. She recognizes the manipulation and toxic nature of their former relationship and has removed herself from the whole thing. Just a few months before starting this series, I went through a very similar transition myself. I didn't exactly take same approach of beating up my ex in prison like she did (though I probably could have, if I was a badass psycho like she is), but I certainly relate to her struggles and ultimate victory over her past and determination for the future. She may not be the best role model, but that is inspiring to me.
#4. She's severely underrated in the intelligence department.
Before she was a bleached skinned fatale, she was (and still is) a psychiatrist with a doctorate and an impressive resume. Kinda like Pamela Isley (Poison Ivy), but with less...focus. People always seem to forget that her real title is Doctor Harleen Quinzel, so you can't really blame her when she takes it personally that so many folks treat her like a bimbo. She may dress like one at times, but what's wrong with a girl having a little expressive fun with her wardrobe, really?
#5. She's a big beautiful ball of fun!
I totally understand her appeal and don't blame anyone for falling head over heels for her. She's got style, she's got confidence, she's smart, she's sexy, she's got a soft heart despite her twisted past, and she's an all around badass. There's so much more to her than corsets and oversized hammers, but there's also plenty of those too, so the combination makes for a highly entertaining and not boring adventure for everyone! She's misunderstood, but is totally worth obsessing over.

I want to make clear that I am strictly referring to the Harley Quinn of DC's New 52 solo series. Not Suicide Squad Harley, Injustice Harley or any other appearance/series. Though I'm sure most if not all of these points still apply. I enjoy the "new" Harley because to me she is a revamped version of the silly, psycho yet lovable puddin' loving Harley Quinn of my childhood. She is the closest to what I'd imagine myself to be if I was some sort of super hero, and I relate to so many aspects of her personality and life. 
So no matter how many times they recreate her in comics, cartoons and movies, all I know is I can't help it. I'm a huge Harley fan!


That Yak Life

I may be 33+ weeks pregnant with a history of ultra healthy but premature birth, but you hand me a paddle on a gorgeous day and I'm plopping in that kayak faster than you can say, "water birth".
(well, maybe not that fast, considering I resemble a weeble at the moment...but you get the point.)

I credit my love for the river life to my better half, just don't tell him I told you so.
I grew up terrified of boats and open water. I still get nervous on the ocean and prefer to stay on the shore for the most part. Rivers are different, though. The Monocacy, in particular, is very different. It's muddy brown, shallow and therefore a little foul smelling. But after a day or so of rain, it's a lazy river perfect for floating along enjoying the sun and taking in all the wildlife. It's my favorite way to slow down and breathe. I don't kayak to race, exercise (although it is a great way to tone your arms and abs) or fight any white waters. I prefer to take my time and forget that cars, factories, power lines and paved roads even exist.

We recently bought two new kayaks and couldn't wait to break them in. Jaxon rides with Josh and I get to maneuver around my own internal passenger. Jaxon is learning to really love it too. He's been taking trips on the river with us since he was a little over a month old, starting in his carrier in the canoe and now has adjusted to the balancing act of kayaking. He loves when we hit stronger currents and bump into rocks.
He's gonna be a coaster boy, for sure.

 (I was in the middle of eating a granola bar....just to explain my momentary lack of enthusiasm in this photo that Josh so thoughtfully took..)

Last Saturday we had what I consider the perfect kayak trip. It took place later in the afternoon, when the hot sun was on its way down, it didn't get dark until well after we pulled and packed the kayaks back up, and the trip itself wasn't too short and disappointing or too long and exhausting. We saw some wild animals, avoided most of the bugs, didn't get stuck in shallow spots and even found a lost blue ball that we passed back and forth along the way.

I'm hoping I get at least one more good trip in before this little maniac arrives. With how much I'm on my feet at work, plus the stresses that go along with it, in addition to my home projects, car issues, baby preparations and still trying to get this blog thing going....
Only two things fully help me de-stress and manage my anxiety and discomfort.
1. Crochet
2. Kayaking

Reading good comics and petting cats doesn't hurt either, though.
My next goal is to get the equipment necessary to make my Nikon water proof so I can start dipping my toes back into my nature photography. I miss it desperately and it goes hand in hand with that 'yak life.