A Christian’s view on Gay Rights

I know, some of you are probably already fired up by that title.  But I’d like to forewarn you, this is not what you think.  So before ya’ll get pissy with me, read on.

I’ll start by saying this: I was raised in a Christian home.  But we didn’t go to church.  Some left-wing Christians are probably cringing already…  My parents were of an opinion that the churches they were going to as young adults were just not the right fit for them.  Mainly, because the churches they were going to were very opinionated.  Very much so turning into country clubs.  If you didn’t wear a new outfit every week to church, you weren’t considered a good Christian.  Whatever happened to ‘come as you are’?

But alas, I was raised in a Christian home.  We prayed before dinner.  We prayed before bed.  We prayed when we felt like it.  I was taught the ten commandments.  I was taught basic principles on how to treat others and ironically all of that was pretty congruent with the basics of Christianity.

I don’t consider myself perfect.  I KNOW I make mistakes, sometimes many a day.  I don’t claim to know anything big about the Bible (I only recently learned that I am supposed to capitalize the ‘B’ in Bible.)  I know some of the more basic stories: Adam and Eve, Jesus’s birth and crucifixion.  But that’s pretty much it on what I could tell from memory.

But I do know, one of the main things I try to practice everyday is: “Do not judge”.  I don’t know the whole verse, but it’s something along the lines of we as humans are not supposed to judge, that’s God’s job.  Hey, I’m down with that, one less thing I have to do on a regular basis.

So when it comes to everything going on lately with gay marriages (our state just recently passed a law ok-ing gay marriage), I don’t think I should have an opinion on it.  But I do.  In an opposite way.

My opinion is this: Why are we, AS CHRISTIANS, getting involved?!?!?!

I think as a Christian, following that basic principle, I don’t think it’s any of my damn business who wants to marry who.  True, I am happily married to a man (and I am a woman).  It’s not for me, because I love my husband.  But I’m basically told not to worry about it (Thou shalt not judge).  So I don’t.

Has anyone out there ever learned a second language?  Even if you did in high school?  I think one of the main things that struck me as odd was that when learning a second language, words get so jumbled sometimes.  Take “I love you” for example.  In Spanish, it is said ‘te amo’.  Which, quite literally, if you break down the words, ‘te’ means you, and ‘amo’ means owner.  ‘You owner’?  WTF?  Who got ‘I love you’ out of ‘You owner’?

With that I would challenge anyone who wants to argue that there is a verse or story or whatever in the Bible that says gays are bad.  How many times has the Bible been translated exactly?  And in how many different languages?  Maybe we have it all wrong.  Maybe we are all screwing up big time.

It’s so upsetting to me to see Christians storming the capital because of all of these recent laws being passed.  What kind of a message are we sending to others that aren’t Christians?  If I wasn’t, I think I would be scared to death to even THINK of attending a church service.  When an example such as this is being put in front of me, why would I consider opening myself up to this kind of very evil judgement.  How would I know what to wear?  “Maybe they don’t like black, so maybe I should wear a flowered dress instead.  But maybe….  maybe that would be too bright?  I could wear white?  But, that might not be right either.  What if I just go naked?”  We all know how THAT would go over….

PLEASE fellow Christians, stop!  You will give yourselves a lot less headaches if you just let it go.  Know that it isn’t for us to decide what is right and wrong.  And know that the Bible may just be a little flawed, because of translations.  Be kind to one another.  That’s all that’s really important.  If I’ve offended anyone by anything I’ve said, then good.  Because if this offends you, I’m not sure you could consider yourself a true Christian.  Maybe you’re not a Christian, if it offends you I would say you’re a mean person.  And those are the kind of people I do not want my daughter growing up around.  So, go away.

❤ Erin

OBX Packing List

Funny thing happened the other day.  I was at my BJ’s and the cashier and I somehow landed on the topic of our vacations for the summer.  She, ironically, is going to OBX the week before me!

Just got me wondering how many people really do go to OBX every year?  If you do, I would love to hear your comments below.  Where have you stayed?  Any cool restaurants you’ve found?  Best crabbing spot?

I know there is a large following of OBX-ers.  And it’s almost like an exclusive club you are welcomed into with open arms after your first visit.

So without further adieu, I welcome you to OBX.  The final packing list is here, that you should (hopefully) be able to print out.  Please remember as well that you can refer back to any and all of the previous posts, regarding clothing, miscellaneous items, personal items, and household items, beach bag tips, as well as some beginner’s helpful hints.

If you are just stopping by for the list, please know that I went over in detail what is on the list with a lot of helpful hints along the way.  We’re not talking a full-blown book here.  Just a few words of to-the-point ideas in terms of packing.

THE MASTER LIST

Safe travels my friends!  I look forward to hearing of your adventures!

❤ Erin

OBX Packing List-MISCELLANEOUS

There’s always a few miscellaneous things that don’t really have a category.  So, they fit in here!

A word about some of this stuff: often we will use the extra space in our suitcase for a lot of these items, but they don’t always ALL fit.  Enter: another LLBean tote bag (yes, I should probably just have bought out LLBean’s travel section by now…).  We frequently have at least one, sometimes two, tote bags filled with ‘extras’.

Once again, tailor these lists to your own family.  Some things you may need on here, others may be a total waste of time for you.

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS:

  • change/cash-keep in the car, depending on what way you go to the OBX, you may have toll roads.
  • an extra set of keys-don’t keep this in your car.  C normally keeps one set that we use full-time, and I throw an extra set in my purse/bag/wallet
  • print-out of your reservations-includes your reservation number and often where you are supposed to check-in, put these in the car a few days ahead of time, that way you know they are there.
  • directions/maps/GPS-depending on your situation.  We have been there so many times now that we don’t really need directions anymore.  A week before we map quest it, and just write down the route numbers and that is normally enough for us.  If you have a smartphone, you can get directions on there too.  But if it’s your first trip, make sure to get a map or print out directions too, because you never know where dead spots are along the way.
  • driver’s licenses/car registration info/car insurance info-WE have never gotten pulled over, but when I was a teenager driving home with my dad, my mom, who was driving ahead of us was pulled over.  Actually, come to think of it, there was another time she was pulled over too when we were coming home….
  • camera
  • iPad/laptop/e-reader/iPods, etc
  • chargers for aforementioned electronics and cell phones-it’s a good idea, too, to have a car charger with
  • batteries-this is a hit or miss thing.  Some kids toys need batteries and it’s always good to have extra, but you might not need this
  • flashlight/nightlights-good for kids, keep in mind they are going to be sleeping in an unfamiliar place and likely will be in their own room.  Good for you too, those late night bathroom trips are a little tricky if you’re not used to your surroundings.
  • pens/paper-seems silly, until you have to write a quick shopping list
  • books/magazines/games-in other words, entertainment.  We’ve been very lucky to not have REALLY bad rainy days on our vacations, but you just never know!
  • pillows/blankets-I don’t know about you, but we’re kind of funny about our pillows.  And taking a throw blanket along is always nice too, for watching a movie in the evening

Anything to add to this list?

Come back tomorrow for the FULL list!

❤ Erin

OBX Packing List-BEACH

Here’s the FUN part!  Packing for the beach!

I compiled this list to also include things that you might want at your house as well.  Maybe there is a day that the surf is terrible and you don’t want your kids in it.  Maybe the kids are asleep and you want to hang out in your pool and/or hot tub.  BTW I HIGHLY recommend a place with a pool if you have little kids, especially little kids who have not yet been to the beach.  You never know how they will react to the sand, the wind, the crashing of the waves.  Some kids will get a kick out of it, but then there might be others who freak out and won’t let you put them down in the sand.  That will make for a very long week if you are not prepared.  You never know how a kid is going to react to something new, so be prepared.

We have a HUGE beach bag that I got years ago from LLBean.  And although we rarely use it any other time of the year, that sucker is a Godsend at the beach.  It is the biggest you can get and we can throw all kinds of beach towels, toys, sunscreen, snacks, etc in there.

I also recommend when you are packing to pack all of your beach related stuff in your beach bag.  It makes it a heck of a lot easier to find things when you get there.  And keeping in mind too, that a lot of places don’t have check-in start until 3pm.  I don’t know about you, but that first day I don’t want to be sitting in my car even longer after having driven for 8 hours to get there.  I want to go to the beach!  If all of your beach gear is at an easily accessible spot, you can easily change to bathing suits and hit the beach BEFORE checking in.  And the kids can burn off some steam after having been in the car for so long.  So here goes:

BEACH BAG:

  • bathing suits
  • beach towels
  • beach blanket
  • sunscreen-tailor to your family, we typically have three different kinds of sunscreen for the three of us.
  • lip balm-with SPF
  • snacks
  • spray bottle with water-good for spritzing salt water off your face after taking a dip
  • sunglasses
  • snacks

OTHER BEACH ITEMS (NOT IN BAG):

  • small mesh bag with beach toys
  • shovel-your kids will thank you for digging them a hole to put water in, to play in, etc
  • pool toys-floaties, rings to swim for, etc, anything to entertain the kids
  • beach umbrella or small shade tent
  • sled-for going to and fro 
  • beach chairs

Am I missing anything?  What else have you found that makes it fun at the beach?

❤ Erin

OBX Packing List-FOOD & HOUSEHOLD ITEMS

Herein starts Day 4 of our packing journey.

As I said before, I think it is imperative to decide what you’re meal schedule will be like, whether you are going with others or not.  And also, to plan ahead for your first few days as well.  The grocery stores are going to be crazy full and you want to avoid them at all costs, at least for the first few days.

Also, keeping in mind that the grocery stores are picked out when you get there, if there is something that you absolutely cannot live without, you need to make sure you bring it with you.  For example: we have a certain kind of ham we like for sandwiches, and even at home we have trouble finding it.

I generally make 2 shopping lists.  The first one is of things that I would take from home, and things needed for our first few meals.  The second list is my shopping list for while we are there.

For a lot of homes that you go to on OBX, you have to bring a lot of our own things from home.  They don’t typically provide things you need on a regular basis.  For example: dish soap.  But, typically you don’t always use an entire bottle of dish soap while you are there and you’re going to end up bringing it back home with you.  Get creative with storage ideas.  If you’re a mom, you’ve likely used bottles at some point, or even breast milk storage containers.  They are PERFECT for putting in enough dish soap to get you through the week.  I’ll try to add in some other tips and tricks along the way.

FOOD:

  • salt & pepper-we have a plastic set from tupperware that we use, but you easily could buy a set from the dollar store and just put tape over the holes.
  • spices/condiments-same as above, buy yourself a few packs of salt and paper shakers and put any spices you may need in them/use bottles/breastmilk containers if you only need a little bit of a condiment, otherwise just bring bottle

OPTIONAL FOOD ITEMS:

  • bottled water
  • cereal bars-better than cereal, because you don’t need to bring milk
  • snacks
  • drinks (juice boxes, coke cans, etc)
  • hot dogs/hamburgers/cheese/buns-good for your first few days, freeze these items the night before you leave, which will not only provide you built in ice packs, but will keep from spoiling longer
  • coffee and filters-better than buying a pack of 50 filters that you have to bring back home with you

HOUSEHOLD ITEMS:

  • dish soap-in breastmilk bottle
  • ***dish towels/washcloths-if you’re running short on time, just go to the dollar store and buy cheap ones, if you’re planning ahead look for good deals at Kohl’s/TJMaxx, etc
  • dishwasher soap/packs-in breastmilk bottle, or ziploc baggie, if packs
  • laundry detergent/softener-we get Purex 3-in-1 laundry sheets anytime we go on vacation, it’s a lot easier to pack.  No, my laundry doesn’t smell or feel the same, but we’re on vacation.
  • paper towels
  • toilet paper
  • paper napkins
  • Ziplock baggies-beach snacks, I often will take a large gallon sized bag and put several snack size and sandwich size in the large bag, squeeze the air out and it will store flat
  • saran wrap-for leftovers
  • All-Purpose cleaner/clorox wipes-we’ve had some questionable living quarters in the past, always good to have some easy cleaning solutions on hand
  • garbage bags-another thing you don’t want to have to buy a full box of when there
  • hand soap-buy little travel size bar soaps at the dollar store
  • kitchen accessories-if there is something you cannot cook without bring it with.  It’s often hit or miss as to whether some of the places have everything you need
  • sheets/towels-sounds silly, but we have a large Rubbermaid container that houses our towels and sheets from year to year.  I wash them before we go and put them back in the container and in the truck they go for vacation.  We also put a lot of our toiletries in this container too (in plastic baggies), so that we have more room in our suitcase, and so that they don’t get ‘squished’ in our suitcase.
  • ***plastic sled-for the sand, instead of renting a beach buggy for a week
  • crockpot/disposable crockpot bags-for quick and easy meals
  • hand sanitizer-Target’s up&up brand is great and they’re like $0.79 each.  We keep a ton in the car, and I always have at least one in my purse.
  • plastic cups/paper plates-we typically will just spend the money and buy these to take with.  There may be a dishwasher available in your house, but c’mon, you’re on vacation, isn’t it a lot easier to just throw out your plate when your done?

Anything you want to add?

❤ Erin