life, pop culture

Must See Tour: Green Day’s Revolution Radio

When it comes to music, I have always been the kind of person who listens to a little bit of everything. Sure, I have favorite bands, but I am always up for attending any concert that comes to town. When it was announced that Green Day would be coming to my area, I knew that I wanted to be in attendance.

While I had never been a hard-core Green Day fan, I genuinely enjoyed their music and appreciated that Billie Joe Armstrong penned the lyrics to their songs. However, I will admit that I had not listened to every song of theirs, but was a fan of the typical radio-played songs.

For Valentine’s Day, my husband gifted me PIT tickets to the show. Due to traffic, we didn’t get to the show as early as we would have liked, but we still ended up very close to the stage. The awesome view made the night that much better.

We sang, we danced, and we screamed when Billie Joe Armstrong directed us to do so. Best of all, though, we came away with a new appreciation for Green Day. Not only were they beyond entertaining, but the tickets were well-worth the money we spent. The most amazing part of the show was to watch the interaction between the band and the fans. Billie Joe Armstrong pulled many fans on stage to sing with them and even brought a guitar-playing fan on stage to play.

I have been to many shows and even met the members of my favorite band, but this Green Day concert is by far the most memorable and my favorite concert that I have attended.



Now What?

This blog has been online for several years now, but how often do I post? Not regularly, that is for sure. The reason I rarely post is because most of the time I am writing in my head, but never take the time to sit down and actually type out my thoughts. Being the mother of two boys, my days are fast paced and busy so, by the time I sit down, all I want to do is crush some candy or catch up on my reading.

Prior to having two kids, I was able to write often, but not the kind of writing that made me happy. My days were filled with Teen Mom gossip and I would often wake up in the middle of the night to write an article. My second pregnancy was filled with complications and by the time little Auggie arrived, I knew that I needed to slow down and focus on my family more so than ever.

I stepped back from writing shortly after he was born. We homeschool so I threw myself into that even more than I had before. I have enjoyed having time to pursue other interests such as crafting and couponing, but I have missed writing so much. Friends have told me to blog, but about what? I don’t have any interesting thoughts (I don’t think so, anyway) and, even if I did, would I have the time to sit down and write them out for people to read?

Interestingly, I decided to get back into blogging a few hours ago, but the spark has been there for a few days. Recently, I have started researching for a novel that I hope to start writing next month. That research led me to where I have been extensively researching my family tree (that will not be in my novel, it is just a fun side project that popped up randomly) which had me thinking about blogging.

When I turned on my computer tonight, it wasn’t to blog, at least not on my own site. I am an administrator on another blog for which I keep updated and I intended on doing that. Instead, after a day on Pinterest and viewing other fun blogs, I realized that I can do what other stay-at-home moms do and I can do it just as good. My goal now is to take my love of writing and house it here in some form.

Let’s do this.


So Long, Celebrity Gossip

Update: Tonight is the Teen Mom 2 season premiere. I decided to switch gears with my writing a few weeks ago and, as a result, will not be covering anything from the new season or Teen Mom related. My focus is now creative writing.

Writing is my passion and has been since I was a child. Hollywood has always been my second passion. The celebrity culture has intrigued me from a young age and I always yearned to be as close to it as possible.

One thing I never saw myself doing, though, was writing celebrity gossip. Being a gossip writer isn’t exactly respected nor does it require a lot of talent. However, I fell into a job writing celebrity gossip quite some time ago and I was never able to pull myself out of the abyss.

With so much negativity, I made it a point to keep anything that I wrote positive… do you know how exhausting that can become? My main focus was the reality television show franchise Teen Mom. My positive articles helped me to get to know some of the cast members. While wonderful, this made writing about them even harder. When you see a headline and you know that it is embellished, it makes it hard to write about it at all. In fact, the negativity had become so much that I found myself forcing myself to write. My passion had become an obligation and something I no longer enjoyed. I never wanted writing to become that to me so I quit the celebrity gossip scene.

It has been hard, but at the same time, it has been fantastic. I have more time to spend with my sons and a more positive outlook. I also have many more opportunities for my talents and although I haven’t made a clear decision on what I want to do or where I want to go with my writing, I know I made the right choice.



Live Like You Are Dying

When the song Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw came out on the radio years ago, I remember thinking it was kind of morbid. Why on earth would someone need to be told they are dying in order to start living? Well, like most things, I suppose it is one of those things that you need to experience in order to fully understand.

At 20 weeks of pregnancy, I was told I had preeclampsia. This diagnosis was made off of protein in my urine and nothing else. My blood pressure was fine and I felt fine. I had gone to the emergency room after a day of binge eating Burger King. My blood pressure was slightly elevated, but not past the 140/90 threshold needed to diagnose the illness. That, along with a headache I was having (likely due to the immense amount of fast food I had consumed) and the leaky protein earned me a stay in the hospital. While they were getting everything ready, I vomited everywhere and immediately felt amazing and ready to go home. However, they weren’t willing to send me home.

Over the next few weeks and months, we were on a roller coaster. Some doctors were certain I had the disorder while others were on the fence. At the end of the day, they knew something was wrong, but what?  Frantic, we cancelled our highly anticipated Christmas trip to Texas in fear that my “preeclampsia” would worsen and I would take a turn for the worse.

That is the thing about preeclampsia. You can have it and feel fine, but wake up one day on the verge of HELLP Syndrome, both you and your unborn baby barely hanging on. This is how serious pre-e can be and it is scary when you are told you have it. Am I going to wake up in the middle of the night with my blood pressure near stroke levels and need to be rushed to the ER? Will I still be alive tomorrow when my husband gets home from work or will I be passed out on the floor due to this?

These were the questions that ran through my mind and it didn’t help that every doctor I visited told me something different. Why didn’t I see the same doctor each time? Well, my hospital just doesn’t work like that and it is a shame. They do the best they can, but with so many patients, it makes it difficult to be able to see the same doctor each visit. I was classified as high risk so that did help my case in that, near the end of the pregnancy, I was able to see the same doctor almost regularly, and if not her, someone on her team , so that was comforting.

With pre-e, they like to induce you at 37-weeks. I had not had one high blood pressure reading the entire pregnancy and pushed to go naturally. Luckily, my doctors agreed and saw no reason I could not go to 39 weeks on my own, barring nothing major came up in that time (remember when I said pre-e can take a turn for the worse instantly? Yes, we were still watching carefully so that wouldn’t happen.) They scheduled my induction for April 15 and I prayed that my son would come before then, but as the date approached, it seemed that wouldn’t happen.

On the morning of April 14, I woke up with my husband who had to leave for work at 4 am. I felt strange, but thought maybe I just hadn’t slept well the night before and went back upstairs. A few minutes later, my water broke and my husband had to turn around to come back home and take me to the hospital. The delivery went smooth and my son was born in the early afternoon , healthy.

I had made it through the pregnancy without developing worsening symptoms of preeclampsia, but the rollercoaster ride wasn’t over. The hospital insisted I stay for several days so that I didn’t get postpartum preeclampsia. This is rare, but does happen, and requires a blood pressure of 160/110 in order for them to worry. My blood pressure was normal the entire stay, so yes, I did fight them on keeping me longer than I needed to be there. I went home after staying an additional 24-hours and, guess what… I didn’t develop postpartum preeclampsia.

Did I ever  have the disorder? I will likely never know, but this experience has opened up my eyes. Perhaps that is why it happened, because doesn’t everything happen for a reason?

When I was going through the uncertainty and being given worst case scenarios, I sat down and took a look at my life and realized that if I were to die then, I was not happy with the person people would remember me as. I was not a terribly mean person, but I was selfish and not always as kind and loving as I should have been. It literally took me being told I could potentially die for me to realize I needed to turn my life around. I became a better person, not only for those around me, but for myself. I made a will, I wrote letters to my loved ones, and I cried myself to sleep thinking of the things I may never get the chance to do and the things I wish I would have done differently.

My husband was shocked to the change in my personality and he wondered if it was going to be long-lasting and, I can’t blame him for feeling that way. He was upset that it took something so serious for me to open my eyes and for a while was angry that I couldn’t be this person sooner in our relationship or in our life.

Yes, it is a shame that people often don’t make a change until they live like they are dying, but it is simply human nature for us to feel that we are invincible and nothing will happen to us. When we are faced with mortality and realize it is a real possibility and could happen at any moment, suddenly we see things differently.

Is it fair? Not exactly, but now the lyrics “and I hope someday you get the chance to live like you were dying” make perfect sense to me.


Staying Positive In the World of Celebrity Gossip

When people ask what I do for a living I answer, “I’m a freelance writer.” Nine times out of ten, the follow-up question is, “What do you write?” This is where it gets interesting. When I answer “mostly celebrity gossip,” they either look at me and say “that’s interesting” or they inquire more in-depth. I will then go into an almost rehearsed speech at this point where I explain that the bulk of my writing focuses on reality television, mainly Teen Mom and that I fell into by accident.

I truly did.

My first freelance job was in 2009 and I was (well, still am for that site) a pop culture writer. The bulk of my material centered around Miley Cyrus as that was around the time she was quitting Hannah Montana and doing outrageous things that the public loves to read about.

And that is the point. The public doesn’t want to read about a celebrity having a great day or doing something good. Rather, the public wants the negativity, the drama. They want to hear about drug problems, rehab, scandals. I suppose it is their way to look at celebrities and say, “See, they aren’t so perfect.”

Not every story I have ever written has been completely positive; I would be lying if I said it was. There was a time I fed into the drama because, well, more drama equals more views. However, there came a point when I realized that celebrities may be rich and famous, but they are also human beings. I think it hit me most when I started covering Teen Mom 2 extensively.

Like these girls, I was a young single mom. While I was older than any of them, I could still relate to their struggles. Then, I would log onto social networking and see the immense hate that these girls were receiving for living their lives. Were they perfect? No, but was the public seeing everything exactly how it was? Again, no. There is so much editing that goes into reality television that people don’t take into consideration. Rather, they see that the show is a “reality show” and assume that everything is “real.”

It’s not. And that is why I chose to take a positive approach to celebrity gossip writing. Has it always gone over well? Definitely not. However, it has helped me to appreciate people more and has even helped me to have the opportunity to chat with some of the girls. It always makes me smile when one of the Teen Mom girls will “favorite” or “retweet” an article of mine. It makes me proud to know that they appreciate what I wrote about them; They didn’t have to take the time to even look at what I wrote, but for a second they did and they liked it. That always makes me feel like I am doing a great job at staying positive.