the "florkens"

November 14, 2016

Our Little Wild "ONE"

It's been a tough week. So, what better way to unwind than to revisit some birthday party fun? 
 
A month ago today, #LittleLadyHolland turned one. To celebrate her big day, we threw a "WILD ONE" themed affair with our family. It came complete with cake, balloons, a new red wagon, and lots of baby cuddles. Our little girl took a nap right in the middle of her party and when she woke up, she wasn't quite sure about all the present opening and the cake. But, this was a good practice run and we are all certain that she will dive into both at her next birthday party.
 
A BIG thank you to Niki Zimmerman for the photos and  That Darling Boutique for the highchair banner. 


 

November 11, 2016

Adam's Corner: Don't Worry Van Jones, We Got You


I have found myself in a perpetual state of depression, anger and disbelief. I find myself with plenty of company however, as many in my country and a significant proportion of the world are likewise stunned by this election cycle. Somehow this nation defied rationale and civility and elected a populist, xenophobe who brags openly about sexual assault and avoiding paying taxes to the very government he will begin running in January.

Those who voted for him say he must be a smart and savvy businessman because he's a billionaire. It is easy to appear smart when you inherit millions from your father and used those funds to pay people more adept than yourself to handle complicated decisions. Of course, we don't actually know how much wealth Trump has because unlike any presidential candidate in modern history, he wouldn't release his tax returns. Therefore, the only business acumen we can assess is the he is a liar and a cheat (he said he knew nothing of Putin). He stiffed many of those who worked for him after they rendered services to his company and he designed a "university" to swindle money from average citizens...

...He is NOT  a businessman. He will NOT bring your job back. He IS a predator and will conscript your beliefs and insecurities to better himself and those like him (Hint: other rich corporate types)...

...There are many things that have been alleged that should have discredited this man's character and decision making. This diatribe however is not about the man, but rather the constituents that elected him. He is merely a symptom of the underlying disease that is overwhelming this nation. The disease is cowardice.
Those of you who chose to cast a vote in favor of the President-Elect are, in my opinion, cowards. You may argue that you voted for this man due to his policies or because you wanted Washington to be shaken up by an outsider. But your candidate denounced entire races of people. He denounced an entire religious population. He made jokes about the handicapped. He was unapologetically misogynistic. He encouraged physical violence against people with whom he disagreed. 
And when you cast your ballot for him,  you also tacitly accepted and endorsed those views and that speech.  If you tacitly accepted and endorsed that speech, then I can only draw the conclusion that you, like Trump, are fearful of a world where everyone does not look like you, behave like you, or prays like you.
These are just a few examples of the type of speech and actions President Trump has incited. Two of these incidents have taken place in my very own state -- a place I love, call home, and am raising my daughter in.
You do not get to absolve yourself from being an enabler of hate-speech and the propagation of xenophobia. You don't get to cherry-pick one or two policy platforms that you agree with and ignore those that make you feel uncomfortable. Those things that make you uncomfortable will come to truly affect (and very likely damage) the lives of your less privileged neighbor.

Your vote is a sign of acceptance of a candidate in total. My vote for Hillary was tacit acceptance of ALL her stances and speech and I'm okay with that but are you okay with ALL the stances and speech of your candidate?

Now is the time to find your courage. I will assume that you're afraid of what you don't understand. Maybe you've sealed yourself in a bubble so impenetrable that you cannot fathom the humanity of those unlike you. But hear this -- American NEEDS your courage because America is a mosaic.

America is black.
America is Latino.
America is Judaism.
America is Islam.
America is Christian.
America is LGBTQ.
America is women.
America is men.
America is NOT intolerant.

We need you to find courage because Trump's hateful message is already spreading and people are scared. I wish to speak now to those of you who have been disrespected and marginalized by the President-Elect's attempt to legitimize public intolerance...

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
YOU ARE VALUED.
YOU ARE WELCOMED.
YOU ARE  ONE OF US.

You shouldn't need to be African-American to understand why Black Lives Matter. You don't have to be gay to understand why we need marriage equality. You don't have to be Latino to understand that Mexicans aren't criminals. You shouldn't have to be a woman to understand that sexual assault is wrong. You just have to be open and compassionate towards those outside your personal sphere.

For all those who feel as Van Jones does, don't fret. This election will galvanize us to do more for you and your families. 


November 09, 2016

Thank you Hillary.

Today, I mourn. I mourn for myself, for my beautiful daughter, for my country, and for the amazing woman, my role model, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
I fear the path my country chose is dangerous. Not just wrong. Dangerous. It is true that I disagreed with McCain and Romney, but I never once doubted both had the mental fortitude and moral compass required to govern a nation comprised of many. I do not believe that Donald Trump has either of those things. More importantly, I have seen how the words and actions of this man have brought despicable people into the light. People who would like to see my LGBTQ friends stripped of their rights. People who would like to see my African American friends stopped and frisked on the streets. People who would someday like to rank my daughter – a child so full of joy, mischief, and possibility – on a scale of 1 to 10 for her physical beauty alone.

Now hear me – I do not believe that ALL Trump supporters want to see those things. If I believed for a second that roughly 59 million people desired those things, I’d be on the first flight out of here. Still – those people exist and now – thanks in part to Trump’s disdain for mutual respect and his penchant for bullying, those people think that THEY are the majority. They think that THEY will govern from here on out. So for that, I mourn today.

But tomorrow I get to work. I don’t want to. I want to curl up and cry. My heart is so broken that I want to give up. But I have a daughter that deserves a whole hell of a lot more from me… and from you too.

I wanted Hillary to personally break that glass ceiling. Desperately. I cannot think of any woman I would have rather done it. I admire her greatly for more reasons than I can list here. But today, as she gave a thoughtful and eloquent concession speech, I realized that her legacy is much bigger than a presidency or lack thereof. Hillary Clinton will be the match that lights a new movement on fire.
I was passionate about Obama. I was passionate about Hillary. But starting tomorrow, I am passionate period. Not about a singular candidate, race, or cause – but about them all.  Not every four years or when I watch Last Week Tonight. I can no longer just wake up, go to work, come home, focus on my own tiny family, and hope the rest of the world sorts this all out in four years. My daughter deserves better and Hillary’s legacy demands better. I will help sort this out.

Tomorrow, I get involved. I start volunteering my time. I start participating in my local government. I sign up for monthly donations – even if I can only manage a few dollars here or there – to places that will be under attack such as Planned Parenthood and to places that will lead the good fight like the ACLU. 

I want to see a woman President in my lifetime. No, I demand it. 

It will not be Hillary and that hurts deeply. But it will be because of her. And maybe, in some small part, it will be because of me now too. 

Thank you Hillary. You have fought harder, longer, and with more dignity and courage than anyone. I have been honored to be with you. Now, I hope I can honor you by following the amazing example you have set. 

Tomorrow I will dry my tears and steady my fears. Her legacy will not end here. It is just getting started.