Girl Power!

Life in general

I think that it is important to share with each other not only our experiences, but how they make us feel- our innermost experiences & feelings. To be vulnerable with one another can be highly valuable. I feel like one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity is to deeply connect with one another and the intimacy that these experiences foster. Outside of my family there is no greater earthly joy than the joy of connecting with another human being, especially when that human being is a sweet friend.

In honor of all the women that have been coming forward in recent months (& years, really), I want to share an experience with you that I have mostly kept to myself. I don’t know if you would even call it “sexual harassment” & honestly, I think that’s part of the problem…sometimes we don’t know what to think. It had to be sometime in November 2015, I don’t remember the exact date, but I was super pregnant & just trying to get through another day at work. I was standing in front of the computer “analyzing data” or whatever you want to call it, it doesn’t matter. I called my boss over to look at something that I had a question about. Now when two people are sharing a computer screen it’s inevitable that your space bubble will be a bit compromised, but I realized that he was getting uncomfortably close to me. Then he moved a little closer & shifted his leg forward so that his penis was touching my outer thigh! You know, when someone you don’t know well (or even do know well) touches you unexpectedly & you want to jerk away but don’t want to seem awkward or even rude? So I didn’t immediately pull away, I just froze. I was suddenly flooded with embarrassment & thoughts like “Did he just put his penis on me?” & “Or am I crazy or just blowing it out of proportion?” & “I am a big, fat, pregnant girl, there is no way he is actually coming on to me!”. Then he proceeded to bounce his leg up & down (like we all do sometimes, letting off nervous energy or something like that) & right then I knew that it was intentionally done. I acted like nothing happened & walked away. I was quite perplexed, & after thinking about for a while I actually started to feel guilty, because hey I am a married woman & and I just pretty much let some guy, who wasn’t my husband, rub his penis all over my thigh! I really didn’t know what to do about the situation, I wondered if I should have contacted our company’s HR department, but I was afraid. Afraid that I was “overthinking ” it, or making it a bigger deal than it actually was, I was afraid that he would deny it & that I would just look like a big dumbass! Besides, did I really want to get him fired over what might have been a trivial event? I knew that I would be quitting my job as soon as I gave birth (which would be any day now) & I didn’t want to “cause trouble”, so I did nothing.

I didn’t really think about it much after that, I mean some creep putting his clothed penis on my leg isn’t what I would label as a traumatic or life-altering experience. I actually felt guilty bringing attention to the “event” because there are so many people that have suffered immensely from far worse instances of sexual harassment & abuse. But that is not the point. Why did I not feel like it was okay to jerk away & say “Hey creep! Get your dick off of me!”? I’m sure there are plenty of women out there who would have been brave enough to act differently, & I applaud those women. But what about the rest of us?

I don’t have all the answers & it’s not even really about me & my experience. The point is to support all of the other women who have spoken out. The point is to encourage the next women or girl to speak out, or better yet to say “NO!”. I want my daughter, & all girls & women, to know & feel like they can say no. I don’t think we will ever live in a world where things like this don’t happen. Unfortunately, there will always be people willing to hurt others to get what they want. But we can be educated, encouraged, & empowered to react differently! I want to encourage you to make standing up for yourself & “speaking out” normal, for yourselves, for our daughters & our sons, for the generations to come.

My inspiration for writing this was the women & girls of the world, but let’s face it sexual harassment & abuse is a reality our sons face as well. I hope we can all be encouraged to stand up & speak out for all who suffer regardless of gender or any differences we may have between us.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.” Proverbs 31:8

P.S. Onyx’s lovely doll was handmade by a  wonderful artist named Nae. Please take some time to look at all of her wonderful dolls!

With our love,

The Grays.

New year, new you?

Life in general

If you know us personally, then you probably already got a taste of my opinions on New Year’s & all the”new-ness” it brings. I am totally not in love with the whole “New Year, new you” idea. How many times have you set New Year’s resolutions & not even tried to keep them? Or tried really hard to keep all these newly set expectations for yourself & felt like a miserable failure when you didn’t achieve what you wanted to. Maybe you are the person who sets New Year’s resolutions and actually follow through with them. If so, congratulations! You are one of the few. According to research done by the University of Scranton, only eight percent of people achieve their New Year’s goals.

Now before you go thinking that I am trying to rain on your parade or dumb down the changes you want to make for yourself, I’m not. I am totally a fan of change & personal growth. If you are setting goals to better yourself, then awesome! I am so glad to hear that! I am just asking you to evaluate your perspective. Setting goals or resolutions to better ourselves should never be done out of tradition or because everyone else is doing it. I believe that every time we participate in that type of nonchalant goal setting, where we aren’t really that serious, or realistic, or we don’t hold ourselves accountable to actually achieve the goals that we set, it can be detrimental to our perspective on setting and achieving goals. I want to see you set healthy, realistic goals, & succeed at achieving those goals. I want you to love yourself (& those around you) enough to make the changes you may need to make, any time of the year. Don’t wait for New Year’s to do all the things that you think will make you a better person. Set realistic & achievable goals all year long!

So many times in my life I have said things like “I’ll quit smoking after my next birthday.” or “I’ll start that diet on Monday.” or “I’m going to start my gym membership after New Year’s.”, you get the picture. I was always waiting for the “right time” to make any changes that I knew would be hard, but for the better. Guess what? the “right time” doesn’t exist. I promise that there will always be some reason that you feel like it is not the “right time”. There is no time like the present! & let’s face it, if your goal is not important enough to you to make it a priority, then how important is it to you really? I am so thankful that I was able to pull myself away from that vicious cycle of waiting until next time, & the next time after that, & the next time after that, etc., etc. For the first time in my life, I am actually achieving my goals. & there are many reasons for that, but thinking this way has helped me tremendously, which is why I am sharing it with you.

We hope you had a great New Year’s eve that was filled with great champagne & kisses from the ones you love! & we hope you have a great new year that’s filled with love, confidence, & success!

With our love,

The Grays.

Onyx’s outfit:

Hat- available soon on our site.

Headbands- Target

Scarf- Target

Leather jacket- H&M

Dress- Target

Leggings- Target

Shoes- Target