|Yes I am dying my eyebrows naked, because why not. A|
photo I never would have published when religious.
Friday, April 21, 2017
I am Atheist. I am very proud of it. It is who I am.
I was raised a Mormon and I always had questions about religion. The timeline in the bible never made sense. A god who expected humans to be perfect, seemed cruel. A god who “gave” us sexual urges but told us not to act on them, seemed even more cruel. None of it made sense, but I went with the flow so I could fit in (I also was afraid of what my parents would say/do if I expressed my doubts, rightly so). Particularly as a teenager, I felt like I had no choice. It was not until I was excommunicated for wanting to keep my own child, and enjoying the sex that I had to make her, that I began to really wonder if there was a god at all.
I do not believe in any form of god. For a while I considered myself agnostic. I was unsure if a god did or did not exist. If a god did exist I knew he wasn’t the god Mormons worship, who claim he cares what type of underwear you put on in the morning.
Mormons idea of god also tells you it is not ok to judge, but at the same time tells Bishops and other church authorities to judge people and kick them out of their church. The majority of Mormons are not welcoming to people who have “sinned”. Many other religions react similarly to “sinners”. It is difficult for me to understand why people who are religious are so judgmental and have a, “I am better than you attitude”. Shouldn’t you have a lot of love for the people who need it most or are “struggling with faith”? (as religious people would put it)
The more I thought about religion the less it made sense. The more history and science I studied, the less I thought god existed at all.
God, is something humans created when we didn’t know the earth was a sphere. We didn’t know the earth revolved around the sun. There is a lot we still do not know. God was created to fill in the gaps when we knew much less than we do now. We still do not know everything, but at this point, there is no need to have something to fill in the gaps. “I don’t know” is a perfectly valid answer. Not knowing and trying to figure it out is much better than making up a fairy tale to somewhat explain, and never trying to figure it out.
If you believe god used the big bang to create the universe, or used evolution as a way to create humans, that is a cop out. If you go back that far and say, “that is where god’s hand is” you will realize that god does not need to exist. The universe and earth does not have to have a creator.
I believe humans are good. I believe we are born with empathy. We do not need religion to make us good. We should not be taught being good gets us a reward after we die. We should be good and nice because it is the right thing to do. Yes, there are people who are bad people, and they need help, not from religion though, help from doctors and physiologists. The average human is nice and kind, because it is how we have evolved.
I became an atheist in just the past year or two. Atheism can be a hard pill to swallow. It is difficult to come to terms with the fact that there is no life after this. The life we are living today is all we have. There is no afterlife, no heaven, no hell, just now and here.
The realization that this life is all I have, has made me a better person. I do not worry about the little things any more. I will never be perfect. I do not need to live by any silly religious rules to get a better life when I die. There is nothing when you die. I love the life I have. I make the most of it every single day because I know it is all I have. This earth and life is so amazing. I plan on enjoying every possible moment of it until the day I become worm food, and get recycled back into this beautiful universe.
Thanks for reading!
Monday, April 3, 2017
I am absolutely loving my septum piercing. Today is the two week mark since getting it done.
Typical healing period for a septum piercing is 4-6 weeks. Yesterday was the one third to half way mark, so I thought it was a great time for an update (read my post, Septum Piercing to hear all about my piercing experience)!
So far my piercing site it is feeling pretty good. It is much less sore that it was last week. It has hand a few bumps/bonks which is why I am really proud it is doing so well. RJ went in for a kiss a little too enthusiastically one evening, right after a bit of rumpy pumpy, and bumped it pretty good. Heather elbowed me, Rose head butted me, and Heather elbowed me a second time (she likes to climb, especially on me). Aside from a bit of swelling after each bonk, it felt better quickly after the initial ouch was gone.
My care routine has changed slightly. The traditional sea salt soaks were a little too harsh on my nose. The piercing itself was feeling fine but the rest of my nose was getting raw and sensitive. I watered down my salt soaks but my nose didn’t feel better. I decided to try just warm water for a day or two and see how things went. After the first day my nose was feeling much better and my piercing seemed to be doing just as well. I am not a professional but switching to plain water has really helped my healing process.
|One of the small children who was having a|
particularly fussy day.
I am very happy with my piercing, it is healing well. If I didn’t have small children it probably would heal even faster because it wouldn’t get so many accidental bonks. I am still having days when it feels sensitive and new, but I love it.
If you are thinking about getting a septum piercing I highly recommend it. It is a good, first, facial piercing. With the right jewelry it can be turned up and completely hidden. It leaves no visible scar tissue. It is not a cartilage piercing so it heals quickly. And if you go to the right piercer the piercing will be quick and the pain will be very short.
If you have any questions I am happy to answer them! Thanks for reading!
Monday, March 27, 2017
I got my septum pierced!
I absolutely love it and decided I would write all about it here on the blog because there is a good amount to tell about it. I’ll be posting healing updates, and other future details about my piercing too.
I have always thought septum piercings were pretty. I have a few old friends from highschool who have them and really like the way they look. I brought it up to RJ for the first time Saturday, just over a week ago. I did not know that he absolutely loves them. He is not new to piercings (I have talked about his, in a previous piercing post). RJ has always thought septum piercings are sexy and thought I would look really good with one. He never brought it up before because it’s a pretty bold piercing, and is something he thought someone should decide on their own. As soon as I mentioned it he was really excited and suggested I go get it done the next day.
A proper septum piercing is through the small bit of skin you have between where the cartilage in your nose ends, and the opening of your nose, near the tip. It’s called a, “soft spot” and everyone’s is different. You can feel your own by taking your pinky fingers and pinching the inside of your nose near the tip. Wiggle your fingers side to side parallel with the ground. You should be able to feel where the cartilage in your nose ends, and how big your, “soft spot” is. Not everyone has enough space there to have their septum pierced. Saturday night when I was testing myself to see if my soft spot was sufficient, I was not positive. I am not a professional, so we planned to head down there anyways with hope that I had the right anatomy for the piercing.
The possibility of the piercing not happening, made me much less nervous on the way down to the piercing studio, which was nice. Sometimes, when I get really nervous, I get a stomach ache and avoid whatever I was supposed to do.
Sunday morning after having a nice big breakfast, we drove down to Atlanta to a good piercing shop. When we got there, I left RJ, Rose, and Heather in the car. Minors are not allowed in the studio till the age of 12, and anyone 12-17 in the studio must be the one getting pierced, and have a parent with them.
When I walked in I was happy to see 2 of the 3 women had septum piercings. Any time you get any sort of piercing make sure it’s a reputable place. A studio listed on the APP’s (Association of Professional Piercers) website should be good. I went to Virtue and Vice in Atlanta. I told the lady behind the front desk (I don’t remember her name) I wanted to get my septum pierced. She asked me when my last meal was (it is important to have eaten a meal in the last 4 hours, no one wants anyone fainting). I had breakfast about 2 hours beforehand and I also had a snack on the drive down because we live about 50 minutes from the studio. She said good, then asked me when my last alcoholic drink was. I had had one gin and tonic the night before around 11. Which was also good. Alcohol thins your blood. Thin blood and someone putting a hole through a part of your body do not go well together. I had not had enough alcohol to affect anything though.
The lady behind the counter started the paperwork for my piercing, and showed me the jewelry I could choose from. Another lady, Lena, who would be piercing me, grabbed a pair of gloves and checked my nose to see if my soft spot was large enough. She said it was good, and a 16 gage piece of jewelry would be best. I chose a stainless steel circular barbell. I chose that because I wanted to start with something really basic.
Right after Lena said I was good and I had picked jewlery, I started to get nervous. This was really happening. I was getting my septum pierced! I had a million questions running through my mind. How bad would it hurt? Would I really like it? What if I fainted? I have never fainted before.
My piercer took my jewelry to be sterilized, while I signed papers and paid. I was getting more and more nervous.
Just a couple minutes later, Lena said, “come on back”. I followed her to the first room, set my things down and took a seat on the table (this studio has doctor like tables, some have dentist-like chairs, I guess it’s the piercers preference). Lena chatted with me and made me feel comfortable. As she was getting everything ready, I told her I was a bit nervous. She said the build up/anticipation for this piercing is the worst part. Lena has two septum piercings herself. They look pretty close together, smaller gage and one behind the other. I get brazilian waxes about once a month and occasionally, I put it off because the anticipation of the pain is awful, even though the actual pain is never that bad.
Lena got everything ready, she cleaned my nose and drew a small horizontal guide line near the tip of my nose. She explained the basics of the piercing, then had me lie down and scoot up so my head was at the top of the table. She used a basic piercing guide, that looks like a small clamp with two round guides on the end. She placed it in my nose where the she would be piercing me. She checked to make sure it was not painful (apparently for some people the guide is extremely painful when it’s in place, it felt fine to me. Obviously having a hard metal thing clamped on my nose was not comfy! But it was not painful at all). Lena got the needle ready, she told me to take a deep breath and on the out she would pierce. It was over very quickly. My eyes watered a bit just because it’s a knee jerk reaction no one can stop. She then threaded the jewelry through which was more painful and eye watering than the actual piercing but it didn’t last long. I just kept breathing slowly (slow breathing helps me through any pain). The anticipation was definitely the worst part. The actual piercing was not too bad at all.
Lena cleaned my nose and had me sit up slowly. She told me to take a look in the mirror, and see what I thought. I was a little nervous but loved it instantly!
When I got out to the car RJ loved it. When Rose saw it she said, “oooo I like it!” I had showed her pictures before I got it so she wouldn’t be too surprised. She has not stopped telling me it’s pretty since I got it.
New piercings require a good amount of cleaning and aftercare. I have been doing sea salt water soaks twice a day. I have been very careful to not bump it or pull it. Today is the end of day 10. It’s a bit itchy at times (healing itchy). It’s a bit sore but not painful. The past two days my nose has gotten a bit raw. I have watered down my salt washes and that is helping a bit. The most annoying part is how ticklish it is. The day I got it, and the second day were the worst. I have gotten used to the majority of the ticklishness. Now it’s just ticklish sometimes, not all the time.
If you are thinking about getting any piercing please go to a good piercer! Find someone who is an APP member and go there over the questionable place close to home. Atlanta has three studios listed on APP’s website. I have been to two of them. The closest one is Virtue and Vice and it is 50 minutes from my home. The drive for a good piercing is worth it. Do not cheap out when it comes to getting a needle through your body. Go to a reliable place.
I cannot wait till my piercing is healed and I can put in all the cute jewelry!
I will keep posting updates here! Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any questions!
Monday, March 20, 2017
The past few weeks have been rough at the Ayres house. We all came down with a stomach bug. Being sick while taking care of two small humans is the type of thing that makes all us stay at home parents want to down a bottle of wine in the evening.
|This was the worst day of our head colds, Rose was so out|
of it. I love Heather's tired smile.
Thursday morning about two weeks ago I went to get Heather out of her crib. I opened her door and the overwhelming smell of puke wafted out. I have never smelled puke like that before, it was bad! I am not one to puke at the sight or smell of puke, but this made me want to. I have no idea at what time in the night she actually puked, she must not have cried about it much, because she didn’t wake me or RJ up. By the morning it was mostly dry and she was playing with whatever was left (I know, kids are disgusting). I quickly stripped her clothes off and threw her into the shower with RJ. I threw the large chunks and whole raisins into the toilet then started laundry, washing all her bedcovers and clothes. I retrieved a grumpy wet Heather from the shower and took her downstairs for a diaper. RJ steam cleaned the floor in her room and opened the windows. I am so glad RJ had not left for work yet.
Heather did not puke again that day. She had a fever around 99-100, had no appetite, and was very tired and snuggly all day. The following day, Friday she was still sick but did not puke. But I started to feel under the weather. Friday night I felt really sick and nauseous, I ended up puking my guts out early Saturday morning. I have not felt that sick in a very long time. I spent the entire day on the couch trying not to dry heave. It was rough. Heather was feeling better. No one else had come down with the the plague yet...
|Heather never falls asleep on the couch. She was so sick. I|
am glad it did not last too long.
Sunday I was feeling much better. RJ thought he was in the clear and had passed through unscathed, but that Saturday night/Sunday morning the nasty stomach bug claimed it’s final victim. RJ said the last time he puked that hard he was definitely not sober! Luckily, I was feeling better on Sunday because Heather puked in her crib again at nap time. I think it was my fault. I sent her to bed with a sippie full of milk and her stomach wasn’t ready for it so it came right back up. I don’t think Rose puked again that day however it was a bit foggy, I was still recovering.
Having a family of four, all getting sick at the same time is awful. If you think you can handle puke everywhere, cleaning it up while being sleep deprived and nauseous, definitely start a family.
|Rose still smiled on her worst day after puking a lot the|
Being sick sucks. Being a sick parent with sick kids is absolute hell. Still, I would not trade my family for anything, and I still want it twice as big as it is now!
Finally, I feel 100% again. I felt good enough this weekend to get my septum pierced! I’ll be writing a whole post about it next.
Sorry I went dark on the blog for a little while! I’m back!
Sunday, January 29, 2017
In my last blog post I got a lot of feedback from other exmormons, specifically about this comment I made, “telling anyone to try to become perfect is awful. It’s creates a horrible cycle of guilt and self doubt. Discovering I didn’t have to live for anyone except myself was so freeing. I can be who I want to be without worrying if I am perfect or not.” I realized I could write a whole blog post on just this.
|My first bump picture, pregnant with Rose|
every one assumed I would give her up.
The Mormon Church teaches that you must try everyday to be perfect, and eventually become perfect to get into the best part of heaven. According to Mormons there are three levels of heaven and in the highest level there are three levels within that level. To get to the very top, you need to be baptized, married in the Mormon temple, and become perfect. Anything else is subpar. The other levels are almost talked about with an air of disgust around them. They are nowhere near as “glorious” as the top.
I have always found this incredibly intimidating. When I believed in an afterlife it was the only thing I thought about. I was told if I didn’t make it to the top I couldn’t be with my family. The Mormon Church is one of the few religions that actually teaches that families might not be together in the afterlife.
This is super stressful. There is a reason Utah is in the top 10 most depressed states. Telling someone they need to be perfect creates a cycle of guilt and self doubt. The cycle goes like this...
- You are told you need to become perfect.
- You try your best because the afterlife you get depends on it.
- You slip up, small or big it doesn’t matter, you’re not perfect.
- The guilt sets in.
- You repent.
- You do your best, but make the same slip up again, you’re human.
- The guilt sets in again but this time self doubt follows.
- The self doubt overcomes you, because no matter how hard you try, you always slip up, because being perfect is impossible.
- The guilt that your family will not be eternal weighs on your shoulders.
Then things start all over again back at number one. The cycle goes round and round and the only way to break it is to wonder what type of God is up there if there and if one even exists.
|The adorable Rosalie. I love being a mom. |
I am so glad I kept her. She was a few days old here.
I battled with this cycle throughout my entire youth. It was not until I made a “big slip up” that I began to wonder if there was a God. It was not until I didn’t want to repent. The mistake I made could not be erased and I didn’t want it to be. I got pregnant and within days someone from The Mormon Church’s LDS family services was at my parents’ house telling me what my options were. No one asked me what I wanted. And when my decision to keep my baby and work it out with her father was made clear, the guilting started. I got excommunicated from The Mormon Church, for not cooperating. My dad told me he was sad I was no longer a part of his eternal family. That was when I had my moment of clarity. What type of god would tell a father to tell his daughter after she dies they will never see each other again? What god would rip apart families because someone made a mistake and took a different path? It was then that I began to question if there was a god at all. If one did exist, he must be very cruel and sadistic.
It took a good while for me to realize I didn’t need to feel guilty for getting pregnant and wanting to keep my baby. It took me a long time to not feel guilty about “tearing my eternal family apart” because I didn’t. It took me a long time to not feel guilt for my family’s emotions. For some people after leaving The Mormon Church it takes them a long time to not feel guilty after having a glass of wine.
Feeling guilty all the time sucks. Oddly enough now that I have broken away from the cycle of failed perfection and guilt, I am much more honest with myself and everyone else around me. Now that I know all the things The Mormon Church says are bad, are actually normal, I don’t feel the need to lie about them. I don’t even remember the last time I told someone a white lie, because I don’t need to. I don’t feel guilty about my sex life, my sexuality, having an alcoholic beverage a few times a week, or even wearing a tank top (because yes, Mormons think shoulders are sinful).
|Rose and me a days ago. Whenever I do my|
make up she asks me to draw a heart on each hand.
I am glad I was excommunicated.
Living a life always wondering if you are good enough is not fun. I have realized there is no god, and I am much happier. I only have to be good enough for myself. The only time I feel guilty is when I cheat on a diet, or when I occasionally lose my shit and snap at my kids. It’s ok. I am myself every day. I don’t try to be anything I’m not. I am a perfectly imperfect Megan, warts and all.
I don’t think there is a man in the sky judging my actions. I do what makes me feel happy and proud. I do service because it makes me happy, not because it will earn me cookie points in heaven, or my religion tells me to. I live for the now because there is nothing after. I worry about making the world a better place because my children and grandchildren will live here.
Be yourself! It doesn’t matter what other people think! There is not an invisible magician in the sky judging you!
Thanks for reading!
Friday, January 20, 2017
I am bisexual. In layman's terms, I am attracted to both men and women. I have had feelings towards women for as long as I can remember, but it has only been the past few years of my life I have felt comfortable accepting it, talking about it, and acting on it.
This will probably come as a shock to most my readers. It was not something I could put words to until recently. The past few years of my life have been very developmental for me. Being excommunicated from The Mormon Church and figuring out what I believe in has been a huge part of learning to accept me for me.
But before I really get into all the “why’s” I want to clarify what being bisexual means to me (my definition is more than likely different than someone else's, which is perfectly fine).
Being bisexual does not mean I love my husband any less than someone who is straight. It just means when I see a sexy person walking down the street that person may be a man or that person may be a woman. Just because that person is sexy and I'm attracted to them does not mean I'm going to cheat on my husband. It does not mean that I don't feel fulfilled in my relationship with my husband emotionally or sexually. It just means, I can be just as attracted to a woman as man in anyway. Whether that be, physically, intellectually, or sexually.
Being bisexual doesn’t mean I am attracted to every woman I meet. Straight people aren’t attracted to every person of the opposite gender they come across. Look at it the same way.
Now that I am “open” or “out” please don’t treat me differently. I am the same person I have always been. Just because you know something new about me does not mean I am different. I am still Megan. I feel weird needing to say this but I know even after saying this some people will still treat me differently.
RJ is very supportive of me being bisexual. He loves me for me and I absolutely love him for that. I am so glad I found him. No one else could understand me the way he does. Now into all the “why’s”...
Growing up in The Mormon Church I was taught sexual feelings were bad. I wasn't supposed to explore my sexuality by myself, or with anyone else. We were taught “God” had given us all these amazing feelings and body parts but were not supposed to do anything about them until we were married (and they told us this all the time). It was hard to understand why these feelings were so strong before I got married. Why did I even have them if I wasn’t supposed to use them until after I had gotten married in The Mormon Temple? Did something happen in The Temple that changed things? It was impossible for me to understand.
Coping with my sexual feelings as a teen was really difficult. I was super horny (like most teens are), and this caused me to feel guilty alot. I wanted to explore. I wanted to learn everything I could about myself. I masturbated, I felt guilty. I thought sexually about boys, I felt guilty. I fooled around with boys, I felt really guilty. I thought sexually about girls and I felt extremely guilty. I had all these feelings and emotions and I didn't understand why a “loving God” would tell me they were bad, when they felt so natural.
Feeling guilty all the time sucked. I always thought I was doing something wrong, and I wasn’t good enough. Mormons are always told to, “strive for perfection”. As a teen when sexual feelings were really intense and impossible to resist, I thought I would never be good enough. As an adult looking back, telling anyone to try to become perfect is awful. It’s creates a horrible cycle of guilt and self doubt. Discovering I didn’t have to live for anyone except myself was so freeing. I can be who I want to be without worrying if I am perfect or not.
I never want my children to feel the way I felt growing up. My parents did not know how I felt, and I didn’t know how they would have reacted if I had told them. I was afraid of their reaction. I hope I can raise my children in an environment where they can be themselves. I want them to grow up knowing who they are. Not figuring it out later. I want them to know it’s ok to be whoever they want to be even if that’s not what they/I expected.
I'm here to tell everyone out there these feelings are normal. There is nothing wrong with you! Exploring your sexuality responsibly will not send you to hell or hurt anyone. Find someone to talk to. I believe if someone had told me these feelings were normal and not feelings from “Satan” I would have been happier as a teen (I’m sure I looked happy from the outside but on the inside but I had a lot going through my head. P.S. Mom, I was not depressed).
It took me a very long time to realize that any feelings I have towards women are not bad. I regularly wonder what my life would be like if I had gone through my teenage, hormone filled years in an environment that accepted all sexual orientations. I am sad for people who are influenced by others around them to hide how they feel sexually, or are pushed and told there is only one way (again I am so lucky RJ is understanding and loves me for me). No one is the same, that’s what makes us all so amazing. No one is perfect, but no one needs to be.
I hope that opening up helps others who are struggling with their sexuality. It’s OK to be attracted to any gender, multiple genders, or no one at all. It’s not a disease or something you can change. It is part of your DNA, like your hair color. You might be able to mask the color but you will always be a brunette or a blonde.
I am happy to be a listening ear for anyone who needs one, and I am willing to answer any questions anyone has for me. Thanks for reading!
Thursday, January 19, 2017
I have been able to get both my girls to part with their binkies just after they turned one. There are a few things I did that helped make the transition easy. I thought about sharing this awhile back but I didn’t know if it would work on Heather. Now that I got Heather to ditch the binky too I think this is a method that will work on more than just my children.
|Heather dragging her blanket around the house today.|
Also, both my girls were completely transitioned to whole milk when we got rid of binkies. They were being sent to bed with a sippy cup of milk, I think they were falling asleep drinking milk and not looking for binkies after they had finished their milk. I do not know how this would work if you are still breastfeeding.
The biggest thing going for this method, is that most one year olds most do not have a word for binky yet. They cannot/do not know how to ask for it. If we would have waited till later than 12 months with Heather I think speech would have been a problem. Heather has a lot of words now that she is 14 going on 15 months old. I am glad we got her off the binky when we did.
Here are the steps I have used to ditch the binky.
- Attach your child to something other than a binky. A blanket, a lovey, a stuffed animal, whatever your child gravitates to most.
Preparing to get rid of the binky starts day one. Day one as in the day your baby is born. Your child needs something other than a pacifier to soothe him/her. Rose has a knit blanket that she takes everywhere with her. Heather has a minky blanket with silky borders that I made. My daughters are usually attached to a stuffed animal of some sort as well, but those rotate. Their blankets are always with them.
|Heather getting snuggles with her blanket and favorite|
The step is critical. It’s important that your child has something other than a binky that makes them feel secure. You do not want to take away their only security item. It will not go well if they only thing they depend on to soothe them is the thing you take away.
Attempt to soothe your child with with their alternative object before giving them a binky. A snuggle with a blanket or stuffed animal might be just what they need. If they are soothed with their blanket more they will naturally prefer it over the binky.
2. Approaching your child’s first birthday try to cut down on binky time, save it for naps, bedtime, car rides. Then limit to naps and bedtime. When/if your child begins to lose interest in their binky make sure to act quickly. You never know how long the window will last.
Rose was around 15 months when we took her binky away. I actually forgot to put her to bed with a binky one night. She slept the entire night so we gathered up all the binkies and went cold turkey. Rose did just fine without a binky from then on. I believe she got sick the next week so I am unsure if the fussing was because the binky was gone or if she battling the cold.
With Heather we purposely put her to bed without a binky one night, we gathered all her binkies and put them away. She slept that whole night. The next night she woke up around 5 and was a little off. I am unsure if that was because we got rid of the binkies or if it was because she was seriously teething. It’s been over a month now and she has really really bonded to her blanket.
3. Go cold turkey.
|Rose still need snuggles with her blanket all the time.|
4. Be strong.
If your little one is really fussy try not to give up. Try a new blanket or maybe an extra stuffed animal. The goal is to switch the binky with something else. You want your little one to feel secure and comforted.
We try not to backtrack at all costs no matter what we are doing in the Ayres house. So far it has worked well (except for potty training, but that’s a whole other post).
Both Heather and Rose love their blankets. Heather has been dragging hers around with her every where the past few weeks and it’s adorable.
I hope this method works for other people out there. It has worked amazingly for us. RJ’s previous daughter had a binky much much too old. He was ecstatic when we accidently got Rose to ditch hers early. I am very glad this method worked for Heather too. Hopefully we will never have two children with binkies at once.
Thanks for reading. Keep an eye out for my next blog post It will be a good one!