California 2014

March 16th, 2014

See you guys on the flip side!! Time for some fun in the sun. Cheers friends! :)

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Say yes.

March 7th, 2014

I don’t do it very often, but I know I should. You have better ideas than I do and they’re usually more fun anyway. The other day you said you wanted to go fishing. My excuses weren’t good enough for me anymore, so we went fishing.

I learned how to thread the rod (or whatever it’s called) and I learned how to make a palomer knot. But I also learned that we used the wrong bait. And next time we’ll take some scissors and pliers in case our thread (?) gets tangled again. And it won’t take me an hour to figure it all out, I swear.

Next time we’ll stay longer. I’ll bring some chairs and some lemonade and some crackers and a book. And maybe we’ll catch something. And if we do, we’ll figure out then and learn a few more things together.

But most importantly, I promise to say yes more.

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Living With Intention + A Little Rambling

March 3rd, 2014

For the last few years I’ve made a list of goals on my birthday, usually about 30 items long, to accomplish before the next birthday. A birthday bucket list so to speak.   I’m doing something different this year, and so not on my birthday since that’s long gone, whoops! This year I have only two items on my list:  To be happier and to live with intention.

Lately I’ve found myself dealing with complacency. Don’t get me wrong, I have a good life; I exercise regularly, I have a healthy relationship with food, my marriage is good, family life is good, there isn’t a thing in this world that I’m lacking or need more of. I am very happy overall with life. But one day it struck me, I felt like my days were escaping me and I had to stop and ask myself, am I ok with this? And the answer was no. What’s wrong with being just happy, you may ask?  Well, nothing, there isn’t a single thing wrong with it.  In fact most people struggle with finding happiness in their lives, I mean I did too.  Remember me, the depressive freak?  Not to sound like a spoiled brat, but I’m not satisfied with being “just happy” anymore.  

Just happy.  

Yes, I just said that.

I can hear the eye rolls. I mean, why change a thing if I’m already happy? I get it, I had a hard time wrapping my head around it too. It’s like this…

I’m not talking about finding happiness. I’m not even talking about accepting oneself or the things one does. Don’t get me wrong these things are important, but what I’m talking about is living at the peak of happiness daily. I’m talking about being excited about tomorrow when we go to bed and waking up every morning eager and excited to start the day. I’m talking about feeling thrilled with everything as it is. I’m talking about sharing joy with strangers and giving back to the community. I’m talking about dancing in the rain and laughing LOUDLY and often. I’m talking about being passionate about relationships and the things we do day to day. Having a passion for the average and for the extraordinary, and feeling immense gratitude for everything else. And living it out loud. Because why not?

I’ve always had this dream to travel to Africa or India to get my hands dirty and do some humanitarian work. When? When will I have the chance to do that, as if I’m just waiting for that opportunity to just fall in my lap? Never, if I don’t do something about it.

Am I passionate about the people in my life? Are they a priority in my day to day? Can I be better?

How am I helping the environment? Do I pick up litter when I see it? Can I care more?

What can I do today that will make a difference to everyone around me? Is it smiling more? Replacing the word “tolerance” with “acceptance”.

About spirituality, not religion. Yea.

It’s about never again asking myself, “Where did my day/week/year go?”

Can I raise the bar of my average day so that I have more fantastic days more frequently, like every day? I want to look back and feel like I conquered each day, not wasted them. I want to live passionately. To do more of the things I love and love the in-between. Love the daily. My life is in the daily. Why am I not more excited about it? I should be, it’s where I spend most of my days! It’s about making the daily stuff — the cleaning and the carpooling and the, well, daily — exciting. Yes, exciting or at the very least admiring it! It’s about having a mind reset and feeling energized with that stuff and not drained by it. Because life is extraordinary, and I keep waiting to be marveled by it instead of realizing that it is waiting for me to feel it right now. It’s more about making just a few minor tweaks for the purpose of living effectively than it is about making a big giant unsustainable lifestyle change. About surrounding oneself with simple things that bring joy and delighting in them. It’s so easy to love the high’s and the vacations and the great, but I’m talking about feeling that way about every day. On the “happy scale” can my high become my new normal? I think it can. Will it eliminate the low’s all together, of course not. Let’s not be too idealistic, now. ;) But why not strive to live at the peak of one’s happiness each day?

Be happier. Live with intention. Yes.

Well Internet, I’ve sure missed you. I maintain that the players in one’s life are one, if not, THE most important thing in life, so if you’re still around I’m grateful that you’ve stuck with me thus far — you don’t play a minor role here. Now, shall we get back to it? :)

Enough about me what about you, what excites you about your life? No, I really want to know. Is it new running shoes? New business ventures? Planning parties? Shoot me a quick message, I’m eager to hear about it!

Cheers, friends! XO

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My Star in the Sky: Year 5 Birthday Letter

February 26th, 2014

Little one,

Year 5 has been challenging for us, mostly due to my own shortcomings which is why your 5th birthday letter is a *little* late. How can I put into print the difficulties we’ve had without sounding ungrateful and unpleasant? I would never want you to think that you’ve been a burden in any way because you haven’t been. On the contrary, you’ve pushed us to parenting limits I didn’t know existed. You’ve challenged my patience and reasoning, and taught me to question my motives. I love that about you. I love that you don’t settle for a simple answer and challenge those around you to dig deep, I hope you never lose that. You’ve taught me to question you and your motives too. I’ve learned that PJ shorts are one of the most important requirements to being a 5-year-old — but mostly because you want to be like dad and not because you’re just trying to make my life hard. I’ve learned that having a full explanation as to why things are the way they are, no matter how inconsequential the subject may seem, is a minute to minute expectation even when we’re running late. I’ve learned that even though you seem so mature for your age, I have to love you and cuddle you like you’re still so little. And I will until you no longer let me.

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This year I’ve loved you harder than I’ve ever loved you, been more angry with you than I’ve ever been, felt the most guilt I’ve ever felt, and have been the most excited I’ve ever been to see what you do with yourself in the future. You’re a star, kid. You’ve shone brighter this year than I ever thought possible and my heart beams with pride at the person you already are. You have a heart of gold. A spirit that’s wiser than it’s years. And a brain… well, just like your dad’s.  You’re absolutely brilliant.  In every way.   You make me want to be better, I say that probably too often.  You are worth growing for, worth getting uncomfortable for, worth stretching outside of my own barriers for.  I hope above all else, this year, I’ve taught you how to love through.   Through happiness, through tears, through discomfort, through life. And throughout your own life, and what it throws at you, I hope you embrace it all with an open heart and an open mind. I hope upon hope that I’m able to teach you from example that most of all, it is possible to love unconditionally, hard, and through.

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You are amazing. When you make mistakes, you pick yourself up by the bootstraps with a dignity that is beyond your years. I will never get used to sitting on the sidelines while it all plays out, but I trust you enough to know that you can handle it and I hope I show you enough that you already know. There will never be a mistake you make that you can’t come back from. I… WE, will be your soft place, always. All ways. We will always be standing by. You’re dad and I, above everything we’ve ever accomplished in our lives, you are the best thing we’ve ever done. We are just so proud of you.

I can’t wait to be surprised by you again and again this upcoming year. I love you fiercely. Always, forever, yesterday, and today. NO MATTER WHAT.

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This song’s for you, boo.  I hope it becomes your life anthem.

I lived – One Republic

Hope when you take that jump
You don’t fear the fall
Hope when the water rises
You build a wall

Hope when the crowd screams out
They’re screaming your name
Hope if everybody runs
You choose to stay

Hope that you fall in love
And it hurts so bad
The only way you can know
Is give it all you have

And I hope that you don’t suffer
But take the pain
Hope when the moment comes
You’ll say…

I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second
That this world could give
I saw so many places
The things that I did
Yeah, with every broken bone
I swear I lived

Hope that you spend your days
But they all add up
And when that sun goes down
Hope you raise your cup

I wish that I could witness
All your joy and all your pain
But until my moment comes
I’ll say…

I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second
That this world could give
I saw so many places
The things that I did
Yeah, with every broken bone
I swear I lived

Yeah, with every broken bone
I swear I lived
Yeah, with every broken bone
I swear I lived

I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second
That this world could give
I saw so many places
The things that I did
Yeah, with every broken bone
I swear I lived

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Like a rainbow in a storm

January 13th, 2014

Sometimes I feel really lonely, even though I have a little one with me 24/7. He’s good company, but you know. Especially right now during SuperBowl Season. It’s a stressful time for us. Those mid-day phone calls or texts that Rustin and I would normally exchange diminish, not significantly but enough to notice. We’ve been doing this long enough to know that we only have about a month left and it will be over… until the next time. It’s not something I can fully explain, but I feel a different kind of pressure than Rustin. I may not be on the payroll, but we’re all affected nonetheless.

So anyway, I’ve been feeling a yearning for a bit of a connection lately. Not necessarily because of SuperBowl but I can’t say for certain that the pressure isn’t somewhat responsible. I sent out about a handful of texts last week for a chance to spend time with anyone and as luck would have it everyone was sick/couldn’t hang for a bit. I even sent out a cattle call tweet for a new shopping buddy {yep I did!}, but I got no bites. It was mostly a silly tweet, but I can’t say for certain that I wouldn’t have taken anyone up on their offer. I’ve met some fun people that way.

On a short trip to the store I got a random nice text from a long-distance friend: “Thankful for you today.” And right there in the middle of the store I burst into tears. It was like I was sending out my sad vibes through the airwaves and she got it loud and clear. I haven’t felt a deep need to see her than in that moment. We texted for a bit and I lamented, but I needed some face time in a way texts just couldn’t fulfill.

A funny thing did happen a few days later though. Last Friday I sent another text to a different friend. Our convo went something like this:

Good morning! What are your plans for today?

Good morning! Not sure yet!

Does H have school today?

Yea. But I may keep him home.

Everything ok?

Yep!

Oh good! Wanna get the boys together then? :D That’s an excuse I just want to see you. :)

Yes!! We were thinking of coming up that way!

Oh really? We were thinking of driving down your way! It’s destiny!

LOL! It’s true! I’m good either way!

And that’s how fate decided to intervene when I was really needing one. The boys played while we talked and talked and… yea, we talked a lot. We just happened to be needing the same thing right — some QT and a good laugh.

There are few things in this world that can mend most anything by just showing up; a friend is one of them. They have supreme super powers that are unparalleled to chicken soup and all ice-cream flavors. They can heal broken hearts, let you have complete freedom to be who you are, and have a dance party with you all in one sitting. And the best part? They laugh at all your dumb jokes.

Technology is great. It really is. It has let me maintain my long-distance relationships and helped me acquire new ones that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. But sometimes that simple knock on the door or phone call makes a world of difference.

And just to show you I’m not at all against technology, I think you should send text to a friend right now. Who knows? You might just make them shed happy tears. :)

I really miss writing. Cheers, friends!

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About Spring + photos

May 8th, 2013

Don’t you just love Spring? I do. What do you love about it (if you do)?

Maybe it’s cultivating the areas of your yard that seem to kill off everything you attempt to plant in that given area by completely replacing the soil and planting a shizload of delicious and healthiful fruits. *Fingers Crossed* Please don’t die.

Strawberries!

Maybe it’s the greeting you receive from an old friend.

Two Lips

And admire its cousin, who idly stands by ready for the same admiration. You beautiful thing, you.

Yes more!

Or perhaps it’s seeing it all from a different angle and being reminded to look up every once in a while.

I look up to green things

And I can’t forget how much fun it is to see plants you’ve never before grown, germinate and sprout. I dream of what a yummy tasting summer it will be with these beauties growing in our own backyard, thanks to my little one who wanted to grow corn this summer. I know, CORN!

Corny!

Also, watermelon. I’m officially turning in my black thumb for a green one! w00t! (also w00ting just totally dated me, but I don’ts caresszzzz.)

watermelon!

Finding new friends in your own backyard…

Katter!

…and daydreaming every night with the same little one about whether our new friend has turned into a butterfly yet. And where? And how? And what does he eat? And why are all caterpillars boys and butterflies girls?

Friendly fella.

But maybe, it’s celebrating an anniversary a tad different this year.

Yay!

But a little more on that later. But look! That five-point star right in the middle of the flower sealed the deal, for this Cherry Blossom beauty.

We’ve got our gardens in full bloom right now, and it all smells divine. My little one and I take daily strolls around our neighborhood and I constantly stop at every flowering bush, tree, and garden to smell those delicious flowers. Winter’s over folks! If you’re on instagram find me: @findmimi, and post some Spring-y photos and tag me! Use the hashtag #mimilovesspring so that we can all share and maybe find new friends along the way. :)

Cheer, friends! Happy Spring! (Almost summer! Eeep!)

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Because depression needs to have a face.

March 23rd, 2013

So, it’s been a good minute since I’ve written anything of value (if I ever write anything of value) and I guess the only reason I’ve got is that there is only so much patience a person has for the sad/heavy stuff before they start to get annoyed and I was afraid to bore you. I wasn’t sure how to let everyone in without sounding like a complete victim. So I stayed away for awhile. Believe me I really wanted to spill it while it was all happening.

I was on a run yesterday, the first in a really long time. I had attempted a few runs last summer but most ended in a sobby blubbery mess, so I quit doing it. But yesterday I felt a motivation I haven’t felt in a while, one that felt like this would be different.

I have a favorite route that I decided to take. The first mile and a half is a hard incline and at the top is a gorgeous view of the mountains. Stables and horses, and an orchard set the atmosphere; it’s peaceful and beautiful, especially at sunset. The third mile is all downhill. I can’t really explain the liberation and sense of accomplishment that comes from a full throttle run toward sunset after a hard battle but it’s a great feeling of appreciation of being alive and in that moment.

The music blares in my ears and I set off, half expecting the same result I’ve had but I eager to just get out there. It feels good, familiar. And I hear this and it takes me back. I hit the pavement, ignoring the bite that is in the air, it’s got my attention and I listen. I hear it. It is me. The story, the bridge.

Standing where I am now, standing up at all

For whatever reasons, and I’m sure my therapist has a list, my miscarriage last year completely leveled me. It destroyed me head to toe, inside out. Can you visualize an imploding building? That was me. I was emotionally bankrupt, too hurt to see past the hurt and mentally exhausted. If not for a few people that cared enough to see the hurt that was behind the shell and supported how much help I needed… well, honestly I’m not sure where we’d all be today. I’m lucky that we all made out ok.

I was used to feeling like I was never gonna see myself at the finish line

We.

Because it affected everyone in this house. Not just me. I like to think of it like a drop of ink in water, it starts small and in one spot, but pretty soon the entire glass of water will be black.

The word depression evokes different feelings from different people. Sometimes it’s used as a descriptive term; an emotion, like being sad. It’s been thrown around so much that the weight of what it is, in some ways, has been lost. That’s fine. But when I say depression here, what I mean is the clinical term. I’m talking the down and dirty depression, the diagnosis. The kind that, for some people, ends in a very sad and tragic way.

Hanging on to parts of me, hanging on at all

The only (and I do mean the only) reason this story does not end in that tragic way is because I couldn’t bear the thought of my boy feeling or thinking that I didn’t love him enough to stick around. That he wasn’t worth it. He most definitely is and I’d be damned before I let him feel like that, but I can’t say I didn’t also feel resentment for being stuck which only fueled the guilt fire and made me feel more out of control because I couldn’t find my own footing. It spiraled and spiraled and I’ve never felt more lost and alone than how I did then. My own self-love vanished, and I didn’t know how to cry out in any other way than in the ways that I did. It was not nice and polite. It was raw and it was real. And I needed help.

I was used to seeing no future in my sight line

I hated myself for feeling the way that I did. The little love I had left I gave to my boy and friends. Whatever was left (which admittedly was not much) I gave to my husband and I had none left for myself. I’m not saying that anything I did was right, this is just how it all played out. I felt like I was at the mercy of this thing that was in my head. I couldn’t do anything without making it worse. So I just gave up. I gave up. I had nothing to offer anyone, not even myself. I stopped living. I was a shell. I felt nothing and I cared about nothing, I was nothing. I was vulnerable and paranoid. And I couldn’t stop my head from spinning.

Sometimes it feels like they wanna remind me
Send all those villains after me

You are in control of what you think and how you feel. If you want to be happy, just decide to be. Unfortunately, that is not the case with depression. The thing that is important to understand about depression (and what I’ve learned from doctors and experts since), is that it exacerbates the parts of one’s brain that is responsible for emotions like anger, sorrow, fear, paranoia and the parts that are responsible for reasoning, logic, decision-making, and positive-thinking fall asleep. Obviously there is plenty that is not understood, and more out there than just this clear cut definition, but for the sake of this post, we won’t dive in too deep.

I could not help myself. I could not help myself.

This thing that invaded my head was a liar. It made me feel worthless, I was unable to logic myself out of any kind of thinking. My future stopped. I felt hopeless. And if you can sit and think about just one day without a bit of hope or a different tomorrow, you quickly find no reason for your existence. What, you begin to ask, is the point of even being around. And I wished I could just disappear. I wished and prayed for someone to take me out of the game.

Rustin and I were not well, we were the opposite of well. We could not get along. Not necessarily as a result of this, but it didn’t help. We were hurt and angry and bitter, and suffering in our own ways. We messed up and messed up some more and made things worse until we were at a place where something had to give. As a last ditch effort to save our family, we saw a therapist. It was the final straw, the thing that would decided if we were going to make it or not.

I’m not their hero
But that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t brave
I never walked the party line
Doesn’t mean that I was never afraid
I’m not your hero
But that doesn’t mean we’re not one and the same

I knew that if I didn’t do something, my family would fall apart. It already was. My husband and I were on the brink of divorce and I couldn’t live with the weight of everything, my family, my pain, our marriage, sitting on my shoulders anymore. I would not let my emotional instability be the reason our family fell apart. And so despite my cloudy thinking, I decided that I wouldn’t give up until I felt I had rung every last bell. So I walked into our therapist’s office and told her that I wasn’t ok, that I needed help. Words I felt I had said a million times to a hundred people, but I gave it one more go. And she referred me to the person that would ultimately save our lives. Mine.

Feeling like I am now lighting up the hall

We worked hard, she and I. I dug deep. I was in it for a tomorrow for my family, with or without me. Even if it did all fall apart I couldn’t allow them to make excuses for me, they wouldn’t be able to say that I didn’t do everything that I knew how to do or seek more answers when I ran out of those. So I drank every bit of water which she lead me to, and it didn’t get easier to swallow. Sometimes. Sometimes I felt like she was the only person who wanted me to be healthy (again, the liar). I was constantly working, running my wheels and most of the time it didn’t make me feel any better. I felt the same. And I couldn’t understand it. She was encouraging and had nice things to say, but there wasn’t anything she could say that would make me believe her. I believed I was a horrible person for feeling the way that I did over a little miscarriage and creating this massive mess in my wake. I took responsibility for everything that had happened to us. I felt the world’s problems on my shoulders. I belittled the heaviness that had happened to us and I ridiculed myself for being “sad”. I was mean to me.

I was used to standing in the shadow of a damaged heart

Aren’t we all? It wasn’t until I learned how to be my own best-friend that things started clicking slowly. I had to learn how to be nice to myself, to forgive myself. That was hard. I was so used to exercising the other part of my brain, and working myself up to being kind to me was like learning to walk all over again. It’s easier now. I still catch myself sometimes when I get too hard on myself. Can’t stop working out the right muscle or it will go weak again.

I never thought I would be out of that horrible period in my life, it seemed like it would last forever. It did last forever. It was dark, it was scary, it was lonely and I don’t want to do that again. I got the right treatment for my depression. I’m one of the lucky ones that got a diagnosis and got the proper treatment on the first go. I’m not saying it was easy. It was the opposite of easy, and it wasn’t a fast turn-around either. Before this I merely mused that I suffered from depression, but a diagnosis made it real. Instead of shame, I felt relieved that I finally had a name for this. I have control again.

Learning all I know now, losing all I did. I never used to feel like I’d be standing so far ahead.

I had to face the reality of losing everything in order to save myself. I didn’t know that I had to save myself in order to save my family. I had to be selfish and work on myself and hope that everything else wouldn’t fall apart while I did. I didn’t know it at the time but that little baby, and my boy, saved my life.

I come up around the bend and see the beautiful sunset and houses below me. People are taking their afternoon strolls with their families as I run by. I am here and this is real. They acknowledge me and offer warm smiles. If they only knew, it wasn’t long ago when I didn’t feel worthy of accepting their smiles.

It was a hard incline but in that simple moment, with just my running shoes, I recovered that last piece of myself that had been missing. A sense of pride for keeping our family together and not settling for a half-life. I did that. With help, yes. Together, all of us, in a lot of ways. But I could finally take responsibility for the parts that were built from my own hands, I helped to create something good. And that feels good.

I realized that the thing that had been going wrong all along, that which made my runs unsuccessful and the reason why I couldn’t pick up my camera anymore, was a collision of a former self and a past self that couldn’t connect just right. I can’t recover that person I used to be. I could never be that girl again. The sense of loss is real to me, future and past; I could lose everything at any given moment, it happens. I’ve been changed too much. And when the two selves collided they crashed, hard. What had been missing was the bridge that connected the two. Forgiveness, acceptance, and love for me.

It comes in different forms. It is the motivation to lead a healthy lifestyle, it is standing up for yourself when you need to, it is speaking up about your needs and desires. It is the decision to make a difference in the world and believing that you can. All of these things and more, are a gentle nudge in your own direction.

Sometimes it feels what I recovered you lost
Sending your peaceful loss to me

Depression is ugly. It’s an invader of families. An invader of life. It undervalues the beautiful aspects of life and in place of one’s best self it leaves the ghost of one’s worst self x 10. It’s an ugly cycle that will continue unless it is interrupted. It must be interrupted or it will never go away on its own. Like diabetes, it must be treated. Not necessarily through medication but through some form of treatment. It’s a disease. And it’s real. Some people can’t just choose to be happy because they don’t have the ability. It’s not an excuse, it’s a disease and it’s real.

Sometimes it feels like the side that I’m on
Plays the toughest hand, holds the longest stand
Sometimes it feels like I’m all that they’ve got
It’s so hard to know I’m not what they want

If this at all sounds like you, I can’t be your hero but let me assure you that there is more for you. The sense of control that you’ve lost is there, you just need a hand. Don’t do it for you if it’s too much. Sometimes doing it for someone else is the little push we need to make the best decisions for ourselves, even if we don’t realize it at the time. And that applies to everyone in some ways, not just those dealing with depression. You can be your own hero.

I’m not their hero
But that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t brave
I never walked the party line
Doesn’t mean that I was never afraid
I’m not your hero
But that doesn’t mean we’re not one and the same
I do my best to walk the finest line
Till I’ve had all that I can take

I am not any different than anyone else on this planet. Had I not revealed this part of myself you wouldn’t know it had taken place. I don’t have a constant rain cloud over my head like the commercials would have you believe. I am normal. I try to be a decent human, just like everyone else (well except the serial killers). And I screw it up, just like everyone else. Just like normal people do. I put my kids first, just like you moms out there. I compete with myself, just like you athletes. And I hurt sometimes, just like you humans.

On this day, the anniversary of our first miscarriage, we will not mourn the little lives lost or remember our battle last year with regret. We choose to be thankful for the chance that we’ve been given to recover ourselves and do things right. There is plenty to celebrate and today is no different than any other day. We are together and I can’t find a better reason to kick up our heals and rejoice in that. I’m not saying we’ll make it through the day without feeling a sense of loss, but if it happens we’ll do it together.

Together. And here.

Cheers and happy Saturday, friends.

Forrest. Forrest Gump.

**************************************************************************************************************
Music: I’m Not Your Hero
By: Tegan and Sara

Standing where I am now, standing up at all
I was used to feeling like I was never gonna see myself at the finish line
Hanging on to parts of me, hanging on at all
I was used to seeing no future in my sight line

Sometimes it feels like they wanna remind me
Send all those villains after me

I’m not their hero
But that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t brave
I never walked the party line
Doesn’t mean that I was never afraid
I’m not your hero
But that doesn’t mean we’re not one and the same

Feeling like I am now lighting up the hall
I was used to standing in the shadow of a damaged heart
Learning all I know now, losing all I did
I never used to feel like I’d be standing so far ahead

Sometimes it feels what I recovered you lost
Sending your peaceful loss to me

I’m not their hero
But that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t brave
I never walked the party line
Doesn’t mean that I was never afraid
I’m not your hero
But that doesn’t mean we’re not one and the same

Sometimes it feels like the side that I’m on
Plays the toughest hand, holds the longest stand
Sometimes it feels like I’m all that they’ve got
It’s so hard to know I’m not what they want

Sometimes it feels like the side that I’m on
Plays the toughest hand, holds the longest stand
Sometimes it feels like I’m all that they’ve got
It’s so hard to know I’m not what they want

I’m not their hero
But that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t brave
I never walked the party line
Doesn’t mean that I was never afraid
I’m not your hero
But that doesn’t mean we’re not one and the same
I do my best to walk the finest line
Till I’ve had all that I can take

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What “Twilight” taught me.

March 14th, 2013

Yes, the Stephanie Meyer books. What could these, um, not-so-literary-genius books have taught you?, you seem to ask. And let me say, before we start, that if you are a die-hard sparkly vampire wish-head you will not like, and will completely disagree, with what I’m about to say so you should probably quit reading now to save yourself from hateful emotions (because those are bad!) or before commenting that these books are better than anything Poe wrote (because you are wrong!). So quit it!

I’m a reader. I’m on a constant lookout for new books to dive into. I love everything about books. I love the way they feel and the way they smell. There is nothing more exhilarating to me than opening a new book, and nothing more lonely than closing that last page of a great book.

I love books.

You read that right, books. All inclusive. Even the bad ones.

How can you appreciate a bad book, you ask? Like this, Stephanie Meyer taught me that life is too short to continue reading a lame book; there are far too many books on the shelf.

Once upon a time, I read all 3 (or is it 4?) Twilight books because I considered myself a “dedicated” reader. I finished every book that I started, even if I lost interest halfway through. I hoped that the hype I kept hearing about Twilight would pay off somewhere. Yea, it never did for me and instead it left me angry that I’d wasted any time on them at all. But, I justified, I wanted to give them a fair shake and form a proper opinion.

Now, listen to me, I totally get that what is a bad book for me is a good book for another. I get that the topic is subjective. So I’ll save defining my version of a bad book for another day. But basically, be original, be smart, and don’t try too hard. You can guess where Twilight missed the mark right? And don’t give me the excuse that these books were intended for young adults because J.K. Rowling wrote for CHILDREN, and what she produced were some of the most cleverly witty and creatively original books I’ve ever, EVER read. And not DUMBED-DOWN. Bah.

I’m getting to my point. Today marks a new day and therefore deserves a place in my archives for eternity! For the very first time in ever, I have closed a book halfway through a read. I have never, ever done that before today. So thank you Stephanie Meyer for helping me see the light. I refuse to spend another minute on a terrible book. And I don’t care to form a rounded opinion about the hypey ones anymore, a bad read is not worth it! I’m only sad that it took me so long to get a friggin’ clue.

At least it was 20% off.

So this. It wasn’t so much the not-so-subtle nods to characters of the bible and their strangely young and annoying libidos (which is clearly a ruse to get someone’s goat) but when Sylvia Day began name-dropping, I quit.

This is the first of a trilogy and I don’t even a little bit care about how this all plays out. And I really don’t mean this as an insult at all, but if you are a Twilight fan you will probably like this book. Plus, there’s premarital sex with Cain and a woman named Eve!!! Where are my Freudian followers at? So very oedipus, also incestuous (my auto-correct kept trying to change that to ancestral. :) That too, auto-correct. That too.) since she also has the hots for Abel. Yep. I’m giving away a copy for those of you interested. :) No judgement. There are also werewolves, see like Twilight! (And what they have to do with the bible I’m still not sure.)

But on to better books…

These I quite enjoyed, and one that is not in the photo because it was purchased in iBooks, is Dark Objects by the same author. All page-turners and quick reads and thriller mysteries. Mucho like for their originality. Well done, GF.

Good 'uns.

Now that I’m done, it’s your turn to tell me some not-so-stellar books YOU’VE read recently. And, in your opinion, what made them bad? Also, since I’m currently between books, I am looking for some recommendations… for good books. :D And if you say 50 Shades I will cut you. (Although I’ve heard that “Between Shades of Gray” by Ruta Septys is quite wonderful and, incidentally, has absolutely nothing to do with BDSM or the 50 Shades books. Have you read this and did you like it?)

Ok, now I’m really done. Books, books, books.

Cheers friends and happy Spring!

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Happy Birthday to me + 30 Before 30 revisited

January 8th, 2013

As we sat in the car driving to a destination unimportant in the telling of this story, it struck me, a moment of sheer magnificence, “We’re doing a couples goals list this year!” Why didn’t I think of this sooner? It’s bloody brilliant, I thought to myself, smiling on the inside for being so clever. I could see the shiny “Best Couple Ever” trophy sitting on our mantel now. It was beautiful. And then I saw his face. No, THE face. The one that said, Why can’t I have a normal wife? And then a softening of the eyes occurred as I hurriedly tried to recover, “No… it’ll be a silly/funny list. One that includes stuff like toilet-papering someone’s house or getting arrested… although that one’s not really funny at the moment, but it’ll be a funny story to tell later!”

“You want to get arrested?”

“Only with you, and only if it makes you laugh!”

He conceded.

And that is how my bloody brilliant idea of having a Couples Goals List was born. He happily warmed up to the idea when I promised he wouldn’t have to take dancing classes with me. :) Oh, and if you get toilet-papered this year… it was totally not us, but don’t call the cops because getting arrested didn’t actually make it on the list! Please and thank you.

Speaking of lists…

Last year I made a list called my 30 Before 30 List (recently updated with the things that I accomplished). I didn’t do very well at all, it sorta fell off the priority list, sadly, so I’m calling a re-do because I’m so sure I can do better! I quite enjoyed accomplishing the goals that I did meet and tracking it was extra fun. So much so, that I think I may do one for every birthday. I’m calling this one my 30 FOR 30 List. See, totally different. Some items which didn’t get crossed off I recycled, others I adjusted to a more realistic goal {Like my reading goal, really? 30 books! Sheesh.} and most are totally brand new. I have until my next birthday to complete the items on the list. :)

Ready? This year I am going to:

*Read 16 books
*Try 30 new foods
*Meet 30 people
*Take family photos for each season/big holiday
*Plant a vegetable garden and keep it alive. All season.
*Take a themed photo once a month (I am going to need some volunteers for this one… )
*Attend Lavender Days
*Attend the Tulip Festival
*Visit the Spiral Jetty (Road trip, anyone?)
*Go on a hot air balloon ride
*Swim with dolphins
*Host a dinner party
*Completely decorate the dining room
*Order and hang at least one large canvas print
*Date with my boy once a month
*Take Yoga for a month; at least once a week
*Have a penpal
*Volunteer at a homeless shelter/soup kitchen (family)
*Create a new jam
*Enter said jam in the county fair (And get the blue ribbon!!!)
*Visit The National Holocaust Memorial Museum
*Run a 5k in 27:00
*Print and frame more photos; especially of me and Rustin.
*Face a fear
*Carry Li’l Squish in my purse at all times (Don’t worry, Li’l Squish is not a pet. It’s also nothing gutter-worthy you dirty-minded people!)
*Take more video
*Journal twice/week
*Finish knitting Rustin’s sweater
*Discover a new talent
*Attend a concert

Oh, and for my birthday this year… this!

Happy Birthday to meeeee!

Aren’t my boys the best!?!?!

Cheers!

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Happy New Year from The Jessens!

January 1st, 2013

Who’s happy to say good riddance to 2012? These folks right here!

Happy New Year from us to you!

Hide your face!



May 2013 be gracious and sunny to you and your family. Be kind to others, eat good food, and relish in the silliness every now and then.

XOXO,
The Jessens

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