“WE were ON a BREAK!”

Could this BE any more hilarious?

Could this BE any more hilarious?

 

If you know me in real life, you know that “Friends” is one of my favorite shows ever (Erin, are you reading this? You better be).

Just kidding, I needed a reason to find this dude because I LOVE HIM

Just kidding, I needed a reason to find this dude because I LOVE HIM

Sometimes a break is the best thing you can do for yourself. Hey, look at the show. They end up together, don’t they? Ya never know.

I’m going through a tough time right now. I feel like I always seem to have something stressful going on, but this is a pretty big one. I don’t want to go into detail because I’m still figuring things out myself. But hey, if you believe in prayer, throw some my way as often as you like!

I’m the kind of person who “stress eats” when I am stressed out. Makes sense! But when I go through really hard times, I have a hard time eating. When I pull myself out of the funk and actually start eating, I still lose weight. That’s becomes the point where I think “Oh hai…you are stressed out like WHOA and need to figure things out. Life isn’t that bad! Get it together and it will be okay.”

I guess I’m the same way with writing. I may go long periods without posting blogs, but I’m still jotting notes, tapping ideas into my iPhone, spinning tales in my mind.

I’ve lost it all because I’m too sad.

One day I won’t be so sad, and one day I’ll write again. But this time, I’ll start with the journals, the notes jotted for me and me alone, the comfort of knowing that it’s okay if others read the words I write.

Until then, thank you. Thank you for always being faithful, for leaving comments that always made me smile, and making me feel that maybe, just maybe, I was good at this writing thing.

I know I’m a good mom, but when I’m this stressed out, I worry it will affect my Boo Boo. She is amazing! In fact, I’ll leave this melancholy blog on a happy note! You’ll get a picture of Baby Anna, and the lyrics to one of my favorite songs ever. It’s the kind of song that makes you happy and sad and seems to apply to your life at random times.

I dress her in pink, people still think she's a boy. I think she's beautiful.

I dress her in pink, people still think she’s a boy. I think she’s beautiful.

 

“Of all the things I still remember, summers never looked the same,

Years go by and time just seems to fly, but the memories remain,

In the middle of September we’d still play out in the rain,

Nothing to lose but everything to gain,

Reflecting now on how things could have been,

It was worth it in the end.”

~ September ~ Chris Daughtry

 

Nothing is forever, but thank you for giving me something to aspire to come back to.

~Jen

 

Five Question Friday and a Shout-out to Dayle

I stole this from my friend Dayle, who has committed to blog every day in 2013. I realize blogs like this are meant to give regular bloggers a break, and I’ve had a break for…um….well a while now. But hey, I have to get back into the habit of writing, so I’ll jump at this opportunity.

Check out Dayle’s answers here.

 

Answer the questions in the comments or on your own blog (but leave a link)!

 

Five Question Friday

1. What holiday do you wish did not exist?

Valentine’s Day. It’s a silly Hallmark holiday, in my opinion. If you’re single, you’re depressed. If you’re married/in a relationship, you feel the need to do something special…but doing something special means spending more money than is reasonable. Dinners out are more expensive, the price of flowers is ridiculous, the menu is usually limited and you are crammed into your table, surrounded by a bunch of strangers who are entirely too close to your elbow.


2. What is your favorite romance/love movie?

I Love Trouble. It’s not a traditional romance movie, but it’s still a love story.

3. Do you make a big production out of celebrating Valentine’s Day?

Not at all. I would rather get flowers on a random day. And chocolate is pretty much a staple in my household.

4. What is something weird you did as a child? (or even now!)

Oh goodness. How much time do you have? To follow Dayle’s example (because this story is too funny not to share), I had an imaginary friend named Judy. When I went to my grandparents house, I always played behind one of the chairs in the living room. One day I came out from behind the chair and announced that Judy had died from drinking too much wine.

5. What makes you love your husband, really LOVE him, you know since Valentines is coming up?

He is my best friend and always makes me laugh. We have a goofy, silly relationship, which I never had before. I thought I wanted the traditional romance, but realized that everyone’s definition of romance is different. He makes me feel secure and safe. He cooks, cleans and never makes me feel like I have to do everything myself.

The family, minus Sir Frederick

The family, minus Sir Frederick

Just . . . Stop

I am a self-proclaimed-crappy-journal-writer. When friends post blogs and pull lines or pages from previous journals, it makes me sad. Sometimes I can’t even read the blog. I have a few journals with scattered thoughts, tucked away in a box somewhere. But I do not possess notebook upon notebook. I have more than one, but only one or two that has actually been filled. Instead, all my thoughts are crammed into my head, and it’s no wonder I have a hard time shutting off my brain.

For background, I started out at a young age, writing anything I could write. I copied definitions from the dictionary, just to feel the pen or pencil glide across the paper. I started silly stories, wrote down the things that made me angry, and scribbled other nonsense that only an eight-year-old can dream up.

My scribbles were found, read and scrutinized. My stories were mistaken as a reflection of my real life, my angry ramblings were criticized, and my nonsense was taken out of context and almost ridiculed.

It was hard for me to write again, for a long time. And even though I have worked through a lot of the issues (although, not with the person who gave me the issues), I hesitate to journal.

I know my husband won’t go through my things or read my words, but someone else might, someday. What if I am brutally honest and write the things I am feeling while being pregnant, and my child reads it one day? What if I’m gone, and my words are found, but I can no longer defend my feelings or choices?

I was 14 when my aunt passed away, and her parents read her journals. I remember my mom telling me how upset everyone was by her words. That only increased my fear and anxiety.

I carry my journal in my purse but rarely try to fill its pages. I ache to write more, and the more I write little nothings, the more I want to write blogs, or dabble with the two main books in my head, or try to find a “real job” where I can write (in addition to, not instead of, my current job).

Yesterday I started to write more. It was glorious. I had started lugging my laptop to work again, but I know this will not be feasible when my stomach prevents me from seeing my feet. Sometimes I’ll send myself an email, filled with blog ideas, book excerpts or quotes I want to expand.

Maybe I should email myself my journal. Maybe that will help squash the fear until it’s completely gone. Will it ever be gone?

I won’t know until I stop being afraid. If I wake up every day and tell myself, “You are not afraid of your words being read,” perhaps I will start to believe it. Maybe it’s the same principle as “Choose to be happy, and you will be happy.” My inner snarky self is already laughing at me, knowing it’s hard for me to change.

I’m going to try anyway. I want to write about everything. The beach, working in bridal, basketball, being pregnant, my dogs, my loves, my life. The things I want read and the things I want to keep hidden. The good and the bad, the issues and the triumphs, the family who stayed and the family who flew away.

So I will. If someone reads it and gets offended, oh well. I will never be truly happy with all these thoughts in my head.

And maybe these darn headaches will finally give me some peace.

Nicknames: A Dog’s Perspective

Hi, my name is Fred. My mom and dad think I’m just a pup but I wrote this blog all by myself.

“Checking my emailz after a hard day of blogging.”

My mom likes to write, and she told me that me and my sister are her favorite subjects, whatever that means. I like to write about Mom and Dad because they can be pretty silly.

They don’t always call me Fred, you know. Mom told me she really likes nicknames, which makes sense because her first name is Jen, and that’s basically a nickname. She said she had a lot of them when she was younger, and after she says that she cries a little and calls herself old.

My favorite nickname is “Bubba.” Dad likes to say it in a deep voice and drag it all out, and it makes my tail wag even when I’m mad at him. Sometimes he yells at me for licking my paws, but it’s the itchies! It’s not my fault.

“Maybe if I’m half-in and half-out, the itchies can’t find me.”

Mom likes to call me “Frederick McHandsome Face,” which is just darn embarrassing. Sometimes Dad just shortens it to “The Face.” They like to talk about that time they picked me up from the vet, right before I came to my fur-ever home. I remember being reallllllly sleepy, but I still heard them give the nurse lady my name, Fred. She got all excited because I had been charming her for hours before they put that yucky needle in me and I went to sleeps. She yelled out, “Ohhh, the one with the face!” Mom and Dad cracked up and they tell me all the time that I was the only one at the vet that had a face!

“This mug is worth capturing.”

Mom even has friends who give me nicknames. I’m sorta famous. She has a friend who lives far, far away, and she calls me “Golden Boy.” Mom and I have never even met her, but she loves to stare at pictures of me. It’s tough work, being so adorable. I guess someone has to do it.

Then there are times they don’t use a nickname at all, but my full name, Frederick. Unless it’s followed by “McHandsome Face,” it usually means I’m in trouble. I get in trouble a lot. But sometimes Mom sings me little songs, especially when I don’t feel like pooping. One of them goes, “Frederick, Frederick, where is your poop?” I like that song, because she only sings it when she’s in a good mood.

Chill, Mom. I will poop when I’m ready.”

My sister’s name is Angel, but she doesn’t have as many nicknames as I do. Dad likes to call her “Ang” and he says it in that deep voice. Her tail is lined with steel and when he does that, she gets really excited and hits me in the face with it.

“This is my sister. She’s pretty good at being a pillow.”

Dad also calls her “Girly Girl,” which is weird because we all know she’s a girl. Sometimes I try to hump her so she doesn’t forget who’s boss. Mom and Dad don’t think it’s too funny when I do that, but Angel hasn’t bitten me yet, so I don’t see what the big deal is.

Mom likes to call her “Pretty Girl,” and sometimes she will tell her over and over how pretty she is!

“She’s okay, for a girl.”

It’s the same thing as when Mom tells me I’m so handsome she can’t even stand it. I don’t know how she gets through the day sometimes, surrounded by such a good-looking crew.

I wonder how many dogs like me have human parents that call them funny names. I doubt they are silly as my mom and dad. Sometimes I give them this face so they don’t get big egos and think they are hilarious.

Mom says we have a little brother or sister coming, but it won’t look like me and Angel. I wonder what nicknames they will have for the baby? I’m just hoping it doesn’t smell too bad.

Thanks for reading my blog! My sister is pretty shy, but I keep telling her she needs to give blogging a try. Stay tuned, and maybe she’ll make her own appearance someday!

The Good, the Bad and the Pregnant!

In case you don’t religiously follow me on Facebook (and why wouldn’t you?!) I am 13 weeks pregnant. I know I’ve been a little quiet lately, but as the world leader in “Worst Poker Face Ever,” I didn’t feel capable of posting without giving away my little secret. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been avoiding friends-in-real-life in order to not spill the beans.

But now the beans have been spilled! And all I want to write about is my various symptoms, expanding waistline and growing terror. Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled and excited to be a mom. I’m just not sure my developing child would choose me from a conveyor belt of potential parents.

All that being said, I’ve been thinking a lot about how interesting pregnancy is. It amazes me that every woman experiences this differently, even when she herself has multiple children. So here is my fun-filled list of how much pregnancy changes a woman; good, bad and mind-numbingly-confusing.

  • By the third or fourth trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night, you start to wonder if you’re secretly growing a prostate instead of a baby.
  • Stairs? Forget it. Just have one of those old-people-chair-escalator-things installed and invite your friends over. You may even get away with charging for rides, and let’s face it, you could really use the cash.
  • You cry at everything and nothing. The only reason I even suspected I was pregnant was from sobbing uncontrollably to an episode of “House.”
  • Every woman in your life asks if your breasts have gotten larger. This may not apply if you’re already blessed in that area. In my case, people are pretty darn excited for me.
  • The foods you used to love have now become “Get me a Snickers bar now if you value your life” serious.
  • Pickles and ice cream really are incredibly fantastic. No, not at the same time.
  • You have an overwhelming desire to start a support group for single moms.
  • If you’re lucky enough to be as severely afflicted with road rage as I am, prepare yourself! All logic goes out the window. You want to get out of your car and scream that people are not only endangering your life but the life of your unborn child. (Logic does not, however, tell you that you should now, more than ever, not be getting out of your car and screaming at complete strangers.)
  • Those little irritants of life are now full-blown conspiracies. Everyone is out to get you, everyone is trying to piss you off and yes, everyone sucks.
  • All the baby experts (people, books, websites) admit that morning sickness is total crap. Nausea happens all day, every day, and even when you’re also hungry. Even if you aren’t physically getting sick often, it’s pretty much all you can think about. Other than Snickers bars.
  • Your skin may start to hate you and cry out in rebellion. I had my eyebrows waxed two weeks ago and my forehead is still angry.
  • You start to panic about everything you need to buy. We need a crib! We need to paint! We don’t know if it’s a boy or girl, but clearly we need to buy clothes!
  • You aren’t even showing yet but you’re terrified for the inevitable belly touching. You start researching witty and sarcastic comments to make sure people never touch you again.
  • You question everything. Should I tell the names I have picked out? Will people like them? Who cares? Aren’t they going to judge me on everything else anyway?

I hope the baby doesn’t inherit my sarcasm or obsession with Snickers bars.

The Nameless Meme

“Fun” Facts

1) I can juggle.
2) My secret dream was to play for the WNBA. Or be a singer. I don’t know what happened.
3) Today is Leap Day, and it’s also my husband’s half birthday. He only gets one every four years!
4) I am obsessed with half birthdays.
5) I am writing two books in my head, but only have about 20 pages actually written. Stupid job! (Isn’t it fun, blaming things other than ourselves)? 🙂
6) I work for a plastic surgeon, and no I haven’t had anything “done.”

~~~~~~~~~~~
Questions
1) If you could have someone do one job/chore for you everyday, what would it be? Clean my bathrooms.

2) What has been your favorite vacation destination, and why? Oh man. I’ll have to go with Turks and Caicos, because it was my honeymoon! We had a blast.

How could you NOT have a blast?

3) What book have you read recently that you would recommend? I am finally reading “One for the Money,” and it is hilarious. The latest Reacher novel, by Lee Child, was also a winner.

4) If you could change your name, what would it be and why? I wanted to when I was younger, but I like my name now. I am a great example of how someone with an ordinary name can be quite extraordinary.

5) What seems impossible to you right now? Getting any work done today. It’s dark, dreary and rainy outside, and I would rather be home, curled up with my pups, reading a good book.

6) What is your favorite flower? Sterling roses. ❤

 

I’m bad at directions and was supposed to answer different questions. But I didn’t. I’m sticking with what I have, because I like my pretty pictures.

But Shawna had some good ones, so keep reading. . .

~~~~~~~~~~~
Now it’s your turn to blog six fun facts about yourself/your family, answer my questions, and tag your readers to join in as well (making up your own questions).

What are you …
1) reading?
2) eating next?
3) wearing?
4) doing this weekend?
5) worried about?
6) blessed by?

The Christmas Cards

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. Red hearts, chocolates and roses dance in the air. For those who don’t really celebrate, there is still that optimistic feeling that, if February 14th is already upon us, Memorial Day must be just around the corner.

But I am not thinking of chocolates or red hearts. December has come and gone, and even though the bitter cold remains, thoughts of the holidays are gone from everyone’s minds.

Except mine. I dream of spring, the smell of flowers, the absence of the biting cold, and the promise of warmth once again. But still, the Christmas cards, they dance in my head.

The first came via snail mail and was simply signed “Love, Mom.” The second was via e-card and was obviously not just sent to me, but to an unknown list of friends and family.

The third made me pause and reflect. “Surely, this one will be different.” I imagined an apology and quickly erased the thought. I’ve been known to get my hopes up, and the crashing-down-feeling has helped keep those hopes at a reasonable, attainable level.

But maybe it would be a start. Maybe it would open a door. Or even a small window. I was caught between a mixture of dread, anxiety, hope, fear and longing.

It carried no apology. Instead it was a poem, reminding us to live each day to the fullest. It advised to never live in the past. It spoke of hugging and kissing one’s children. It was a slap in my face.

It also carried a picture, one that should have made me smile. I felt a small smile on the inside, because above all else, I have only wished for her happiness. I have only wished for her to be okay. And now, it seemed she was.

The fourth and final card came a few days later in the mail. Before I opened it, I felt that familiar rush of emotions. I envisioned a tiny window, creaking itself open, rusty from months (years?) of neglect.

It was a paper replica of the third card, complete with poem and picture. There was no apology, no closure, no validation, and no peace. Just the sting left on my face.

And now? Now, I am needed in the midst of a health scare. There is new communication but no speak of issues past. There was the offer of meeting for a drink, from which I firmly (and without apology) sprinted away.

I should be thinking of love. But the love in my head, the love in my heart, the unconditional kind that I haven’t always felt, is the love on which I want to dwell. Instead, on the eve of celebrating Saint Valentine, I am left with a feeling of loss.

And just the memory of the Christmas cards.