2014: The Year of Jessica – Completely

Not to be confused with 2014: The Year of Jessica – Halfway…ish

It’s been about a year since I started this crazy journey of blogging and I think one of the best things I’ve discovered is that you can go back and read everything. I realize this is why people write in journals, but I tried that and failed. Miserably.

Being the last day of 2014, I decided to go back and read what I wrote on the last day of 2013. There were a lot of things that happened that year and a lot of things I wanted to do this year that didn’t happen. Let’s recap, shall we?

1. I wanted to travel more.

Well, I went to Cyprus and had an amazing time. So I get a gold star for that one!

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2. I wanted to do more things that scared the crap out of me.

Nope. Not really.

3. I wanted to become a runner.

I did two 5k’s and had a blast. So we’re up to 2 gold stars!

4. I wanted get my own place.

Nope. Not at all. But this is actually a blessing because I’ve been able to save a lot of money.

5. I wanted to release my first CD.

HA! Not even close!

6. I thought about auditioning for The Voice

Nope. Didn’t do that either

7. I wanted to go back to eating healthy and actually use my gym membership

Eh. I’ll give myself half a star for this. I did a lot of running/jogging in the summer. So 2.5 stars

8. I wanted to keep up with this blog

Well, if it weren’t for Simple Little Sunday that wouldn’t have happened. But I’ll still give myself a star. We’re up to 3.5 stars.

9. I wanted to be ok with the fact that a lot of these may not have happened.

I should get 10 stars for that, because I really am ok!

10. I decided that 2014 was going to rock my socks off.

Big 10-4 on that one! This has definitely been a great year. I’ll give myself another 10. Because I’m generous like that.

So that’s a total of 23.5 stars for 2014. Not too shabby!

So what made 2014 so special?

January marked my 31st birthday and it was phenomenal! My birthday was on a Wednesday so I didn’t expect anyone to want to go out but when I decided I was going to an open mic night, friends from all different circles came and surprised me! Even my boss was there!

February I was part of another Shoreline NOW, had some revelations about faith and love and went shooting for the first time with the man who would eventually steal my heart.

In March I thought it was a great idea to stalk my ex on Facebook. It was not. I also thought it was a great idea to try oil pulling. It was not. I said goodbye to three and a half of my friends (the half was Zelda…she was still cooking) and somehow pulled it together to lead worship their last Sunday. You wanna talk about God being your strength when you’re weak? Or what a sacrifice of praise is? Yeah. This also was the time when I “temporarily” began leading the youth group, a position I’ve completely accepted with a happy and full heart. I love those kids!

April brought about Cyprus, which I touched on above. I need to get back there, it’s on the list for this year. Those mountains are calling my name!

May started our Simple Little Sunday tradition, which is one of my favorite things. I also decided that I was truly ok with being single, and I liked it. Did life look how I expected it to? Nope. But I was fine with it, because life is an adventure. I also had the opportunity to speak at my church on the whole waiting process.

What am I thinking about here? Who knows…

A month later, in June, I started to become not ok with life again. Not that I was upset about anything, I was just BORED. Ironic, right? I just spoke about how waiting is a good thing and now I can hardly deal with it. So I changed a few things. And it worked pretty well. I also got to spend some quality time with my ladies (and a still-cooking Zelda)

July was when my life really started picking up and the whole bus stop thing that I talked about in May was finally changing. It started with me going to this guy’s house the day before I was actually invited, because I’m good like that. Guys, if I can tell you anything that I’ve learned in 2014 it would be this: sometimes mistakes turn into the best things that happen. Because guys, this happened:

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And as if July didn’t bring enough excitement, I got to see Sara Bareilles live again! And then hang out in Boston! And then see my little cousins! Guys. July freakin rocked!

August brought us Zelda Florence!

September brought the first wedding I sang in, as well as me trying to figure out how to write when I’m happy. That’s still a work in progress. I also got to dabble in painting while drinking, and I must say, I’m not too shabby! I also got to visit Elizabeth, Zack and Zelda in sunny Florida.

October brought more dates with my love, his birthday, my work wife’s birthday and Halloween.

November my friend Jesse Mac won the election for State Rep! I was so stinkin proud of him, you have no idea! I sang in my second wedding and was able to stand by two of my friends as they vowed to love one another until the end of time. We also had Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving and a road trip to pick up furniture from my grandmother’s house. November was busy.

But not as busy as December. Christmas parties galore (SWAT, My Julie’s, FBI, my girls, Xplore, youth group), actual Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, trying to find time to get everything done, eating too much food and spending time with people I love.  I also had to say goodbye to my friend Patrick, who went into Navy boot camp at the beginning of the month, and in less than a week I have to say goodbye to his wife. Goodbyes suck, but I know these two are friends for life, so I’m not worried about it. And I got to add Jaya Love to my life! She’s so perfect I can’t stand it! I mean, LOOK at her!

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All in all, as you can see, 2014 really did rock my socks off. I have no idea what 2015 will bring but it can only go up from here. Thanks to everyone who made this year so special, and here’s to man many more!

Christmas, Family, Quality Time and Enough #SimpleLittleSunday

Photo on 12-28-14 at 12.20 PM

  • Julia got a camera for Christmas and she got to take pictures with it
  • Max started his week and a half vacation and tomorrow he’s having a bro/sis day with his sister Cassandra.
  • Leila got to spend Christmas with her bff Emma. They did makeover on Dave, her dad’s friend.
  • Wendy got to spend Christmas with her dad! It’s been about 4 years since the last time she got to do that!
  • Grace’s sister drove all the way from California to visit.
  • God has been showing Breanne how He’s always enough. Instead of complaining about a situation she declares that He IS enough and she’s seen fruit from that.
  • Julie got neon orange knee socks ( aka: strange socks) from her grandmother. As Gabriel pointed out, these are normal socks for me.
  • So about 2 years ago (give or take 5) Gabriel found a brand of watch that he really wanted but never purchased it for himself. The other day our Pastor, Tim gave Gabriel the exact watch he wanted without knowing! 
  • I’ve been praying for no snow (I know…most people are mad at me) but so far it’s working! We’ve had a pretty warm December and I love it!
  • AND!!! Biggest and best of all! My friend Danielle had her baby girl on the 27th! She’s beautiful and perfect and wonderful and all those words you use to describe a newborn. Not everyone makes cute babies, but they made a cute baby! Her name is Jaya Love (which means Victorious Love) and I LOVE it! And her!

Holidays and the Public

To anyone who has to deal with the public during the holiday season,

People are mean.

People are grumpy.

People are awful.

People have this incredible way of feeling like they’re entitled.

Like they’re the kings and queens of the universe.

Like the world revolves around them.

Like their poop doesn’t stink!

Well, I’m here to remind you that they’re ridiculous. If you work with the public in any way, be it in retail, restaurants, the post office, etc. you know what I’m talking about. And I’m here to tell you a few things.

There was a woman in Target the other day who was being a bit ridiculous at customer service, in my opinion. I’m not exactly sure what she was trying to do, but apparently the woman behind the counter was offering her NO help at all.

Target Rep: I’m sorry ma’am, but I can’t do anything without the serial number.

Crazy Lady #1: well, isn’t that what’s on the receipt?

TR: No, the serial number is printed on the box. All electronics have them.

CL1: Well it’s already home and wrapped up.

TR: I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do.

CL1: Can’t you just !@#%!@? (I didn’t hear that part)

TR: No, I can’t access that screen without the serial number. That’s what I’m trying to explain to you.

CL1: But I told you! It’s already wrapped!

TR: Do you have someone at home that can carefully unwrap it and tell you the number over the phone?

CL1: Ugh! No! I guess I’ll just have to come back! (as she slams things back into her purse and walks away)

Seriously lady? First of all, how difficult is it to rewrap a gift? My cousin can undo the wrapping without even ripping anything! Granted it used to take her FOREVER, but that’s a rant for another time.

Is it a hassle that Crazy Lady #1 has to go back to Target again? Yes. But can’t we just accept that the person who WORKS AT THE STORE knows more than we do about their policies and the way things work there? The worker was apologizing the whole time, had a smile on her face and was doing everything she could to help but it was still for naught. I hope Crazy Lady #1 went home and ate some chocolate. I think she needed it.

Then today I went to the post office to mail a letter to my friend Patrick who joined the Navy at the beginning of the month. There was a line…as expected…I mean, it IS the holiday season…so I took my place and waited. A woman (we’ll call her Crazy Lady #2) walked in right after me, sat down ENTIRELY too close to me and huffed.

Someone got out of line and left, we all moved up, Crazy Lady #2 stood up (still entirely too close to me)

Crazy Lady #2: I’ll just go ahead and say what everyone is thinking (first of all, stop. Please don’t speak for me.) they should have a second lane open! After all, it IS the holiday season.

Sane Woman: Well we just need to be patient. I’m sure they’re doing the best that they can. (Yes. Thank you. You can speak for me.)

Everyone from this point on was silent. CL2 definitely spoke loud enough for the workers in the back to hear, I felt so bad for them. Thankfully, so did SW.

SW did what she needed to, was very nice to the postal worker and went on her way. I did the same. I know what it’s like to work with people (Customer Serivce at Shaw’s for 8 or 9 years) so I always try and be extra nice, especially during this time of year.

Next it was time for CL2 to get up. She puts two tote bags on the ground

Postal Worker (smiling): Hi Ma’am. You’re the one who was complaining about the line…

Crazy Lady #2: Yes, that was me. I hate to do this to you (lies) but I have these…

And she pulls out one padded envelope, about the size of a regular piece of paper, out of one of the bags.

At this point I left. I had to. I was afraid of what was going to go down after that, because CL2 probably had at least 20 of those envelopes that needed to be mailed separately. Poor, poor Postal Worker!

Thinking back, maybe I should’ve stayed to sing Christmas Carols with everyone else in line.

Regardless, bottom line is this:

No one deserves to be treated like garbage. You WILL get through this season. 

So from those of us who know how to be human beings:

You are appreciated. You are liked. And thank you for not yelling at us for someone else’s incompetence. It will get better. I promise. And at the very least, you won’t be searching for dinner conversation – because the public is a GOLD MINE for that.

Sports, School, Singing and Food #SimpleLittleSunday

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  • Wendy made the school basketball team! She’s part of the starting 5 as a forward.
  • Max saw the grand canyon! It was amazing and breathtaking and pictures don’t do it justice.
  • Breanne saw her friend Rebecca before she went back to college.
  • Julia is learning about Africa in Social Studies. They made a map out of dough and watched a cool video. It was fun, and any time school is fun, it should be on this list.
  • Ben got 100% on his electrical project. He had to wire in a receptacle, a light and 2 three-way switches.
  • Grace went christmas shopping.
  • Leila also went christmas shopping and hung out with her friend Tiffany.
  • Wendy saw Mockingjay.
  • Julia got honors.
  • Leila went to her grandma’s house. She used to decorate cakes but can’t anymore so she gave all her piping tips and bags to Leila.
  • Julie is 99.99% sure she got a job at a nursing home as wait staff.
  • Max got into Eastern Regionals! He got 178 out of 198 – we’re not sure why they don’t go up to 200.
  • Brittany joined indoor track.
  • Reed ate a lot of food on Thanksgiving.
  • Michael fixed his quad with his friends.
  • Gabriel had extremely relaxing morning yesterday because he didn’t have to work like he thought he did.
  • Max had a holiday dinner at school. He had LOTS of food and played hockey baseball with his friends.
  • I found my rain coat that I lost 2 years ago!

And Leila made us gingerbread men but Sinco and Maggie ate them all. Guys, adults need to be stopped! 😉