I’ll Be There For You, Cuz You’re There For Me Too

Change.

It’s everywhere.

It’s always happening.

Sometimes you’re affected and sometimes you’re not, but it’s always there.

I’ve had a lot of change over the past few months. Most recently, I had to say goodbye to one of my favorites…a month after saying goodbye to her husband. This proved to be harder than I expected, when I least expected it. You see, I said goodbye see-you-later to Bethany on Sunday. I was good. There were no tears. We laughed, we hugged. To the outsider it looked like a normal Sunday. Even Monday morning I woke up and I was fine. I knew she was on the road driving to her sister’s in Florida. I went to work – total normal morning.

Then I got in my car to run some errands on my lunch break. And that’s when my heart decided to catch up with everything else.

I composed myself enough to walk into Target and get what I needed, but the second I got back into my safe zone I was undone again.

When I first met Bethany I had no idea that any of this would be happening. I was actually nervous she wouldn’t like me. I knew her then-boyfriend, now-husband, Patrick first and was used to girlfriends hating me, so that’s what I braced for.

We started to get to know each other and everything seemed to be going well but in the back of my mind I was like “she’s just being nice to me because she feels like she has to. We’re not REAL friends.” Looking back, this was probably because I was crawling my way out of a pit of despair and hurt and was under the impression that complete happiness wasn’t a thing. 

And then something happened…she and Patrick got engaged! I was so excited for them, as was everyone. When I thought about their wedding I figured I’d be invited – maybe – but I wasn’t even confident in that. It had been about 3 years but because of the walls fortress I had built around myself from that pit, I didn’t think I was actually part of this little community.

Well, I was wrong! 

That’s Bethany, in the middle. And that’s me, last on the right (looking like I’m trying to choke out the flowers). You guys, this girl that I thought was just putting up with me (thanks to my insecurities) not only liked me, but actually loved me enough to ask me to stand beside her while she got married! I was blown away!

After that I made the decision that I was going to try and knock down my fortress and really let people in. I’m not gonna lie, it was terrifying. But I told Bethany and De (second on the left) that this was my plan and warned them that they may need to fight through some of the walls with me, but that I really did want to change and open up and learn how to actually love people and let them in, not just keep them at an arms length. I still have her response, and it still makes me cry. She ended it with “I really love you, Jess” and for the first time in a long time, I really believed it.

Since then I’ve made incredible strides with the whole fortress fiasco. It’s still a work in progress but, thanks to Bethany and De I had a safe place to figure out this new way of life. I can honestly say I don’t know who I’d be without either of them.

So yes, her location is different now, and there’s a really good chance we’ll never even live in the same state again, let alone close enough to have a spontaneous tea date, and yes I’m sad about that, but that’s ok. Because I know that no matter where we are or what life throws at us, that loving, deep, REAL friendship will always be there.

I was never a feeler, never super emotional (unless my feelings were hurt), but over the past few years that’s what I’ve become. So last night after work, I did the only logical thing. I cried a bit, had dinner with Dave, grabbed a drink and a blanket and sat on the couch with him to watch episodes of FRIENDS until my sides hurt.

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It’s scary to let people in past your walls, it opens you up to more hurt; but if you choose the right people the rewards are immeasurable.

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Clouds, Sun and Wallets #SimpleLittleSunday

Simple Little Sunday! Let’s do this!

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  • Julia had change left and really wanted some mints and kept looking in her wallet and eventually found money
  • Nico had to work a lot with his grandfather outside the other day and it was really sunny and hot, but then clouds came and it was actually really nice
  • Leila and Julia caught a turtle
  • Leila got to hang out with a friend
  • Fred the salamander got fried – sadness. Sally is still alive though, so there’s that
  • Wendy won 2 out of 4 of her All Star games (softball)
  • Wendy got a principle roll in hairspray as the principal – this was the source of a lot of confusion with principle vs principal
  • Julie saw little baby birds in a bird house in her back yard and the mom feeding them
  • This story:
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  • Leila left her phone on top of the car but it never fell off! (this happened a while ago but with Tim’s story she had to share.)
  • I didn’t have to do anything yesterday and had a great day sitting by the pool and hanging with friends.
  • I ran my first 5k on Friday and felt GREAT! I actually jogged the whole time, which surprised me.

So that’s our list, what’s on yours?

Sidenote: if you’re confused about our picture, watch this:

Auditions, Food, Friends & School #SimpleLittleSunday

It’s Sunday!

You know what that means!

 

 

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  • Julia auditioned for 7th grade swing choir and got in!
  • Wendy tried out for Summerstock (a theatrical camp) and is hoping she’ll get a lead role, more on that to come. Welcome to our suspense!
  • Leila got to see her cousins who she hasn’t seen in a long time
  • Max had his semi-formal and got to hang out with his friends he never gets to hang out with
  • Nico has been working hard at brining his grades up and he brought World Languages up to a B
  • Julie is done with full days of school
  • Tim woke up on Monday and decided it was going to be an awesome day. And it was.
  • Also, the World Cup
  • Tim is thankful for his Dad *cough* suck-up *cough* Just kidding 🙂
  • Yesterday, Max went to his sister’s friend’s aunt’s (lol) pool and got to go swimming, they ate taco pizza and his crappy goggles were replaced for the day by awesome ones
  • Today Max is going to Olive Garden with his dad and family
  • It rained on Julia’s field day so it turned into gym day and she got to play super cool “[two] minute[s] to win it” games and her class designed the shirt that won
  • Friday was Julie’s last ever day of gym
  • Julie was nervous about going to NYC for a week in the summer but is excited now
  • Leila made a play on tiramisu (not a theatrical thing)
  • Last friday Wendy went to Lake Compounce and she’s terribly afraid of roller coasters. One of her friends made her go on Boulder Dash. She’s still scared but she thinks she likes them
  • Wendy went to see Million Dollar Arm and it was the best movie…well, behind Divergent…but it was a really good movie
  • I chased a dollar bill down the street and won
  • I got to spend time with a friend I haven’t had QT with in a long time
  • I got to have dinner with these girls who mean the world to meImage

 

What about you?

Jesus Loves Us This We Know, For #SimpleLittleSunday Tells Us So

Simple Little Sunday! Here we go!

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  • Leila and Julia got to sleep in a tent
  • Max went to DC with his class, got to go swimming and then went on a dinner cruise
  • Andrew got to see his friend Dylan
  • Jake had to rent a car and got a free upgrade and discount
  • Wendy got to hang out with a friend she hasn’t seen in 2 years
  • Sally the salamander is still alive (yes, he has been named since last week)
  • Julia went to a huge yard sale and got money to spend from her dad
  • Tim’s friends got married in perfect weather on the beach and it was a beautiful wedding and it made him happy because life is beautiful
  • Today is beautiful
  • Max got to go on a flight simulator
  • Andrew got battlefield 3 for free
  • Julia got a cool looking rock

 

We also have Caleb joining the conversation all the way from Cyprus! And his list is awesome! He put some on Instagram but I have the full list:

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  • He gave me friends for the first time in Cyprus and I think that it will stay for a while
  • He took off 5 days of my week to go to my grandparents with my siblings and enjoy the bomb cooking
  • We went to Little Plates (a restaurant) and I’m going to cook with Roddy (the owner)
  • I was able to not be insecure about myself and not freak out and get all scared when people look at me
  • I beat my brother for the first time in a backgammon match (haha sorry Christos!)
  • The bird my grandpa has laid two eggs and I think they are going to hatch because she sits on top of them the whole day, and I’m praying they do because I think it would be so cool

 

As for me,

  • I got to spend some QT with some of my favorites on Memorial Day. Sometimes the best times are when you just lay on a blanket on the only grassy part of a parking lot and talk.
  • I had a successful running week and didn’t die even though we picked up the pace (which is always a good thing)
  • On the same note, the beautiful bush that I ran by last time with the beautiful flowers was no longer in bloom. So confirmation on that one!
  • I had a 4 day work week
  • I got to spend time with my friend’s 4 year old daughter. She’s a crack up. Kids always put a smile on my face
  • I spoke at the church on Friday night and wasn’t the slightest bit nervous, which surprised me
  • Today I got to see friends I haven’t seen in YEARS. We’re talkin at least 4 years, if not more

It’s just like, so real that there is a God and He loves you!

~Caleb

That’s what it’s all about, people! What do you have to add to Simple Little Sunday?

Why I Hate Being Single

Contrary to popular belief, being alone is not the main reason I don’t like being single.

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In fact, sometimes I enjoy my alone time very much. It’s nice not having to answer anyone and being able to travel at will without disturbing anyone else’s routine.

But there are 4 main reasons I HATE being single.

1. Being set up/blind dates

This never ends well for me. Most of the time, when a friend of mine has tried to set me up with a friend of theirs it was because they wanted to get him off their back.

For example, one guy I went on a few dates with (at the suggestion of a friend of mine) thought everything was AWESOME!! And there was always a bunch of exclamation points at the end of everything!!! Awesome!! ALL THE TIME!!! Text? YUP!! IM? YUP!! Email? YUP!! Even in person! Kinda annoying, right!???!!! I’m sorry, but no one is THAT excited about life.

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Me: Why did you set me up with this guy?

Her: Well, the only red flag was that he’s a Red Sox fan…and I figured that was a green flag for you.

Me: But did ya notice how excited he is all the time?

Her: Yeah…that was annoying. That’s why I didn’t want to date him.

Me: Oh! So you toss him at me. How kind of you!

I did feel kinda bad letting him go without someone to send him to, but I wanted to keep my friends. So I cut him loose and went on my way.

2. Online Dating

Oh my gosh. Guys. It’s a whole new world. And not the Aladdin kind – it’s a scary one. Do you remember that show Next on MTV?

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That’s kind of what it felt like. I had to take all emotion out of it because otherwise I just felt bad going out to dinner and then never speaking to them again. I did get a couple friends out of it though, so it wasn’t a total loss.

Also, as a side note, I found crazier people on ChristianMingle.com than I did on Match.com…just sayin.

3. The pickup lines

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Ugh! The pickup lines! I must say, I’ve heard some hilarious ones. I actually had someone use “do you come here often” on me! The best part was that it was a guy I had a HUGE crush on in 6th grade and at this point we were in high school and I hadn’t seen him in a few years, and he still looked pretty good. But once that came out of his mouth? Ha! I couldn’t take him seriously.

One time fairly recently I had 2 little kids decide I was their new best friend (this is nothing new, I’m a kid-magnet, probably because they realize I’m just a giant version of them). I asked what their names were and their dad answered. And then he looked at the little boy and said “Yeah, we’re looking for a step-mommy, huh?”

Uh….what? How do I respond to that? …I didn’t. I ignored it. Like it didn’t happen.

I’ve gotten “a good lookin young lady like yourself got to have a bf” (direct quote) and “Thats a “If you lived closer I would take you on a date” kinda picture.” and “I feel like the Lord wants us to be together”.

The one that had the most potential though was a direct marriage proposal after quoting Van Wilder. To be honest, had I been in a place where being picked up was an option, this very well may have worked.

At least they’re amusing…after the fact.

4. Suggestions from well-meaning friends

I feel kinda bad putting this in here, but it’s 100% true. If you want to set me up with someone make it seem like you don’t. How do you do that? Here’s a suggestion: invite a handful of people over and see if anything happens organically. Because I can promise you, the second you say “hey, so check out my friend. He’s kinda cute. Right?” I’m gonna go insta-awkward on you.

I’ve had this happen, I couldn’t be in the same room as the guy and wasn’t acting like myself at all. Not exactly how I’m going to bag a husband.

Here’s my other gripe with this. I’M THE GIRL!! Meaning, I’m supposed to be pursued, not do the pursuing. So if you think I should date someone, talk to them, not me. Because I’m not going to do anything about it. My brain will though. It’ll go through all sorts of scenarios which, inevitably, will probably never happen and I’ll wind up being distracted and a bit depressed at the end of it all. I’m speaking from experience here.

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Now, I realize that all of these things happen because people (including myself) don’t think I should be single for the rest of my life. And I appreciate it, I really do. But sometimes being single is wicked stressful. And I realize that being in a relationship will bring on it’s own set of problems and stressors, but these will be gone. And for that, I’ll be thankful.

 

Are you single? Is there anything you would add to this list?

It’s been a while…

I haven’t written in a few days, and for that I apologize. I have plenty to write about right now but to be honest, I need to sort out my feelings on things before I put them into words for all of creation to read. So before I go back to journaling and songwriting (which I’ve found to be a very useful tool) I’ll leave you with these couple things:

1. ShorelineNOW was on Saturday, and it was great. I was so blessed to be a part of it! Here are some pictures (Courtesy of Paul Wheeler and Bill Fish…thanks guys!)

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2. Super Bowl Sunday was, I can’t even put it into words. Exactly what I needed? My friends are the best. Not really any pictures from that, just a ton of hilarious tweets:

First, Meghan didn’t know who U2 was (hence my reaction here)Image

Then the internets took over, and were more entertaining than the commercials…

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Then JCPenny got drunk…

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And Evan Bolton FaceTimed in from Japan!!!

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OK, this was good for me. I’m not as angry anymore.

10 Things I’ve Learned from Primetime Sitcoms

1. Nothing good ever happens after 2am – How I Met Your Mother

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Seriously, think back to a time when you were awake at 2am or later. Maybe you were with a new love interest, maybe you were with friends, maybe you were by yourself. Did you make a good decision? Doubtful. Chances are, you fooled around with him/her and made things awkward in the morning or you leaned out of the car window and participated in a “paintball drive-by” or you started thinking too much and wound up bawling your eyes out. Not that I’ve done any of these things…but take a tip from my friend Ted Mosby and just go to bed. You’ll thank yourself in the morning.

2. If you get picked for jury duty you can always get out of it – 30 Rock

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I’ve never been picked for jury duty (knock on wood) and to be honest, I don’t think I could pull a Liz Lemon. But it’s good to know the option is there.

3. Sometimes you need to pump yourself up for the day – New Girl

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Because other than putting on makeup and doing your hair, what else are mirrors for? Haha seriously though, there’s power in your words and your thoughts and it’s really important to speak highly of yourself. Declare truths over yourself at the beginning of the day. Remind yourself how amazing you are.

4. If you love someone, do something about it – Big Bang Theory

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The quote is funny, but the words are true. If you like or love someone, do something about it! People aren’t mind-readers and they won’t know where they stand with you if you don’t tell them. Don’t assume someone knows how you feel, tell them. And tell them often! Unless you’re telling them you hate them…then you may want to just say it once haha

5. Sometimes guys don’t get a say – FRIENDS

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I actually quote this line fairly often. No offense guys, but you don’t really get a say when it has to do with our bodies. I once dated a guy (please note the past tense) who said to me “haven’t you had, like, a million of them? Aren’t you used to it by now?” regarding cramps and my period. SERIOUSLY? He’s lucky I didn’t rip his head off and just responded with “how about I kick you in the balls every time it hurts with the intensity of the cramp and you tell me if you get used to it!” Ha! That shut him up! He would also tell me things like “oh your boobs don’t hurt”. Right, because they’re attached to you, not me. So I quote Rachel Green: No uterus, no opinion! Sorry guys.

6. Sometimes you just gotta dance! – Parks & Rec

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hahahaha Gonna be honest, I just wanted to use this gif. It makes me so happy! Look at Ron, all drunk and not caring. Love – It! Seriously though, busting a move has got to be good for the soul, even if it’s only for a few seconds.

7. It’s important to be yourself – Will & Grace

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If you think you’re awesome and feel like making an entrance, then by all means DO IT! Be you, because if you’re not, who will?

8. Turning 30 is not the end of the world – FRIENDS

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Pretty sure I was having a quarter life crisis the few months leading up to my 30th birthday. But when all was said and done, I survived! I don’t really feel that old…most of the time haha as long as I don’t talk about age with people. I’m 31 now and I still don’t believe it. I look and feel like I’m still in my 20’s, so that’s what I’m going with.

9. Caffeine is bad – Will & Grace

Besides this being one of my favorite moments on Will & Grace, it’s strangely familiar. Caffeine is bad bad bad news for me. I get all giggly and fidgety, I can’t sit still, I talk super fast (faster than usual) and loud, and I’m probably going to sing a lot, and dance. But the worst part is the morning after, it’s worse than a hangover. Never. Again.

10. Best friends will believe for you – Parks & Rec

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There are a lot of times in life that you lose hope and you feel like you can’t go on or nothing good will ever happen. That’s when friends come in. They’ll believe in you and for you when you don’t. I recently had a friend of mine say she believed I’d get married one day and it almost brought me to tears, because most days I don’t feel like that’s a possibility. I’ve also had the opportunity recently to believe for a friend that she’ll get through the hell she’s walking through, even if she doesn’t believe it, and I really do. Have a friend. Be a friend. It helps the world go ’round.