August 31, 2011

Where I'm From

I am from long stemmed sunflowers, petals facing morning sunlight.

I am from Daddy's fajitas fresh off the charcoal grill and the sound of acoustic guitars. From dancing on his feet and reading Bible stories before bedtime.

I am from dipping pretzels and wearing aprons and learning how to cook from my mother. I am from hot glue guns and handmade dresses and decorated wreaths. I am from creativity and beauty and the sound of laughter.

I am from Grammy's costume jewelry and bracelets missing gems. From paperdolls and pie-cookies and freshly washed sheets drying on the line. From reading books and feeling her fingers comb through my hair.

I am from throwing a football in crisp November air and melted whipped cream on hot pumpkin pie. From watching Home Alone every Thanksgiving night. I am from Christmas mornings eating cinnamon rolls and finding silly putty and chocolate coins in my stocking. From reading Luke 2 before we opened presents.

I am from catching bugs and baking cookies from scratch. From shooting pellet guns at old cans and legs hanging from tire swings. From daydreaming and twirling in ruffled dresses and riding horses. I am from summer haircuts and strawberry Koolaid.

I am from south Texas. From long, hot summers and playing in the sprinkler. From say hi and smile to anyone that passes you by. From short road trips to the beach, from photo shoots in fields of bluebonnets and delicious barbecue.

I am from musicals and showtunes and music listened to loudly. From family sing-a-longs and concerts and songwriting and performing and air-guitar. I am from the symphony and the orchestra and great pieces of music that move me to tears and make my heart beat fast.

I am from youth group games and worship team. From my Grandfather's two hour long sermons and Sunday school lessons with felt boards and paper Bible characters. I am from Jungle camp stories and missionaries and pastors and God-fearing and God-loving.

I am from do your best and work hard. From go the extra mile, go above and beyond. And from never do anything with a lick and a promise. I am from cleaning bathrooms and cleaning cat-pans and picking up pears and pinecones and washing dishes. I am from "Don't bite your nails" and "Tattoos are evil."

I am from choir and competitions and contests and vocal training and crushed dreams. I am from The Babysitter's Club books and poetry and stories that flow naturally from my heart onto paper.

I am from days spent at hospitals. From watching clocks tick by slowly, fragile life and from watching death that comes for ten year olds.

I am from chubby and overweight and restricted foods and diet pills. I am from torn up pictures and divorce and death and being told that God works all things together for good.

I am from vibrant and beautiful and life-giving and wounded. I am from losing my mother at 18 and missing a relationship that we never got to have.

I am from a man who adores me. From a realized dream that walks around in the form of a toddler boy with bubbling laughter. I am from fighting for my life and changing. I am from healing and moving on. From Tracy's tears and Gary's hugs and real and deep friendships. I am from learning how to hope and to live.

I am from scrapbooks, photo albums and blogs and memories nestled away in the endless rooms of my heart. All of where I am from and how I remember it is priceless and unforgettable and I shall always value the ability to remember. Because where I'm from is who I am today.

My friend Kathi did this prompt yesterday and it absolutely moved me. I thought it would be fun to do my own version of where I am from. And how about you?

Where are you from?

August 30, 2011

Thoughtful Thoughts

I feel more like me - my true and real self - when I've had the rest I need. I feel less chaotic inside and more aware of my surroundings and my heart and I guess I should take note that maybe going to bed earlier would be another thing I could do just to take better care of myself.

And this morning, I felt rested and alive and normal again. Perhaps going to bed at 9:45 helped with that and I should aim for an earlier bedtime every night.

When I walked outside to my car the air felt different. The breeze somehow almost made summer's end feel tangible. Even though my 30 years of living in south Texas reminds me that we still have at least another full month of summer-like temperatures before summer really does end here.

Though I never stop hoping that we'll get "lucky" and maybe this year it will be different. It is sometimes fun to hope and I won't ever stop hoping for an early autumn. I love fall and like every year, I am anxiously awaiting its arrival.

As I pulled out of my neighborhood, I caught the sun - just risen - in the sky. It was beautiful and blood orange. Even though the weather is still quite oppressively hot, the sunrise seemed to echo the whispers from God breathing His golden hued message that relief is on the way. Autumn is around the corner. The great shift in life and weather is coming and the long Texas summer promises to end.

God always woos me with sunrises and the warm colors of the morning that make me feel bright and cheerful and loved.

I thanked Him for beauty. I thanked Him for my job because having it allows me to catch the sunrises I love so much. And I thanked Him for creating me the way that He did so I could appreciate the sunrises that I like to think that He makes just for me.

I've been more thankful lately.

There was an accident on I-35. And it took me 32 minutes to drive three miles. It never takes long for something to happen and attempt to rob me the joy and gladness that resides in my heart. But I chose to sit there - in the traffic, in the not moving, in the frustration of needing to go somewhere and feeling like I was going nowhere. I didn't get angry, and I wasn't exceptionally happy either. I just felt the tension of where I was. And eventually things got moving and I got to where I needed to go.

Traffic is just like a hot summer. It feels like it won't ever end, and it eventually does.

And summer is always the season that leaves me waiting for something new.

Waiting. I am always waiting for something it seems. I am hating it less and accepting it more though. Waiting seems to be an important part of life. I want to live well in the places I find myself waiting for.

None of this feels like it has any real cohesive point. Just some written down thoughts on the final Tuesday of another August gone by.

Sunrises. Traffic. Summer. Autumn. Rest. Thankfulness. Tension. Waiting.

August 29, 2011

Memory Making

I love that pictures are like permanent memories for us. They help us remember.

Like this one. Where I went out to celebrate my friend Mal's 25th birthday. And I wore a dress because it was a party dress kind of event. And even though it was quite the battle to make the decision to go to the party wearing it, I did. This picture reminds me of where I am loved, where I have changed and who I am today. And how the relationships I have with both of these women next to me in this picture have shaped my heart.
I'm thinking about this picture too. Which may look like just another picture of me and my husband. But it reminds me of all we've been through the last couple of months and what life and marriage has felt like as we've attempted to navigate through some hard things together.Last night at around 11:00pm we found ourselves tired and starving since we hadn't really eaten since lunch. I made a box of Kraft macaroni and cheese to share. And as we sat there sleepy and eating an .88 cent dinner, I told him that there was no one else in the world I would rather be eating macaroni and cheese with at 11:30 at night than him. And thankfully, the feeling was mutual.

And this picture. My laughing little boy - his laughter is incredibly contagious. He makes my heart feel so full and so alive and I love him so. I never knew how someone could truly light up your life until God gave him to us.
A picture of Tommy and Wyatt jumping on the bed last night. And in the midst of laughing at them and with them in how much fun they were having at just being boys, I started to cry because the moments left that will look like this, are few.
And this last picture. They're not gone yet. D leaves before B this weekend. We hosted a farewell party for them last night. And my heart hurts.
I'm grateful for pictures to remind of us good and happy times.

I'm grateful that pictures have a way of reminding us what our hearts felt when we took them.

I'm grateful for living life and having memories that are worth making.

August 28, 2011

That's When

It's when I'm left alone in the silence.

It's when my little boy has gone to bed and Todd has either gone out or isn't home yet. When I don't have either of them needing something of me.

It's when the last guest of the party has left and all of the laughter that was filling the walls of your home feel hollow and empty.

It's when I've loaded all of the pictures off of my camera onto Facebook and there's nothing left to do but remember the memories that were made.

It's the remembering the memories. So fresh. So yesterday. So only hours ago.

It's when the chocolate-chocolate cupcake I ate is gone and the hurt that I am hurting inside still hurts.

It's when all of the laundry is put away and all of the dishes are done and everything feels caught up and there's nothing left to busy myself with anymore.

It's then.

It's then that I have nothing left to do but feel.

Tonight I am feeling. All of it.

August 25, 2011

Not giving up

This road hasn't been an easy one. And I am most definitely not where I wanted to be seven months in to this process of meeting regularly with someone in regards to my eating disorder. I suppose I thought I'd be 50 pounds lighter by now and living on salads because I would be all about wanting to eat healthy stuff and the hardest part would be behind me.

But it's not so. I don't think the hardest part is behind me yet.

I've been told that as a person begins to really recovery from an eating disorder, that the things that have been kept down with by food start bubbling up to the surface. They start coming out and there's nothing left to do but deal with them. And it's so exhausting - the things that keep coming to the surface - that I guess I wonder if I still have it in me to keep going. Will there ever be an end?

And of course there's the current life I'm living too. There's the unexpected things that life hits you with and you have to choose how to deal with those things too.

While I didn't put on the bulk of my weight until my 20's, bad habits and disordered eating started long before that. I've had an eating disorder longer than I haven't had one. I am in this process of trying to relearn things I never learned, and un-do ways of thinking that have been a part of who I am for the majority of my life. This process feels long and exhaustive because it is. And it was a long and exhaustive process that led me to this point too.

Yet, it's hard for me to give myself a break at how long this is taking. It's hard for me to always recognize progress and name where I've changed. It's hard for me not to just focus on how much weight I want to lose and what size I want to be. It's hard when I've seen others diet and have success and I have to remind myself that I'm not "dieting." All of it is hard.

I am convinced however, that what I am doing is what I need to be doing for me. This is what I've needed to do all along and there has been change and there will be more change, but it's going to take more time. This is the only thing I've ever done that's given me any kind of hope that I could change here - and not just to lose the weight and have a trimmer figure so I can wear cuter jeans. It's more than that.

I've been given this hope that I really can feel differently with and around food - and I know I can because I've felt and experienced some of that over the last seven months. I can live where I don't feel powerless to it and I can make healthier choices because I actually want to not because I have to. I can just live and exist with food and have a normal relationship with it and see it as fuel and sustenance and not a reward or a comfort or a place to hurt myself with.

But the process is sucking. I've been at this stand-still for what seems like forever. I've been stagnant and unmoving in regards to my weight. It hasn't really gone anywhere. And though some clothes are bigger and looser and I see shrinkage in my face and arms and even some in my legs, I am still virtually the same size. The temptation to give up and throw in the towel is ever present.

I'm seven months in to this whole thing and I'm not ready to give up yet. I've put in way too much time to sabotage myself now. I've spent way too much money on therapy to quit now. I don't want to go back to the misery and the sadness I felt because food was ruling my life. Even if I have to stay at this size forever and just struggle in it and be alive to what's going on and have good days and bad days, then it's better than it was before. Because right now I'm having good days with food, and not-so-good days with food. But I'm having good days.

I'm needing to remind myself of that today. That I don't want to go back to how it was. I want to keep struggling in this, because struggling out of it feels way worse.

And who I am - the real, raw, natural Jennifer...she is lovely and fun and beautiful. And she can stay in this. I know I have the guts and determination and fight to stay in it. I don't want to go back.

Even if I never drop another pound, I am committed to pushing through the hard things to have and experience and live life. No matter what size I am or I'm not.

August 24, 2011


I feel surrounded by un-doneness of life. The incomplete, work-in-progress, I'll get to eventually, un-doneness.

The unwashed dishes.

Pots crusting over and baked on salmon skin to glass baking dishes.

Crumbs that always find the bottom of my feet reminding me that kitchen floor could use a good scrubbing, or at least a sweep.

The unfolded laundry in the laundry room wrinkling up polo shirts that will have to be tossed in the dryer yet again before they are hung in the closet.

Dust and dog hair collecting around the baseboards.

The red juice stain on the carpet.

Not put away movies and open cases left on top of the entertainment center.

The cluttered desk in our bedroom piling high with papers and bills and receipts and drawings that Tommy did that I want to save and have yet to do anything with.

Pictures that need printing out, or scrapbooking or arranged into something cohesive and organized.

Junk drawers full of things that need a different home.

Cluttered utensil drawers with mangled measuring spoons.

Messy dresser drawers with tangled bras.

Barely closing closets of "skinny clothes" and costumes and old toys and memories and hunting gear that needs organizing or purging of all the crap.

The not-so-guest room containing the deconstructed crib, our DVD's and old toys Tommy has outgrown.

A garage of unused baby items and duck decoys and Christmas decorations and old schoolbooks and too many sleeping bags and dog food and paint.

The laundry room begging to be repainted a different shade.

A giant basket of Todd's button-up shirts that need ironing.

The bench on the front porch also waiting for its little face-lift and the 105 degree heat that prevents such a thing, because who can paint anything outside at 105?

A bag of tangled ribbons and bows for presents.

The ring around the toilet in our bathroom.

An unorganized pantry and a spice cabinet of chaos.

The highchair with stuck-on who-knows-what.

My mental to-do list of un-doneness seems to grow every day.

Sometimes I just get so overwhelmed with what isn't done. It's the undone things that whisper to me that I'm a failure - that any other working mom would figure out how to do all of it. And there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day, and if there are, I want to just relax and unwind. That's what I did last night - put on my pj's and sat in front of the TV and watched necessary adult things like Teen Mom. I purposefully let the dishes and the laundry and everything else sit while I just sat there and decompressed and numbed out to all of the un-doneness around me.

Un-doneness feels like chaos - I hate how it makes me feel internally. Usually after a good self-beating for what a wretched housewife I feel like I am, I sometimes allow myself to see that in the un-doneness of life, is where real life is lived. It's where I've chosen to play instead of clean or organize. Where I've chosen to take a walk and revive my body rather than sort through a closet. And where I've decided to let myself rest than burden myself with chores, that in all honesty, really can wait for another day. The world will not end if I don't load the dishwasher or iron a few shirts.

I guess I just wish I could figure out what the magic key is to having more balance in life. And is there a magic key? Has anyone found it? Is that even the point?

Sometimes, I just feel that everything I put my time and energy into comes out with mediocre results and not as I envision for them too. I half-ass my way through plenty of things and I hate how that makes me feel inside because I desire to do everything with greatness. How my home suffers while I try to work, be involved in ministry, play with my toddler and engage with my husband and so on - just feels like this big fat, glaring reminder that I haven't figured something out yet that I thought I was supposed to have figured out.

No one is harder on me than I am myself. *sigh* Another place where I know I need to extend myself more grace and kindness, and yet I don't most of the time.

I know I'm not the only woman or working mom and wife who has ever felt this way, but I still feel like I'm stuck in trying to figure out how to make things work better than they are. I guess maybe clean baseboards and put away laundry and organized drawers would at least give me the illusion that I've got it all together and figured out.

I'm curious about my need to have it all together and figured out. I wonder where that comes from....

Even this post feels undone. There doesn't feel like some clever or witty or resolved way to end it. And so is the story of undone life around me.

August 23, 2011

Redecorated: Before and After

I love to decorate. And I'm pretty sure I got the love and knack for it from my mother. I tell people that things like singing and throwing parties and sometimes just being a little loud is kind of in my genes. I can't help it. And the same goes with decorating.

I'm pretty sure that next to writing, I could decorate people's houses all day and it would never get old. I've tossed the idea around a few times about doing some kind of decorating business on the side, but well - that's still very much just an idea.

For now though, I'm taking out my need to decorate out on my home.

THE PLAN: I didn't have a lot of money and kind of next to none. After we sold Todd's boat, I used a very small sum (Under $200) and came up with some design ideas.

1) I chose a color palette. Maroon/deep reds, brown, cream and golds for the kitchen/dining. And mostly greens and creams for the living room.

2) I took EVERY decorative item and wall hanging from my entire house (including our master bedroom) and gathered it all together to assess what I had. From there I decided what things I could make-over or put in a different place in my home.

3) I went shopping - one of the funnest parts of course. I purchased a clock, some new pillows, spray paint, some hydrangeas and a few wrought iron pieces for the wall. (The only stores I went to were Hobby Lobby, JCPenney, Walmart and Home Depot). I had stashed away a few gift cards which enabled me to buy a few extra things and contributed to some of the throw pillows, but I mostly found things on sale and clearance and stuck to my list and color palette. New furniture pieces were most definitely out of the question, and the point was to work with what I already had.

4) Move, rearrange and do it all over again - For what felt like forever, I moved things around and changed things up and moved them around again. It took a while for me to decide what was going where.

And after all of that, it was finally done. Here are the results from my DIY and do-with-what-I-already-had home makeover:

My dining area BEFORE:
My dining area AFTER:
My buffet in the dining BEFORE: (And also at Christmas time. But I always had the Texas flag there, so you know, you get the general idea).
My buffet area AFTER: (and also not at Christmastime. Just to clarify.)
Shelf in the kitchen BEFORE: (Very, very sunflowery, yes?)
Shelf in the kitchen AFTER: I painted it brown to match the dining table and buffet.
Cabinets in the kitchen BEFORE:
Cabinets and kitchen counter tops AFTER:
Living room BEFORE:
Living room AFTER:

Slightly in love with these new pillows. Which could be yours too courtesy Walmart.
Things on my coffee table - that to my amazement, Tommy has left alone. And I'm a little excited that I can have nice things on the coffee table again.
Chairs and table by the window.
Bookshelf BEFORE: (The hopes and blessings boxes I ended up painting over and using for flower arrangements in other places).
Bookshelf AFTER:
I love this pretty plaque that says "Be Brave." It was a gift at my friend's wedding earlier this year and feels very fitting for me and who I today.
Above the entertainment center BEFORE: (And at fall apparently, seeing a pumpkin found it's place up there at one point.)
Above the entertainment center AFTER: (Those two plates were above the cabinets before. I spray-painted over the sunflowers and thought they made a perfect fit here.)
And the picture wall. I found the "Family" sign at Hobby Lobby for half price - only cost me $20! I think this is my most favorite thing to look at. While I would love to change some of the frames out and change the look of the wall as a whole, looking at this wall makes me feel happy and blessed. And believe it or not - I still have pictures of family that need adding to this wall!
And because no one's home is that clean all the time, I give you a redecorated shot in REAL LIFE.So tada! I'm very happy with how things turned out on my little budget. My home feels more grown-up, and just more "Todd and Jenn-esque." It was a lot of work, but it was mostly fun. And doing it all definitely got my wheels turning a bit more about perhaps helping others do the same kind of thing in their house. We'll see....

And now I have about two weeks to enjoy things as they are before I bust out my fall stuff and decorate for the upcoming seasons!

Today I am thankful for memories of my mom redecorating the house I grew up in.

August 22, 2011

My heart is an ocean

I fill with youthful excitement the moment I see the cos-way bridge that makes it's way to Port Aransas. Fun childhood memories flood my mind of swimming and laughter and sunburns. Catching waves with my Grammy, sand stuck in bathing suits and hot sandwich family dinners. It makes me smile. I am grateful for remembrance.

The beach, the ocean, the sand, the salty air....all of it nourishes a deep place in my soul.

I took in this view yesterday.
I love the feeling of sand between my toes. It makes me feel nine and happy and for a moment makes me feel as though life is simple and not full of complex relationships or responsibility.
We only went for part of the day yesterday. But it was enough to fill the ache that lives inside of this beach-loving girl. And it was also Tommy's first experience to encounter sand and the ocean. Something I've been hoping to share with him.
He loved it - which might be an understatement. As I played in the waves with my son and watched him dance in the water with utter glee and joy, I had to stop and thank God for giving us such a child who seems to enjoy all of the things that both Todd and I do individually. What a wondrous gift our little boy is.
We played in the water and made a tide pool.
We played in the waves. That was the best part - Tommy loved the crashing force of water hitting him as we waited for the next wall of seawater to come our way. It felt good to laugh. It felt good to share and joy with him in something that means so much to me.
I watched my husband and son hand in hand walk across the coastline. I melted as I remembered dreaming about such days when I was nine. Wondering what it might be like to be married with my own family and enjoying the beach. My heart felt soft and tender - I soaked up every ounce of beach time as we played in the ocean together. I was thirsty for it and I didn't want to miss a moment.
My heart feels like an ocean as I look at this picture of my husband and I. There could be many words, but as I see this, I just feel full and quiet.
I wrote our names in the sand.
Two names that God joined together. We talked about that this weekend - how evident it is sometimes that we were just created to love the other. And even how sometimes it feels like we couldn't be more different and what was God thinking? Marriage is like that I suppose.

The weekend was full of hard and real conversations. It was full of intimacy and connection and recommitting to talk about those hard and real things. After all, it is in those things that we are most afraid to share and then do - that we are most deeply known and most deeply loved.

The beach felt like both the finale and the beginning to some great beautiful thing. A place where we could almost reach out and touch God at the horizon, where ocean met sky. I wanted to run to Him - to thank Him, to cry, to be held.

Though my husband's arms wrapped tightly around me instead. My little boy giggling as he poured out buckets of seawater onto sand.

August 19, 2011

Journey Back: #2

It was after the death of my brother A.J. that I remember being the most full of hope. Maybe it sounds heartless to say, but much relief came with his passing away; that was just the truth.

For ten years, my life looked like spending days and weeks with him in the hospital, hearing his cries when they had to draw blood from his tiny veins, and going on countless doctor's visits to try and figure out what was wrong with him. Life looked like a distant mother who met to his every need and was consumed by colostomy changes, and tube feedings and watching every little thing he put into his mouth because he could react to anything in major ways.

It actually ended up being a sip of lemonade that sparked his bleeding and then he never stopped. I think she felt guilty for allowing him that sip, even though his death would have happened at some point. For two years she prolonged the inevitable as best as she could.

My brother died in May of 1995. I was just 14 and leaving the 8th grade. I loved my brother and his passing away was sad, yet I was full of this strange excitement about what the future was going to look like without him in our lives. I dared not speak such a thing though. I'm not sure anyone could have handled how big my emotions were or what they sounded like. And no one really asked either. Those are things I've been able to say to my family as an adult about how I felt about his death. But to have said them then...I couldn't. I didn't. I wonder though what would have happened if I did. Would I have been scolded for my ambivalence and accused of heartlessness?

For ten years life was all about him. And I could barely remember life without him.

I have one memory of my mom playing with me. One precious and beautiful and pathetic memory of her coming into my room and coloring on books. She colored the top of a tree green while I colored the trunk brown. I still remember her bringing me lunch - a chicken sandwich and animal crackers. And I remember that kiss she gave the top of my head. Oh that kiss - I tear up when I think about this tender and beautiful moment. Perhaps I think on it every time I give Tommy such a kiss. And I know that he will have more than one memory of those tender kisses on his head.

This memory was shortly before he was born. I was not yet four years old.

I turned four a month after A.J. was born. A birthday I can't remember. The family was busy hoping and praying he would just pull through and live. And while I wasn't totally or completely forgotten by my family those long ten years, it did still feel as though life were about him. He was the focus of everyone's attention. Perhaps my dad was the only one I felt like I mattered to more than my brother. His attention and affection and love for me those ten years were some of the only places I felt loved and happy.

My brother's death meant that just maybe I was going to get to have a "normal" life. A life that only included doctor's visits for a check-up or the occasional virus. A life that wasn't spent hours on end in the hospital keeping anyone company. A life where my baby sister and I were going to get to make all of these beautiful memories with our mom and dad. It felt so good to dream about a life where my mother paid attention to me and knew me and did things with me.

His death filled me with hope, that just maybe, I was going to be able to share with her what I was hoping I could and have share a life with my family that my heart so badly wanted. A.J. had gotten in the way. He got in the way of my very real need and longing and desire to be loved by my mom, who in her own woundedness, didn't know how to distribute her energies and affections to one healthy child and one sick one.

I remember my heart beating with excitement about future Christmas'. About prom and my wedding day and seeing her face in the crowd for me during performances in choir in high school. About conversations we could share on the couch about life and boys and just deep things inside of our hearts. I was hopeful about vacations that we could take - ones that didn't include having to worry about all of the medical supplies we would need to pack. Oh I was full of so much hope. So ready to make new memories. So ready to feel my mother's love for me. So ready to feel normal and happy.

And then he died. And something in my mom died when he did. Whatever died in her when A.J passed away is something I don't ever want to know. I fear it greatly - what would it be like to lose your own child? I could never understand her pain. And I don't want to know that pain.

Our distance became further. The gap widened and deepened. I tried to be careful around her. I stayed quiet. I kept hoping that maybe one day she would laugh again. I kept hoping that there would be a morning that she could pull herself out of her grief enough to just enjoy doing something with me. Anything. It never happened.

And then everything fell apart. My dad's affair. The trying to work it out. Torn up pictures on the bed my mom left out to hurt him - though I think it hurt me more. The moving out and the moving back in of parents. The drinking and watching my mother self-destruct. Her face wasn't there at any choir concerts. She didn't go with me to buy my prom dress. And by the time I got married, she had been dead for seven years. I was haunted by the lack of memories. All of the things I had hoped for never came to be. And every monumental life moment where I wanted my family whole and together and happy - it just never was. The lack of the happy memories still haunts me and saddens me to this very day. It's a gnawing I wish I could make go away.

It all just fell apart. Everything I had hoped for. Every memory I was hoping the four of us could make and have. Everything I wanted life to look like. It was all gone. My hope was dead.


Yesterday evening I felt this great sadness inside of me. And I was frustrated because I didn't know what was wrong with me. I couldn't feel and I couldn't sit and allow my heart to bleed out whatever it was holding inside. And I wanted something sweet. And so I ate sweet things and it felt odd and sad and weird because I haven't medicated that way in a really long time.

I awoke this this morning in a sugar fog. I felt gross and guilty. My coffee maker died and I was irritated that my morning was already not going like I like my Friday mornings to go. I turned on Sesame Street for Tommy and held him for the two minutes he wanted to watch it alongside of me.

And then I started to read. And I read of hope. And as I read I was flooded by these memories of what hope looked like to my 14 year old self. They were bubbling up inside of me and spilling out and I had to stop and write about when I remember last feeling so full of hope and dream and possibility. So here I am sitting in my pajamas and crusty eyes next to my empty coffee cup listening to Elmo singing. Life is in and around me and I feel the deep call within me to write more of my story.

Sometimes it feels like I just woke up and suddenly I'm married and 30 and have a child of my own. Because much of what happened and much of what didn't happen then still lives inside of me and who I am.

August 18, 2011

Big Boy

My big-boy in his big-boy bed. When did he become so giant?
It almost feels like it happened overnight.

Today I am thankful for Tommy's from-the-gut laughter.

August 17, 2011

Busy Blurb

Work has been BUSY this week. Therefore I have been busy this week.

And on top of that, the air conditioner died at the office and I'm not only trying to use my brain and get things done, but do that with only a couple of fans to move some air around. Fun times.

Staying on top of everything while in the middle of life outside of work has left me with little time to pause and breathe and do some much needed writing. And oh, I have things that need writing.

But in case anyone - like my Gramma - was wondering why there hasn't been much of anything on here yet this week, it's mostly just work. Oh and trying to get my redecorating at home finished - and it's almost finished! Just a couple more things and it will be all done. And just in time to decorate for fall come September.

I could use a slow down. And I'm ready for one. A long, restful, peaceful, quiet slow-down.

Today I am thankful for ceiling fans and understanding bosses. I am also thankful for home - for our working AC and how I have a lovely place of my own to rest.

August 15, 2011

Another day

Today....I am doing some work from home. With my in-laws gone on vacation, Todd and I did some rearranging to our work schedules. I could kind of get used to this. Though Tommy's pretend phone keeps ringing and I have to answer it and I also have Elmo's voice in the background talking about "jumping" today.

Today....I am making a bigger effort to stay on track. Enough said.

Today....I hope to get all of my laundry done and spray paint the rest of the things that need spray painting for my big living room makeover.

Today....I am proud of my husband.

Today....I am grateful for dear friends who love me, check in on me, and ask how things really are. And I am reminded where I want and need to do that same thing for others.

Today....I am still putting off potty training. And this time my excuse is wanting to use up some more of our diapers because I've heard once you start to not go back to the diaper thing. I keep making excuses and I'm running out of them, considering Tommy is practically begging us to sit on the potty. *sigh*

Today....I am wishing I were at the beach. Because my cousins are there and I love going to the beach and never go.

Today....I am excited about a book club I was invited to go to.

Today....I am contemplating things like gratitude and cutting/dying my hair. Clearly, I'm all over the place.

Today....I'm geeking out over one of my new favorite bloggers sending me e-mails and commenting on my own blog. Kristie is pretty awesome and you should check her out if you haven't yet.

Today....I want to take some time to read more of the book 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It's really good by the way.

Today....I am hot and ready for summer to be OVER. This 100+ weather and no rain is just a little old. Is it fall yet? another day to live, to breathe, to laugh, to cry, to get things done, to take some time out, to rest, and to play. Today is another day.

August 13, 2011

Living with change

Change is all around me. I can't stop it. I can't control it. Perhaps change, next to God of course, is the only constant of life. Change invites us to grieve for what is lost and hope for what could be. And change is good. But change can just plain suck too.

Our friends are moving away. And tomorrow Todd is helping them stain their deck and we'll have dinner and talk and laugh and watch our boys play together, and it's probably one of the last times life will look like that with them before they're gone.

And for some reason I've tried to hold inside what I'm feeling about their leaving and I don't know why, because their absence needs a magnitude of tears. Life for sure is changing big time for them. And their moving away has a ripple effect on those of us left behind - missing them, happy for them, wishing things could stay the same, and rejoicing that things never do stay the same. Because how boring and stale it would be if life never changed and it was always so predictable and monotonous.

And being the mother to a rapidly growing toddler keeps change fresh on the horizon on a daily basis. I cannot get over how quickly Tommy learns things and how we have to keep changing things because he just keeps growing up.

Tonight is Tommy's first night in his "big-boy" bed. As I tucked my little two year old boy in this big twin bed that he will call his for probably a very, very long time, I couldn't help but think of how big and grown up he seems to get with every week. And I don't want to keep him small, and I am loving all of the various stages we find ourselves in life with him as he continues to grow. Yet, taking down the crib tonight and watching his room transform from a nursery into this room for a boy and not a baby, just reminded me of how little control I have over life and how it changes. How we change. How our surroundings change. How it's supposed to just keep changing.

And wasn't it just a few months ago I was preparing for his arrival and arranging tiny diapers and blankets and carefully folding onesies, holding my pregnant belly and wondering what life was going to look like with my little boy?

The deconstructed crib hurt me inside a whole lot more than I thought it would. Because there is that nagging longing for another baby. Will there be another? Could there be another? Can we really do this all over again? Do we want to? And WHEN if at all? And I know all of the answers to most of those questions, yet how life continues to change around me fills me with uncertainty as I think about the future and adding one more little mini-Todd/Jenn creation to our lives and home and family. And trusting God with the ifs and whens of that still feels scary. It takes guts to believe that we'll be okay and what He has for us is best whether we have another child or not.

I guess all that's left to do as I sit here holding where change is impacting and penetrating my life is to just feel it. Not ignore it or stuff it down like I have done the majority of my life. Just cry the sad tears, cry the happy ones, laugh the laughs I can still laugh with my friends, and enjoy every precious second that Tommy's life is whether we have another child or not. And remain alive and hopeful and present and feeling, because this is real life. We are called to live in the tension and the goodbyes and the growing up.

And I don't want to allow change to suck the ability to live out of me. I want to stay in this. Every real, painful, joyous, wonderful, wretched, awful, amazing, and unforgettable moment.

August 11, 2011

Loving Well

What does it mean and look like to love someone well?

Love hopes.
Love doesn't run.
Love hangs on when it's hard.
Love keeps on giving even when it gets nothing in return.
Love is hard.
Love is also soft and gentle and kind.
Love doesn't leave.
Love doesn't give up.
Love stays in the mess.
Love is messy.
Love is willing to get messy.
Love fights.
Love believes.
Love is full of grace and mercy.
Love feels like work sometimes.
Love is more than a feeling.
Love is found in laughter and in tears.
Love waits.
Love endures.
Love in action can be exhausting.
Love gets angry.
Love gets sad.
Love can be full of passion.
Love is more than just passion.
Love invites you to dream.
Love ignites our longings.
Love sets us free.
Love is life-giving.
Love creates beauty.
Love is risky.
Love stays.
Love shows its tears.
Love awakens.
Love seeks
Love pursues.
Love sometimes hurts.
Loves sometimes feels really good.
Love brings things to light.
Love is giving.
Love doesn't fear.
Love doesn't hide.
Love sees and wants to see.
Love knows and wants to be known.
Love isn't always easy.
Love listens.
Love is slow to speak.
Love speaks the hard things.
Love asks for what it needs.
Love fuels desire.
Love wants more.
Love isn't willing to settle.
Love surrenders.
Love takes time.
Love heals our wounds.
Love inspires us.
Love is honest.
Love shows up.
Love is often times inconvenient.
Love requires selflessness.
Love is often tested.
But real, true love - authentic, genuine, honest, real love - won't fail.
Love never, ever fails.

If I am to love well, then I desperately need to deeply know the Author of such love.

Just a glimpse of my heart today....

August 9, 2011

Sneak Peek

Sometimes we just need a break. Like the kind of break that can distract us or take our minds off of deeper life things for a little while. At least that's how I feel. I can only sit with things for so long and then I need to get off my butt and just do something else for a while. I felt that way somewhat yesterday. I worked from home, had coffee with my friend Paula and played with Tommy. And during his nap time I worked on some of my decorating projects around the house.

I also had dinner with my sister and ended the day by watching a very good movie with Todd. Yesterday was just an over all good day. And not just because I got to decorate.

I must say, it's quite hard to redecorate when I have to do it in very small hour and a half spurts of time. Between work and then being home with Tommy, all of my decorating projects are taking a major back seat and my house continues to remain in utter chaos. It's driving me nuts, but I'm managing better with it than I thought that I would.

However, I did get the dining room completed yesterday. Well, almost. Still a little tweaking to do here and there. I seriously stood in there for like ten minutes yesterday and just took it all in. I'm in love with how it looks and I'm kind of not missing my Texas theme at all.

And just a tiny little peek because I am all about doing a major before and after post on this whole thing.....All of this sprucing up and refinishing things around my house feels good for my soul right now. It's hard to explain. But I know that I feel the same way when I'm the kitchen preparing a meal from scratch. Something about watching things that I have envisioned become a physical reality feels like it's satisfying and feeding a very deep place inside of me.

Today, I am curious about why or how cooking and working on projects for my home, make me feel satisfied and fed in such a deep way.

August 7, 2011


I sang on worship team today and cried when we sang "It is well." It's kind of my favorite hymn ever, and because my heart felt so tender already, it felt even more meaningful than usual. And I decided it was okay that the congregation saw my tears.

The pastor spoke of hope today. I needed the words he had and I was grateful I didn't let the fact that Todd had to work today keep me from going to church alone. I cried through the last twenty minutes of his sermon.

I met Ellen in the hallway after service and more tears spilled out. The tears that I carefully contain inside of me until someone like her has the kind of eyes that when they ask how you are, you really tell them because they really want to know. "Your tears are a gift Jenn." She always tells me that. And I always appreciate the reminder.

When Paula hugged me and we made plans for coffee tomorrow, I cried because of how eager and excited she was in wanting to spend time with me.

My cousin's boyfriend said goodbye to Tommy and threw him up in the air, and it kind of felt like watching what "could be" between the two of them someday. I felt happy and sad and overwhelmed all at the same time. And I didn't want them to see me crying, so I held them back and swallowed them whole.

I got tired of crying and went for a "run" on the hill. It felt good to feel a burn in my legs and muscles rather than what had been aching in my heart all day long. But then the run was over and I cried on the drive home.

Todd and I talked about our anger tonight and how different mine looks from his. And I cried when I told him I was sorry for how nasty I could be.

Grammy and I talked on the phone tonight. I told her about how awesome church was and where I was needing prayer and encouragement. I gave her my tears even though she couldn't see them.

One of my oldest and dearest friends gave birth to their baby boy tonight - their second child. And they are fine and healthy and doing fabulously. And I cried and I'm not really sure why.

Today was the kind of day that needed a magnitude of tears.

August 6, 2011

A kiss to make it better

Tommy is at the age right now, where if he has a little fall or gets any kind of "boo-boo," that my kisses have some kind of magical power to make him feel instantly all better. I love that he comes to me with a little pout on his face showing me his latest ailment. He will say to me, "A kiss all better."

Pretty much melts my heart every single time.

So I give him a little kiss and he goes on his merry way. I love that he comes to me and asks for what he's needing. I love that he wants me to know of his pain, even as little or insignificant as it may be. I love that after I've given him a kiss, he has felt comfort and can return to playing and his little world feels okay again.

We all grow out of that at some point. I'm curious when it is we don't need mommy's kisses to make things all better anymore. I know it's a phase that most kids go through (and thankfully we grow out of it, because if my son were 13 and asking for my kisses to make his boo-boo better we would have a problem), yet I'm curious why it stops and when it stops.

And I've been curious about pain lately; what I do with it when I begin to feel it. My fleshly and almost natural reaction is to go to some kind of soother and find a way to cope with it. And this is where I have become caught up in addiction after addiction, time and again. My desire is to feel it, be alive to it, acknowledge it, and sit with it instead of trying to just cope with it. That's what I've done for years and it hasn't worked well for me.

This morning my heart is aching. Some dear friends of ours told us that they are moving away. And though we kind of knew this day was coming and there is much joy surrounding all of it too, I am still sad at the thought of one of my best friends not being here anymore.

Tiffany left. And now them. And my cousin will be gone next year. It feels like some of my closest friendships are being ripped away from me and things are changing. And I'll admit that I'm often all for change, until change costs me something like this. I'm sad at imagining life without all of these people here that I love so much. And it feels too gross to imagine or hope for what other relationships could look like yet. Because right now I just want to sit with what their absence will mean.

I guess as we grow, pain just looks different and it has to. We have to deal with it differently because pain goes beyond scrapes or scratches. Pain goes deep to the heart. It has a ripple affect on our lives and how we live and what we do when no one is looking. So for me, it means sitting with my sadness and just feeling this loss rather than running to something to help me cope. Pain continues to reveal my desperate need for God and it feels like He is all about wanting me to see that right now.

Though, I am kind of wishing there was a way a kiss could make it all better again.

August 4, 2011

Journey Back

The call came early in January. And it wasn't the call I was hoping for. It wasn't the call I had been wondering about since Christmas. It was another call. An unforgettable call from one of my closest friends.

"Aaron is missing, Jenn."

"He's missing? What does that mean, he's missing?"

"I don't know. I don't know a lot. I just know that the police have found his car in a ditch. There was some blood in it. But they don't know where he is. He's missing."

Even as I sit here to write about what that phone call felt like, the memories of what my body felt inside upon hearing such news is easy to remember. Feelings of confusion, dread, worry, fear, and terror.

For two whole days I spun inside of myself. I couldn't eat or sleep. I feared the worst and tried to hope for the best. Could he be found? Is he alive? My boyfriend. My Aaron. The one I love. The first one I've ever really loved and who loved me back. And in my gut, I already knew something awful had happened.

My friend called me back two days later. Remembering that conversation feels like a blur. "Dead. Found in a field. Stabbed to death. Dead." That was all I heard. I don't know how we even ended the conversation. Perhaps I hung up on her. And all I did for the next two days was sob. Aaron was gone. And he wasn't just dead. He had been murdered. And it felt like part of me died with him. Perhaps, because it did.


Yesterday, I sat across the room from a woman I've been meeting with for the past six months in regards to my eating disorder. She has asked me to journey back to this piece of my story. I've been surprised at how easy it still feels to remember those things. Though much of his face still feels fuzzy for me (I have no pictures or anything left of him), I still remember what it was that we shared together. I can remember what it felt like when he kissed my neck. I can remember the sound of his laugh. I can remember what it felt like for him to hold me as we fell asleep in each other's arms. It often haunts me, yet it's easy to dismiss at the same time.

After his death was when I began smoking. After his death was when my eating disorder went from more of a minor issue, to a full blown one. After his death was when I became almost desperate for men to notice me and love me - to make me feel like he had been able to.

I experienced trauma then. The trauma of his murder. The trauma of losing my first love. The trauma of experiencing death in this way. Its impact on my life and heart have reached far deeper inside of me than I've ever taken the time to acknowledge. It was all I could do then to just survive. My grief and depression swallowed me.

There is much in my young adulthood to journey back to. More trauma. More loss. More devastation. More violent places. And maybe to some it feels pointless or stupid or even unhealthy to dig up the past and drudge it up and sift through it.

But for me it's not pointless or stupid or unhealthy. It's necessary. It holds the key to freedom and healing. The process is hard and difficult, but I have found life in it and because of it.

I was told that as a person begins to recover from nearly a lifelong of disordered eating that many, many things begin to bubble up and come to the surface. Especially the things that food has helped to keep down for so many years. I've been experiencing this bubbling up over the last several weeks. And though Aaron has felt far from my mind, the trauma surrounding the memories of him and how I responded to it, hold the key to much of what my heart is feeling and holding right now.

And if I feel brave enough and vulnerable enough to write them, there will be more pieces of my story to share here as I begin to take this journey back....

Ultimately, journeying back always, always draws me closer to the One who has been writing grace into my story from the very beginning. And being close to Him is the only place I want to be right now.

August 3, 2011

Your Great Name

Currently, there is a song on the radio that I cannot get enough of. It's one of those songs I could listen to on repeat over and over again.

It speaks to my soul. It reminds me of the power that pulses through my veins because of who I know my God is and who I know I am because I am His. It comforts me when I'm feeling attacked or oppressed. It encourages me when I feel sad or down and the things around me feel like they are so big that they might swallow me up. It fills me with hope because God is who He says He is and my greatest hope is found in Him. It washes me over with unspeakable peace and joy.

I love it when a song has the kind of power to reach that far inside of me. I love that God has the ability to use things like music to minister to every single fiber and atom of my very existence. I am but a vapor and yet He so loves me.

Your Great Name. If you haven't heard this song, PLEASE have a listen. Some of my favorite lines of this song.....

"All condemned have no shame, at the sound of Your Great Name."

"Every fear has no place, at the sound of Your Great Name."

"The enemy has to leave, at the sound of Your Great Name."

"All the weak find their strength, at the sound of Your Great Name."

"The sick are healed and the dead are raised at the sound of Your Great Name."

This morning, this song came on the radio and I began to weep. Instead of singing the lyrics I began singing only His name - Jesus.

Prayers began to pour out of my heart and they are even still.

I feel like I'm stuck here. JESUS.
I can't do this. JESUS.
I'm scared and fearful. JESUS.
I feel knocked down and out for the count. JESUS.
I'm not strong enough. JESUS.
I'm so confused. JESUS.
I need help. JESUS.
I feel lonely here. JESUS.
I can't do this without you. JESUS.
I need you. JESUS.
I love you. JESUS.
I want you. JESUS.
Stay close to me. JESUS.
Your name IS great. JESUS.
I will praise you even now. JESUS.

His name feels like the answer to every prayer of my heart. Every desperate and pleading prayer has only one answer. His Great Name.

The power in His very name comforts my aching heart, it calms my fears, it sends the enemy away, it gives me rest, it gives me life, it gives me hope. His name is great. And this broken woman is lifting up His great name this morning in praise.

Redeemer. My Healer. Lord Almighty. My Savior. Defender. You are my King. JESUS.

August 2, 2011

Redecorating: A NOVEL

*This post is long. If you read the whole thing I'll give you a cookie. But you'll have to come over to my crazy-tore-up-being-redecorated house to get one!*

I was about twelve years old when my mom bought me a pair of sunflower shorts. They were off white and covered in sunflowers and I was pretty sure they were the best shorts EVER. Of course now, I wouldn't be caught dead in such a thing, but when I was twelve, and you know back in the '90's, they were totally awesome.

Perhaps I remember those shorts because I remember my mom telling me that my sunflower thing was just a phase and I would be over them and on to something else in no time. I insisted that it wasn't a phase. I even told her that my wedding would most definitely have a sunflower theme and when I grew up my whole house would be covered in them! It was kind of like, "I'll show you, mom!"

And yes. My wedding was sunflower themed. And yes. I grew up and decorated my house around my most favorite flower in the universe. Here's proof of that here.

Growing up I had sunflower everything. Sunflower earrings. Sunflower picture frames. Sunflower bedspreads. Sunflower perfume. I was a bit obsessed.

Sunflowers have long spoken to me though. They are bright and bold and kind of loud and so cheerful. They are still my most favorite flower to receive and they echo my heart and personality so well. I hope that they always will.

I've surveyed my home and all of my sunflowery things around me, it has started to feel a little less like the me that I am today. Like they are a part of me for sure, but yet they don't speak to the woman I am now. Now I'm 30. Life has changed and changed me along with it. And how I have used sunflowers in my decorating feels like the younger version of me. Maybe this only makes sense to me and I'm going a little deep into this whole floral admiration thing.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this; I've changed. And I want my home to reflect those changes somehow. And as a result, I'm wanting to scale back the sunflower motif.

As I've been thumbing through magazines and various "pins" on Pinterest, I've learned that not only do I love sunflowers, but I love hydrangeas. Like, I absolutely love them! And as I've thought about making plans for redecorating the house, my whole inspiration is centered around the colors and natural beauty of white and green hydrangeas.

I think one of the things I love most about decorating my home so much is that it's a reflection of my heart and who I am as a woman and my desire to create beauty in my surroundings. It's more than a need to "nest." It's like something in my soul that feels like it was designed to make things around me lovely and feel welcoming and inviting. And wanting to change things up feels like a ripple affect of some of the changes that have happened in my heart over the last few months.

The highest compliment for me is when someone comes to my home and tells me that it feels so warm and cozy and they just want to curl up on my couch and stay for awhile. That's exactly how I want my home to always feel. And as I make plans to redecorate, I want it to "feel" the same as it does now.

Though I am somewhat obsessed with Pinterest these days, it's more than that. It's felt like time to breathe some new life into my home. I've been kind of "over" some of the decor in my house for a while and didn't really know how to change things without spending money we don't have. And let us not forget that I have to incorporate antlers and mounted birds into my decor, which is incredibly challenging by the way.

Over the weekend, I got started on the deconstruction of things. I took down all of the sunflower stuff in the kitchen. And I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all of the chinky stuff that I don't plan on repurposing or making over.
Currently, my house kind of looks like this:
There is crap everywhere. I've taken everything decorative from our bedroom and living room and kitchen and dining and collected it all to see how I could rearrange things and just work with what I have. It's helped to just gather everything and form a plan from there.

I'll be honest. I don't do well when things are in transition. I suppose that could be true of my heart as well. I've always wanted to hurry things along so it would just be done, when some things just take time. Sometimes more time than you want it to. I have no idea how long it will take for things to look like I'm hoping it will at home, but I am hoping to be able to live and breathe well amidst the chaos as things feel unsettled and undone around me. At the moment I am incredibly disrupted and wondering if I'll regret this whole redecorating extravaganza.

I've picked a new color palate. Greens, creams and a pop of yellow in the living room. And the same for the kitchen/dining but with splashes of maroons too. There will be no more red, white and blue or Texas anything. *gasp* And the few sunflowery things I'm hanging on to will go in the living room instead of our kitchen and dining areas. And the's time to bring some into my home too!
I've given myself a very small budget. I mean, I'm not going out and buying new furniture or anything. I'm trying to work with what I have and throw in a few small new things here and there - hydrangeas being those "new" things. I have a few DIY projects I'm working on too.

For now I am a spray painting monster. And since I've never done anything like this before, I am learning the how-to's and how-to-not's. Like how not to spray paint candlesticks outside at night because you can't really see what you're doing.
They'll be okay though. One more coat and they'll look like I'm hoping they will. And for the record, the green I'm painting these candlesticks looks nothing like this picture.

I think as I spray paint and move things around and live in the transition phase of all of my redecorating projects, I will also be thinking of my heart and my story and where I have been impacted by change and transition. And where I am currently in life in regards to change and sitting in the midst of unsettledness too.

The era of my sunflower obsessions may have come to an end. Especially the I-have-to-buy-every-knick-knack-I've-ever-found-with-a-sunflower-on-it phase. But it's okay. I think it's time. My "phase" has had a good and long run, and I kind of like imagining my mom smiling me with that "I told you so" kind of smile.

Decorating always makes me miss her....

August 1, 2011


Seriously ya'll. If my birthday fell in the month of December much less on the actual day or close thereafter, it wouldn't have taken me long to have invented a different birth-day for myself. Maybe it's my personality and kind of being all about needing attention, but I don't know how December birthday people do it? I get a little miffed when spring break plans get in the way of my potential birthday celebrations. I don't think I could handle my birthday falling near Christmas.

I have a friend named Andrea who is such a person. Last December, quite close to Christmas, she casually mentioned to me that her birthday was coming up and it was a couple of days after Christmas. And she never really does much to celebrate because it's such a crazy time of year for people to try to do something birthday related in the middle of the holiday season.

And that was quite true. I was busy last December 27th. So I sort-of jokingly mentioned to her that we should celebrate her birthday in July. Because why not?

Little did she know until this last Saturday, that I was quite serious.
I surprised her with a fun night out to celebrate her birthday.

We went to the bowling alley first.

Where we played some awesome games - and even won tickets! And I was gravely disappointed to learn that the ski-ball game was out of order because I kind of rock at some ski-ball. And by the way, why do we call it ski-ball? .

Anyway. Oh yeah, tickets!
We went bowling - which super fun and made me wonder why I don't do that more often. We also noted that "high-fiving" is totally "cool" behavior when bowling. Though I kind of suck at bowling, I have a lot of fun trying. I did manage to get TWO strikes that night. Holla!

I also noticed that I twirl a lot when I bowl. What's up with that?
Anyway. We had fun celebrating her birthday in July. She was thrilled!
Later our friend Heather met up with us to have dinner.
There were movies and silliness later at my house. It's not a half-birthday without silliness.
I did tell Andrea that night that she should just change her birthday date on Facebook, and then it could be really official. And that she would from now on celebrate her birthday in July instead of December. Because if Facebook says something about you then it must be true. Right?
We had a fun night celebrating our friend's half-birthday! And maybe we'll have to do it again next year!