Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dress for the Job You Want...?

You know that saying "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have"?

I was thinking about that today... My dream job is being a stay at home mom and author (preferably in a nudist colony... but we'll ignore that and carry on like I'm not crazy). So pretty much I could wear yoga pants and my husband's t-shirts all the time and no one would notice or care. And I would be pretty OK with that. (Yeah I know, we should dress for ourselves and feel pretty and yada yada yada, but I would at least like the option of staying in m pj's all day if I wanted too...).

I don't think my current job would be OK with that though.

If I were to dress for the job I want, I would be wearing this:
Comfy looking, huh?
My employer would prefer that I dress like this:

And my husband would prefer it if I dressed liked this:

You didn't think I was actually going to show you that did you?!

But seriously, I just wish I could wear my yoga pants everywhere, all the time.

I don't know.. maybe it's just me. I just want to wear me some stretchy pants.

"Chancho. When you are a man, sometimes you wear stretchy pants in your room. It's for fun." (tee hee)

How would you dress if you were to dress for the job you want?

PS - I just BARELY noticed this:

Yup.... I walked out the door this morning with two different boots on. Oops.

(Linking up with: Oh How Pinteresting, Friends to Followers, Weekly Wednesday Blog Hop, GFC Blog Hop and The Pleated Poppy)

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Break

Dear friends,

Due to lots and lots and lots of stuff needing to be done this week, I'm going to take a leave of absence.

This doesn't mean I won't post at all. It just means I am not going to be trying to post every single day. If I can, I will! I love my little space on the internet. But right now, I've gotta get stuff done!

So, please forgive the absence. I'll have a guest post for you this week! (If anyone else wants to do a guest post and reach a new audience, please email me!)

Love you all dear friends!

A Very Busy Jeannie

Friday, October 26, 2012

Tidbits, Odds and Ends and News

So I have all this stuff I keep meaning to write about... but then I end up writing an entirely different post when I sit down and start typing. So here is a post about the odds and ends and tidbits. And some news. Some hair news. (Be ready to be amazed).

Last Saturday I got to take a much needed study break and go see Hotel Transylvania with my sisters. All three of them! The movie was hilarious (seriously, a must see for kids and adults. I laughed so hard.) And then we got to go over to the Sweet Tooth Fairy and get a cupcake! The little girls got fairyfetti. The big girls got Pumpkin White Chocolate Cheesecake (all in one cupcake. And yes, it was divine).

This was the first time I realized that all us sisters have the same nose!
These girls are the best. The youngest one with the missing teeth is 15 years younger than I am (she was born one week before my birthday!). We have a special bond being the "book ends" of the family. Us girls have to stick together cause we have four brothers (that is eights kids in all, y'all. My mother is a freakin' saint!)

They are such beautiful girls. I love them (and the oldest sister *not me, the second oldest sister* is really blooming. Not only is she almost taller than me, but she is drop dead gorgeous. Her brothers have to go with her to every party/outing to keep the boys at bay!)

I know that fall has been in the air, but... look at these pictures. Fall wasn't just in the air it was everywhere!

This is outside "my" house (it's really my in-laws, but I live there right now too). Gorgeous right?!

And it wouldn't be fall if I didn't show off my boots :)

 Of course, the morning after I took the pretty leave pictures:

That is snow. Everywhere. That picture on the left is me in my car, after my sweet neighbor helped dig it out and brush it off. And that is snow in my hair! WHY?!?!?!

Speaking of hair, some things have happened. If you follow me on twitter (what you don't follow me? WHY NOT? Pretty please follow me? I'm lonely with my five awesome followers. And sometimes I actually say stuff that is funny...) you'll see that I dyed my hair.

And then, do you remember that post I wrote about the whole liebster thingy and what I would change? Well, I don't really have a whole lot of patience with the growing out the hair thing so...

Yup. I put my extensions back in! (I had them in last year, took them out... long story short. They are back!) And I lllloooooooooovvvvveee having long hair. For me, I just feel infinitely more attractive when I have long hair. I don't know what it is, but for me my femininity is pretty much tied to the length of my hair. Go figure.

And last but certainly not least, my incredible sister brought me a Sausage McGriddle thingy and caramel hot chocolate this morning. Cause Friday was acting like a Monday. And because she loves me lots and lots. I don't know what I would do without my sister!

So there we go folks. An update of this week!  (And some of last week too...) Do you have any tidbits you'd like to share? I would love to hear about the little moments that made your week into a wonderful one!

(Linking up with: Faith Filled FridayFriday Favorite ThingsThat Friday Blog HopWomanhood With a PurposeWeekend Blog Hop, Feed Me Friday, Casual Friday )

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Addicted... to Running

Miracles DO happen.

Yesterday I was able to run! For the first time in two weeks!!!

Shin splints have stopped me, and boy did I miss it. And I didn't realize how much until yesterday.

You see, I had a day from H-E-Double-Hell yesterday. The last two hours of work felt like I was being repeatedly rammed with a forklift. And the entire time I just kept on repeating to myself, "You can go home and run. Just make it through this and you can just go and R-U-N." I had forgotten about my shin splints and immediately reverted to the most stress relieving, happiest thing I could do (by myself... There are certain "marriage activities" that can be even better, but I digress).*

Well I made it home in one piece, and scowled at the clouds and gloomy weather and cold wind. And after I walked in the door... my dears, stuff hit the fan. It wasn't pretty. I may have had some angry tears spilling from my frustrated eyes. (And believe it or not, it wasn't all my husband's fault!) So when I had finally thrown on my running clothes, bundled up and found some gloves, I was out the door like a shot.

Even though it had been two weeks I was so angry I managed to run my first mile in decent time (compared to my time, which is the only time that matters). But what surprised me wasn't that my anger melted away as I pushed my feet against the cold pavement. Or that breathing in that crisp air filled my soul with serenity. The surprising thing was that once I started running this feeling of comforting familiarity settled over me. Much like finally getting to curl up on the sofa and have a nice long chat with your best friend. That feeling of, "This is where I belong. This is where my soul flourishes and my body finds peace."

And that is when it hit me: I am a runner.

I've always thought I was just a wanna-be runner. I have only ever done more than 3.5 miles once (and I thought I was going to die). It is only in the past two months that I have been truly consistent (until the shin splints...). And yet, my mind more than my body craves running. I almost feel addicted. Something in me is satisfied and at peace once I can run. And if I go too long without running I start to feel mentally itchy, and running is the only way to scratch.

God gave me an incredible gift while I was calming mind and sou and pushing my body. It had been cold and cloudy and rainy all day. It was a real gloom fest. Until my run. And then the early evening sun bathed the clouds and leaves in a warm, golden light that blessed this time of change. Everything became instantly more beautiful. As the light hit my face I felt like Autumn herself was giving me a loving caress.

This was the tale end of the light. You should have seen the golden
glory that splashed the world in wonder!

What I want to do is encourage all you "wanna-be's". I used to hate running. Sometimes, in the midst of pushing myself past my comfort zone, I still do. But you can reach a place of addiction too. (You know, rarely is there at time when one can say that and not mean something incredibly unhealthy...) And if running isn't what you want, then I think you should find something that is just for you. I don't run for anyone else. I run for me. I run to healthy in body and mind. I run so I don't have to take anti-depressants. What do you do for you?

(Linking up with It's Almost Friday Thursday Blog HopBlack Tag DiariesFirst Day Of My LifeKate Says StuffPretty Little Inspirations Blog Hop, Friends to Followers, Link and Mingle, Weekly Wednesday Blog Hop, Follow Me Wednesday, Pretty Little Inspirations and Lovely Little Whimsy.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fact Is...

Fact: I don't think there is any way on earth I'll be ready for my 10K in a month. These shin splints and I are at odds about this whole experience. Its lame.

Myth: I can run five miles consistently while singing "Call Me Maybe" (not that I know all the words or anything....)

Fact: I have to come up with an alternative way of working out without murdering my shins (I've thought about it, but then I realized I don't have the admirable lizard quality of regrowing limbs). Last year I got into the best shape of my life while doing P90X and Yoga (not the P90X yoga, a different one). So that's the plan. I looked and felt amazing. I was confident and my body was strong. So I am going back to that plan. It really worked!

Myth: I once ate an entire lasagna.

Fact: Sometimes I struggle with how in the world I am supposed to have a healthy self image, especially when it comes to working out. You see, I know I've been writing a posts about healthy body image and working out for the right reasons. And I can honestly say I am doing so much better. But I still get really frustrated because I know I am not doing my personal best. Remember how I said last year I was in the best shape of my life? I want to be back there. I was so healthy! I was in shape. Really, really good shape. I had to go out and buy new clothes cause mine were too big! I don't fit in any of them any more.

I guess what I am trying to say is I am trying to go about this in a healthy way. I want to look my best (which I think is healthy, as long as I am not comparing my best to someone else's best. See the difference?) and I want to fit back into those clothes from when I was in such good shape. I know I can do it (I did it before!). But I need to keep my focus healthy! I don't think it is bad to want to be where I was... (and I have all these adorable jeans I want to fit into!). Do I sound hypocritical? Writing helps me figure things out, and that is what I am trying to do now...

Myth: I enjoy eating tacos in the rain.

Fact: I think the word "squat" is an incredibly ugly and horrible word. And a terribly hard exercise to do repeatedly. 

Myth: I once ate an entire banana. 

So there you have it. How do you think I should approach this whole "wanting to fit in my skinny skinny-jeans" dilemma? I still want to be a good example to others and myself by staying true to me. But I really do want to be smaller and fit into smaller clothes. I don't feel that I will have greater worth if I am back to a Size 6 (what used to be my ultimate and once reached goal). I just know that I will 1) be healthier and more active. b) have more jeans to wear. c) feel more attractive. 

Any ways, I'll stop rambling... (but seriously, I would love some feedback guys!)

(Linking up with Nicholl at Fact Is Tuesday)

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Monday Blues

This Monday seems to have a bad temper. The weather is acting like a tired, hungry two year old: grey, tempestuous winds, dusty, and on the brink of losing total control.

I was attacked by a spider at work. There I was, minding my own business when out of no where this spider crawls right next to my hand!  And then on to my calculator. It just sat there in it's big, yellow, skeleton looking glory. It freaked me out. I, of course, ran from the room to find the first man I could. I found two of my co-workers (truly lovely, older gentlemen with daughters) and did a little panicky dance while quietly screeching, "There is a spider on my desk. Kill it! KILL IT!"

And being the sweet old souls they are, they did. And they only laughed at me for about ten minutes. Especially as I hid behind them while they found and killed it dead.

But that wasn't all Monday had in store for me. Nope. As it was Monday, I had lots of work to do. So the gremlin living in my printer decided to make things difficult. I innocently try to print something when it starts to make odd whirring noises. Lights were blinking and I swear I saw smoke coming out of it somewhere. The printer started shaking too. I bravely faced that demon printer and had to pretty much take it completely apart to find out what the matter was (nothing). I put it back together. Five minutes later BAM. Printer Gremlin: 2 - Jeannie:0

Stupid gremlins.

Well, I thought maybe that was all the chaos, when I was innocently typing and my computer just shut off. It didn't want to turn back on again. A co-worker came and fiddled with cords until it turned on. And I thought my troubles were over.


It turned off randomly three more times! I don't know what got into it! Or why?! I even asked it, pleading with the electronic gods and gremlins to plllleeeeeaaaasssssseeee just let the computer WORK. I think my agonized plea worked! It hasn't turned off since (Don't even THINK about it computer!)

Other things happened too. Like my yogurt exploding. Standing in line for an eternity at the post office. Things like that...

Luckily, the day is almost over! And I've survived this long, I am pretty sure I can make it through the rest of the day unscathed.

Any one else have some good Monday stories?

Friday, October 19, 2012


Sometimes I just want to know what people are thinking. I mean, look at that lady over there in her car totally rocking out? She looks awesome. And maybe right now she is just thinking about rocking out, but after? I want to know. I want to know her story. When I have had the chance to overlook a city, I can't help but think about how many stories there are in every house. How much heartbreak and victory, joy and loss and feeling is happening as I sit watching those twinkling lights. Everyone has a story. It is another reason I love cemeteries. I often feel like I am standing in a wonderful, invisible treasure trove of stories. Each headstone marks a life of stories. Stories everywhere I look.

I love stories. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love stories. I love reading. I love movies. I love TV shows. And it isn't always just to be entertained, but because I love being a witness to a grand display of human emotion. Is it usually fictitious? Yes. But that doesn't change the fact that some brilliant person was able to channel their emotions, their understanding of other people's emotions and create a story that is touches me to the core.

That is why I want to be a writer. I want to let human emotions shape a story that touches someone. I want to move people to tears (happy or sad). I wrote a short story once that I put my heart and soul into. I could feel my heart pouring its emotional lifeblood into those words. It is currently my masterpiece (and is being reworked to be a full story). When I finally let other people read it be they professor, parent or peer, I am told how the story had resounded with them. It had stolen their sympathy and even brought some to tears.

I'm not telling you this to brag. I worked on that story for over three years (and I still am!), but each time I heard that my story meant something to someone, I felt my entire being want to burst into happy tears, a joyful dance and an outpouring of gratitude.

This is what I want. I want to write. I want to pour my whole self into something until it shapes itself into a meaningful tribute to life. It sounds like both an exhausting and exhilarating way to live. I believe that as we empty ourselves into something or someone, we will allow ourselves to be filled up again with truth, light and knowledge. I don't want to hold back love from anyone because it only makes room for more love. I don't want to stop myself from pouring everything I know into my stories because I am just making room for more. More everything. We don't need to worry about emptying ourselves because we are always being refilled.

I've been questioning why on earth I am taking the class I am right now. It is hard. It is overwhelming. It is fascinating. And it is teaching me more than the history of women. I am learning about human experiences. I am learning what people have been through. I am beginning to see how many stories have not been given a voice. And more than anything, a desire has been sparked to be that voice. I may create a fictional character, but my main goal is to give a face to the story of thousands. A voice to the sorrows, the hours of waiting, the intense joy and contentment felt over the years.

Sometimes I wonder if I am up for the task. It is a big responsibility, offering to be the voice of the silent and bygone. But I do know that I am going to try. Every person deserves to tell their story.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Master of My Peace

So, do you remember how I said that I almost beat my depression and eating disorder? Well, it is an almost.

I didn't post yesterday because depression reared it's ugly head and we had a battle. All. Day. Long. It was ugly. I came out on top. I really did. But it wasn't fun. Don't worry, I'm good. I don't write this to get sympathy. I write this to be honest.

Guys, depression sucks. Having an eating disorder blows.The worse part is, neither of them make sense! Ask anyone with depression and they can tell you, "I know this isn't logical. I know I should be able to just choose to be happy. But I can't. Trust me, I would if I could." At least that is how I feel.

I know that it doesn't make sense to want to crawl under my desk and bawl my eyes out. It just doesn't. It doesn't make sense to starve myself, just to end up binging later. I get it. It isn't logical. And when you are trying to help someone who suffers from either monster, please recognize that. We know it doesn't make sense. But we can't help how we feel. What we need is love, acceptance and understanding.

I spent all day yesterday telling myself how ridiculous it all was. But the truth was, I was sad, listless and wanted nothing more than to crawl in bed and sleep. All day. For the rest of my life. Just sleep.

I know I've been tired lately. And the more tired I get the easier the depression monster has in getting out of his cage. And I know I've been stressed to the max lately. (It is getting out of hand.) And that makes depression even harder to fight. And after my day yesterday I realized that I need to make some changes.

I don't want to spend every day frantic and stressed and tired. That is no way to live a life. Even if you are in your last semester ever. I want my husband to have a happy wife. I want to be a happy person. I need to do some stress management. I realized that I need to approach this all differently.

School is not life or death. I need to get it done. I want to do my best. But I won't let it steal my joy. I won't let it steal my peace. I will find a way to make this happen without stressing to the moon and back.

I've been really frustrated because I had to stop running. I got some nasty shinsplints from pushing to hard and I have been out of the game for a week. It's killing me. I need something to relieve stress, and running was my "breathing" time. So instead, I am doing yoga. Tonight. I can't wait. That is a step in the right direction!

This week Matthew 9:13 "And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you."  Really sparked something for me. I have a choice. I can choose to let my peace go. I can decide if it is worthy, or worth it, to let my peace of mind and body be a part of anything. I choose whether or not I let something steal my peace!

Isn't it wonderful learning that you have some control. Sure I have a boatload of stuff to get done. Sure depression and an eating disorder try to slow me down. But I can choose how I am going to approach each problem. I've got this.

My peace is my own. I won't give it up! So now I have to learn how to do some stress management. I have to learn how to be the master of my own peace, and have the strength to let God into my heart and life because that is where true peace lies. Always.

So, what are your suggestions? What do you do when you need to take back your peace?

(Linking up with Loved and Lovely *Thankful Thursdays* It's Almost Friday Thursday Blog Hop, Black Tag Diaries, First Day Of My Life, Kate Says Stuff, Pretty Little Inspirations Blog Hop and Lovely Little Whimsy.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Liebster It Up, Baby!

Hey! Wow! Lookey there! Jessica from What's in a Name nominated me for an award! (I am STOKED!)

Here is what it is:

A Liebster is a German word meaning dearest, sweetest, cutest. The award is given to up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers. (stole this from Jessica, thanks girl!)

I love me some superlatives, especially when they include words like "dearest" and "sweetest" because they sound so wonderfully old-fashioned. 

This award is pretty awesome though. And, because of it's awesomeness, it has some "rules". Here they are:

  • Each person must post 11 things about themselves. 
  • Answer the questions the nominator asked, and create 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
  • Go to their page and tell them.
  • No tag-backs. (this makes me feel like we are playing Tag and someone just yelled over their shoulder in great indignation, "Heeeeyyyy, NO TAG BACKS!")

I think that this is pretty fun. And I am honored to have been chosen. It makes me feel warm fuzzies in my heart.

So here we go, 11 things about me.... (My mind just went totally blank. *writing that made me think of You've Got Mail* You'd think I know at least 11 things about myself...) 

  1. My dream job is being a stay at home mom and a published author. Nothing sounds cooler than getting to go crazy because of my unruly kids and unpredictable fictional characters. (And trying to be domestic... not exactly my forte, but I am so willing to learn!)
  2. I think celery is the grossest, most disgusting thing that exists on the planet. I do not understand why people willingly eat it. I don't care what you put on it or what it is in, celery is gross. Period.
  3. I have a teddy bear named Alex that I have had for as long as I can remember. When my husband has to be gone for whatever reason, I still sleep with my bear. This bear means a lot to me. It is on my list of grab-in-case-of-fire. Don't judge.
  4. I can not ever spell (let me look it up, one moment please...) guarantee. I've tried to memorize it a million times... I always spell it wrong. I am guaranteed to spell it wrong.
  5. If I could have a super power it would be to speak/read every single language ever spoken by man. How awesome would that be?!
  6. I've pretty much won my battle against depression, self-loathing and an eating disorder. I still have my bad days, but I can usually manage to turn it around. I'm proud of where I have come from and where I am going.
  7. I believe in fairies, pixies, nymphs, dryads, gremlins, goblins and that animals can talk, but choose not too cause they think it is funny to watch us flounder. Magic is everywhere. We just have to know how to look for it! (And seriously guys, have you ever had to try and make a printer work when you need it most? Gremlins guys. They love office machinery.)
  8. If I could change anything about myself it would be to have perfect teeth (I would rather fight off an army of angry, hungry lumberjacks than go to the dentist) and eyesight (I love my glasses, just wish I could see without them!). And I would make my hair longer. I really just want long hair. Like really.
  9. I played dress-up until I was 17. And I don't mean try on cool, trendy clothes. I mean full on dress-up with awesome dresses, hats, capes, cloaks, shoes and hair. And there were awesome imaginary games to go with our awesome costumes.
  10. I can't watch any war movies. I am not a big fan of violence in movies any ways (I have way to much of an imagination). At all. But with a soldier for a husband, I can't just sit and watch soldiers die or get wounded. Yes I know it is a movie. But it is a movie playing out my greatest fear. 
  11.  I am a huge Taylor Swift fan. I have all her songs and I know all the words. I am not ashamed of this. At all. I think she is awesome and beautiful and has magical hair.
Jessica's questions of awesomesauce: 

1-Bacon or sausage?
Both. With every meal please.
2-Hot chocolate or hot apple cider?
Hot chocolate. Every time.
3-Easter or Halloween?
Easter - I like the religious part of Easter plus I still get candy.
4-Hamburgers or hot dogs?
Both. But only if the hot dog is a polish one (cause those are tasty) 
5-Cake or pie?
Both. I am a Thanksgiving baby. I was born to love pie. But I love cake. So I say we just have cheesecake. Best of both worlds!
6-Diamonds or pearls?
Pearls. No diamonds. No... Both :)
7-Sunrise or sunset?
Sunset. It doesn't require me to be out of bed before I want to be.
8-Beach or mountains?
This is a mean, hard question. I love them both. But I don't actually go in the water on the beach (I have a fear of fish). And the mountains are straight up gorgeous. I guess Both. Again. But if I was FORCED to choose I would want to live with mountains and visit beaches.
9-Pancakes or waffles?
10-Peeta or Gale?
Peeta. He knows how to bake. I love bake goods.
11-Winter or summer?
Summer. Always summer.

And now for my nominees!
Kaileigh @ Somehow Chaotic
Ally @ Little Betsy

And here are my questions for you awesome people:
  1. If you could be an animal you would be?
  2. Why do you blog?
  3. Favorite piece of furniture (and it can't be your bed!)?
  4. What is your signature dance move?
  5. Character in a movie/book you related to most?
  6. Number one place you never want to go?
  7. Worst fashion mistake of all time?
  8. Favorite word?
  9. Guilty pleasure?
  10. Thoughts on breakfast?
  11. If you were a tree, what tree would you be?

I am excited to hear what y'all have to say!

And if anyone has any more questions for me, feel free to ask :) I will add them to the end of this post.

Monday, October 15, 2012


So I had to go to my storage unit this weekend cause I needed stuff. Like sweaters (it's cold here.) Well Stephen had military stuff to do, so he went down with me to help me get it open and then he had to leave. I had the brilliant Idea to climb on top of a dresser to get a box. Which resulted in boxes falling on my head and on my feet and trapping me on top of the dresser. Alone. All by myself. And there was a spider on the wall. (GROSS!)

I knew that my brother was on his way to help me out, but he was in a different city still. So I called Dad. The conversation went like this:
"Hey Dad. Are you busy?"
"Just programming."
"Great! Hey, so... I am stuck in a storage unit... on top of a dresser... by myself... stuck."
"Umm... what?"
"Yeah. I'm stuck in a storage unit."
"WHAT?! (He started to panic a little) You are stuck inside a storage unit, by yourself. The door is closed?! Where are you?!"
"No, no, no dad. The door is open. I am just stuck up on a dresser inside the unit by myself. And someone just drove by and I am a little afraid someone is going to come and steal my stuff and kidnap me. Can you come get me down please?"
And then I heard a sigh. The sigh that said, "Only my daughter would get herself in a situation like this. What did I do wrong as a parent." But he only said, "Yes. I'll be right there. Where are you?"

10 minutes later my dad showed up and un-burried me and got me down. In those 10 minutes though I learned some things: 1- It is Murphy's Law (who is Murphy and why does he get the cool law?) that when you are in the most inconvenient place you will have to pee. Bad. 2 - I can kill spiders. I just never want to have to be that brave again. 3 - Never assume you are smarter than a box.

When my Dad saw me he laughed for a few minutes. And then he got me down. And then my brother showed up and they were amazing and helped me get everything I needed (even though we unpacked nearly the entire storage unit and then put it all back. They are just that awesome).

So the lesson learned is... Family is awesome. They are always there to help you out. And don't think you can tackle a storage unit on your own. It won't work. (Even with my dad there I almost ended up getting speared in the face with some metal bedposts. I did get hit in the face with a boogie board. I don't even know why we have a boogie board. We live in a land locked state!)

Tonight, I get to go to the opera! (YAY!) and this week I am going to make some awesome things happen. Just you wait...

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Week of Learning

It is amazing how much one can learn in a week. And it isn't always in the places you'd look for new knowledge, and it can be so incredibly varied.

This week I was faced with a pile of homework, and I thought it would kill me. I went into overwhelmed mode. You know, so stressed out that you just shut down and don't do anything?

Yeah, it isn't very useful. But that's where I was at. I was getting so frustrated because I liked what I was studying. So why was it so hard to just get it done? I was praying for help, for motivation for anything that would help me get through this.

My brother gave me this New Testament.
I love how small it is.
And then, in my scripture study along came a verse, Matt 9:23 and it had the answer. I wasn't looking for an answer there. It was such a simple verse.
"And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise"

And then it hit me: Turn off the noise.

That was my answer! Turn the noise off, quiet my mind and my soul and I would get it done. So simple. It has turned out to be harder than I would like. But I am trying. I am keeping the TV off, music off (or playing classical music quietly) and I quiet all the noise in my mind. I focus. I make a conscious effort to focus. And things get done!

Another thing I learned this week was learned while procrastinating said homework. I was just going along, looking at pinterest, when I saw a hairstyle. It inspired a completely different hairstyle. But I love it. It is simple, easy and fast!

Yup, new go too hairstyle. Now I just need to figure out how to do this without having my front pulled back like that... I would like to make it a little bit more feminine and pretty. Still, pretty awesome if I do say so myself!

I also re-learned the whole snacking healthy thing. Remember how last Friday I was super sick and wanted to die? Well, I also lost some weight in the process. And I really liked how my jeans fit afterwards. So, after that whole awful experience, I changed my eating habits this week. Just a little. I just try to go for healthier alternatives. I keep healthy snacks on hand (healthy snacks that I like!) and I feel so much better! And I have been drinking more water.  It is the little things that add up.

I've also been learning a lot about marriage recently. How important it is to support your spouse and be their cheerleader. Everyone needs someone in their corner. Everyone needs to know that no matter what, someone loves them. My husband has a had a bunch of tests at school this week and has been really stressed. It is so easy to respond shortly when your spouse is all wound up. You can let their stress get to you. But I have learned that if I can focus on being his cheerleader, on being the one waving the pompoms and telling him how much I believe in him everything gets better. He feels supported and less stressed. I feel like a superhero for making him smile. We like each other more. It is just all round beautiful.

I am also learning to take a minute, breathe and look at what is all around me. Beauty is everywhere. We just have to stop and enjoy it. I like to see all these pretty leaves and think how happy God must be that I am noticing the beauty He created for me. Life is wonderful. Sometimes we just have to remember that.

(linking up with: Lauren, Weekend Blog Walk, Fantabulous Friday, Friday Favorite Things, That Friday Blog Hop, and Womanhood With a Purpose

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Shantel's Story: My Journey in Motherhood...

Today I am so happy to introduce you to this beautiful, strong, talented woman. Shantel is incredibly talented (remember this necklace and these earrings?!) and one of my personal heroes. I hope that her story inspires you as much as it has me, and that we remember to keep our hearts open to all of life's wonderful and hard experiences.

Some days, I feel guilty for the fact that I am a mother. How is it that I am blessed to experience this role of parenthood that is denied to so many? Although my child is almost 9 years old, I still feel unprepared. Unworthy of such an experience. My daughter is an amazing human being. A survivor. A triumphant example of human spirit. She will do a great deal of good in this world.

I became a mother at the age of 17. It was thrilling and terrifying. A huge spectrum of emotions were presented before me. At that time, I had no guilt. I had no concept of the struggle other women face to have for themselves what I was so privileged to experience. Women who had many things to offer their child. Things their child would depend on. Education, stability, maturity. Although I had faced a great deal during my first 17 years, there was no real life experience to prepare me for motherhood. Why I chose to overlook this fact, and continue on my journey as a mother is something I don't think I will ever be able to grasp. The greatest lesson I have learned over time is that I feel my daughter was sent to me for a reason. I needed to be her mother. She had things to teach me. There are things she needed to experience in this life to grow as a person, and for whatever reason, I needed to be the one to teach her that. A great love has developed between us that I feel incredibly blessed to share with another person.

Our time together has taught me a great deal. One thing I have realized is that in order to be the best parent to my child, I cannot do it on my own. Life as a single parent is beyond challenging. There are not enough resources, not enough time, not enough of so many things to provide your child when it is only you. Children need more than that. When I discovered that I was pregnant with my second child at 23, I knew that I needed to make a difficult decision to better the future for him. I chose adoption. He needed more than what I could provide on my own. I loved him enough to ensure that he would receive a life that was best for him. Where opportunities that I simply could not offer him were readily available. Where a strong love and bond between two parents was something he could depend on.

Setting out to search for the parents of your child is a task that seems near impossible. Many questions pierce your brain, and most of them are centered in trust. As I viewed profile after profile of couples who were longing to build their families through adoption, nothing felt right. My resolve to find the place where my son would grow with his family remained strong. Sending thoughts of love and hope for this child out into the universe, with wishes that I would receive some sort of guidance as to who to place him with did not go unnoticed. After a period of time, I was guided to a couple with strong spirits and so much love in their hearts. I knew immediately these were his parents. This was where my boy needed to be. Our connection was instant, and a great love has developed since the first time I heard their voices.

As the pregnancy progressed, so did my relationship with the parents of my son. A strong foundation of trust was established. That was something I needed in order to be able to relinquish my rights as his parent, and entrust his parents with those rights. I am no longer his mother, however I am his birth mom. This is my role in his life, and it leaves me feeling incredibly blessed. I feel strongly that this sweet boy chose me, trusted me, to guide him to where he needed to be. They are now together, and have grown into an amazing family. He is loved beyond measure by all who know him and of the great story that brought his family together. It is my greatest hope that he always knows how much I love him. I wish that everything I wanted for him will be provided, and that he can feel peace knowing his beautiful journey has healed so many hearts. He is an incredible child, and I am grateful to be his birth mom.

{Linking up with Live Laugh Linky Thursday and Carina!}

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

In Honor of Malala

I was thinking about doing an "outfit" post today. After all I love clothes (like a lot) and jewelry and everything. But then I read an article about a 14 year old Pakistani girl hot in the head and neck by the Taliban on a school bus for being a feminist blogger. And my heart broke.

Suddenly, I couldn't write a peppy post about my adorable new rosette dress and how much I love my husband.

Here I am, sitting comfortably, writing this post without fear. I could write about whatever I want. I could tell you how much I love Jesus and Heavenly Father. I could write about how much I dislike politics. I could even write horrible, hateful things and the worst that could happen is some verbal backlash. No one would hunt me down for speaking my mind and shoot me. I am not living in fear.

I have freedom. I have the freedom to speak and write what I want.

It is so easy to be wrapped up in my small life. To get giggly over some TV show, excited over nail polish and sad because my blow dryer broke. It is simple to ignore the hardships and heartaches of those trapped in a tyrannical society. It is easy to fret about not having any pumpkin-chocolate-chip cookies and forget about the children who will go to sleep hungry tonight, tomorrow and the next night.

How blessed are we? We bloggers who get to enjoy our freedom to mix prints and colors and share it with a welcoming community. I worry about fitness, accepting myself and eating healthy. What small worries.

Of course, all of these things are fine. I am not condemning blogging about fashion or fitness or anything. I am part of that community and I love it.

But today God reminded me of a much bigger world. A world with problems so big no one can solve them. And pain that pulsates and grows and creates chaos and fear. A world with small miracles. A world with beautiful people brave enough, even at fourteen, to speak the truth; even though doing so knowingly put her own life at risk.

How blessed are we?

We have each other. We have support. We have love. We have life's needs. We have everything.

So today, I want to honor this young girl and all she stood for. Her actions and words have inspired me to remember. She has inspired me to see what more I can do to help others find their voice. Let us join together and with a prayer in our hearts try to help heal this broken world.

We are strong. We are many. We are blessed.

Thank you Malala. Keep fighting. We are behind you all the way.

photo courtesy of

(linking up with Lindsay, Followers to Friends and Blog Working Wednesdays)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fitspiration? Yeah, Not Really

Since my teenage years I have wanted nothing more than to transform the way I look. I wanted to be thin, toned, with perfect hair and teeth (and eyesight). It has taken me years to look in the mirror and be satisfied. In fact, many days I'm not. But I am working on it. And a huge step for me has been learning about and rejecting media that promotes weight-loss for appearance and not for health.

I have wondered why I could never work out consistently. What was I doing wrong? Why couldn't I just work out, eat right and be thin?! What was stopping me? Everyone else seemed to be doing just fine, but not me. Nope. I was dumb, unsuccessful, ugly, fat and a failure.

I've learned why I have never been successful: When focusing only on appearance a real drive for fitness can't exist. The real reason to exercise regularly and eat right is because you want to be healthy. After all, you only have one body. ONE. You don't get any returns or exchanges.

I can eat healthy not to drop a size, but because this is the only body I have. And I want to make the most out of life. So I need to take care of the body I have.

This article by the amazing Kite sisters really helped open my eyes:

We have been going about motivating ourselves the wrong way! Not only that, but the levels of perfection we want to achieve are indeed impossible. Do you hear me?! IMPOSSIBLE.

After reading that article I went through my pinterest boards and deleted all of the "fitspirational" photos I had posted. I realized that many of them were not focusing on actual health goals, but in killing my body to fit some preconceived, media driven belief of what I should look like. I kept up the pictures and quotes that were focused on action and reaching my goals (such as running a 10K).

Once I took "looks" out of my exercise and eating I was shocked at how things have changed. I crave running. I have goals every week, and reaching those goals feels amazing. When I run a mile faster, or add another 1/2 mile to my run without dropping my pace I feel like I have conquered the world. Suddenly, I am empowered. And when I can't make it out on a run, instead of feeling guilty because I know that I didn't burn calories and now I can't eat as much and I am not going to be as skinny as quickly (yeah, that was really my train of thought. How depressing is that?) Now I look at it as a "rest" day. Tomorrow I can push a little harder because I let my body recover a little extra. It isn't the end of the world. It isn't the end of my goals. It isn't even a bump in the road.

I have stopped comparing how I look to anyone else. I don't care if someone even has a similar body type. They do not have my body. My body is different. It needs different things. And if I am eating healthy (with the occasional cake, because everybody needs cake) and exercising regularly then my body is just how it needs to be. I don't need to worry about changing to fit into a certain size. I don't need to worry about looking good in that bathing suit. If my focus is health, happiness and reaching goals then my looks kind of take care of themselves.

Nothing is more beautiful than a happy, confident, healthy woman. And nothing feels better than knowing that you are happy being you. God created you as you are. He gave you the challenges in your life for a reason. He believes you are perfect the way you are. After all, He made you that way. I don't believe you should try to change the wonderful body you have for someone else's idea of perfection. But take care of the body you have now, because it is a gift to you from your Creator.

So, how are you going to stop the comparison, the impossible expectations and consumer driven media from holding you back in your goals?

(Linking up with The Chiffon Diary,  and GFC Blog Hop)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Yellow Galoshes

I just love being happy. I don't know what it is, but I am in a fantastic mood today. Work is good and busy, but not too busy and life is just... happy.

Strange thing is, I should be (or maybe I shouldn't be?) stressing like there is no tomorrow. I have to write (I kid you not) 17 papers by Friday. No, that is not 17 pages. 17 papers.

Call me crazy.

The funny thing is, I didn't procrastinate this work. Usually that is the case. But I actually did my best to stay on top of things. But life and other things kept happening. And now Friday is coming at me like a fast speeding train, and for some reason I feel like I am skipping down the tracks in yellow galoshes to meet it.

Go figure.

I think it is God's way of making sure I don't implode or something. I am pretty sure that this feeling of peace and calm is a gift because I told God I would take this class because He wanted me too, but I would need help to do it. This is my help. I am so grateful!

In spite of all this craziness I have a brand new week ahead of me! And I am excited for it. I have a week of training for my 10K (I am really falling in love with running). I get to look forward to date night with my hubby. I am hoping to squeeze in dinner with a dear friend too. And I bought tickets to the opera for next week! (I feel so grown up and cultured saying that... But you really can't say no to $13 tickets)

Another thing that has me jumping for joy? I have some new followers! HI GUYS! Every time I see that I have a new follower I quite literally do a happy dance. Around my room. Singing. And then I stalk them and find out that some truly amazing, awesome, incredible people are following me. My friends (can I call you my friends? I like to think that we're friends) you are inspiring! Thanks for being here!

P.S. I really, really, really want a pair of yellow galoshes. Yes, I have a pair of polka dot ones. I may or may not have plaid as well. But that is besides the point. I need yellow ones. They would totally match my car!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Yay for a Car!

So... I have good news. Like REALLY good news.


For those of you who don't know why this is so monumental, we have been looking for a car for months. It has seemed impossible. I don't know what it was, but every car we looked at just wasn't right. Or it was just a really weird situation. Whatever it was, it wasn't working. But last night, a miracle happened and I got a car.

Not just any car.

This car:

Obviously, I have to be super excited about this. Because this is like my dream car.

It is amazing.

Other good things that happened this week!
I got a raise (YAY!).
My life was changed by this website.
And I made it through the week in one piece.

That is what I call an accomplishment.

Sadly, I am very, very sick today. (I won't go into details, but let's just say my "throne" and I are spending wwwaaaayyyy too much time together. Ugh). So I am going to keep this short and too the point.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! I am super excited to be getting some quality family time. (and a lot of homework time). Not to mention it is the LDS Semi-Annual General Conference this weekend. I am SO stoked for it!

(Linking up with Lauren!)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Running Angry

When I run angry I have a rule: I can get as mad as I need too. Anger can fill up every corner. I can get so mad I can feel my hands shaking. That is the  whole point. I feel angry. I don't try to push it away or over come it. I let anger in. But then, I have to run.

I have to run until the anger wears out. I have to pound that anger out against the pavement. I have to leave it behind me. Sometimes I can just imagine steam blowing off me, leaving a trail that evaporates harmlessly into the air. I have to push my pace. I have to run until I no longer see red. Run until peace and exhaustion settle in and take back their space. And I can not return home until all the anger is gone. Anger is left on the road. I don't need it.

It slows me down.

(Linking up with Carina)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Outfit Post That Isn't (Fate and Nutella Had Other Things in Mind)

I have been debating all day as to whether or not I would still do a What I'm Wearing Wednesday post... I'm not sure. I'm not really writing a fashion blog here, but at the same time I love seeing these posts for other people cause it is a little peak into their life. I kind of love it.

So I decided I would. Besides, one of the reasons I wanted to back out was cause I don't like the way I look right now... And that is just ridiculous. (I'll beat those negative voices and media crazies, just you wait!)

Sadly, byt the time I came to this conclusion I had spilled stuff on my shirt (like all over the thing... like nutella all over everything. Not good). And my make up was coming off, and the wind was blowing really hard (which was awesome for a run, not so great for pictures). I know this sounds like a bunch of excuses, but I swear its not. It just didn't come together!

Still, I have something awesome to share with you. Throughout the day I was able to get some snapshots of what I was wearing, and I think you'll love it. Especially the accessories!

Julianne (from this post) has been introducing me to this incredible lady named Shantel. She is going to be doing a guest post for us here pretty soon. I am excited for you to meet her! But not only is Shantel amazing, she is talented. Like super talented. She even gave me a pair of earrings! And she worked on this incredible necklace (with input from Julianne) that captures me perfectly.

Take a look:

{Bracelet: Forever 21}
{Necklace: Pepper Ann's Locket}
{Earrings: Pepper Ann's Locket}
{Owl Belt: Target}

Now, I love these boots. I wear them ALL the time (though I did just get another pair of brown boots, not to be confused with these ones). I think I wear boots too often (if such a thing exists). But I don't like any of my other shoes right now so.... Yeah.

This is my "fishface". You are lucky enough that you get to see it. And yes, I wear my hair pulled back more than 50% of the time. Its called "always waking up 5 minutes late."

I can't exactly remember how I got this skirt. I know it was thrifted... but I think my mom thrifted it and then it just didn't work. So she gave it to me, and I couldn't find something that worked until I tried a plain white t-shirt. And voila! It worked (but you don't get to see the shirt cause it got spilled on. A lot.) I love this skirt because it is a layer of polka-dot lace over a layer of pretty, regular-like lace over a silky skirt. The patterns and textures turn it into something awesome.

This pictures has nothing to do with anything. But I love it. This is a victory picture taken after wiping 2'22" off my 2 miles! (2 is my favorite number. The 22nd is my birthday. All of this is just totally awesome. K? No really. It is.)

(Linking up with: Lindsay, TwoThirtyFiveDesigns and The Chiffon Diary)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Salmon-to Kitten Analogy

Holy moly guacamole!

Guys, last night something happened and I felt like my entire life flipped around. It was almost like thinking that all this time I had been a salmon. But then someone tapped me on my tail and said, "I'm sorry Jeannie. You are not a salmon. You are whatever you want to be."

And, since I've always thought fish were freaky and ugly creatures, I immediately turned into this kitten:
adorable, right?
Makes sense? No? What?! You didn't follow my salmon-to-kitten analogy?

Ok, I shall try again.

Yesterday was a day. Not in the good way. To try and get rid of some incredibly annoying and painful, constant migraines, my doctor has me on a run of meds. These meds turn me into a freaky, emotional, cranky version of myself. And yesterday, all day, everyone seemed convinced that it was their personal mission to chip away at my patience and positivity. All day. Everyone. Co-workers, customers, random people driving cars, my husband (he is a saint. Seriously. The things I said and did yesterday... I should have been locked away. But instead, he cuddled me. Cause he is that amazing) and myself.

I was ready to strangle myself because I kept saying awful things, but I couldn't stop myself!

However, I digress.

The crowning glory of horribleness to this awful day was how I felt about my body. I didn't feel beautiful. I felt fat. I felt awful. And my Doctor had told me how much I weighed (before I could tell her not too) and that had me spinning in the completely wrong direction. I was on the verge of a binge-eating frenzy. (cause, you know, that totally makes sense. You feel incredibly fat, so you just stuff yourself until you want to cry and then not eat for a week. Good one Jeannie.)

But then, my husband pointed me to this news article (cause he thought I would enjoy it) which then led me to this website which then completely changed my life and the way I view myself (this is the part where I turned into an amazing, adorable kitten). These twin sisters, Lindsay and Lexie Kite, are trying to literally redefine beauty. And boy are they doing an amazing job.

After reading a bunch of their articles about how women are trained from birth to view themselves and their bodies by the media, something hit me. I am the only Jeannie. I have the only Jeannie body. So who in the name of trufala trees can tell me how my body is supposed to look?

I have been believing ALL of these messages from the media, from men who have been duped by the media. I have been taught that my appearance actually is a measuring stick of my worth. I was actually told that if I was fat, no one would like me, and that they were only telling me this to protect me from future pain. (of course, the pain inflicted was much worse than anything else that could have happened). How wrong were they?!

We need to realize that "we are capable of more than being looked at." Our power lies within us. As we become more educated, empowered and self-assured that we are worth everything no matter what we look like then we have won a battle. We do not need to be a certain size, weigh a certain amount or look a certain way to have power. Beauty isn't skin deep. It starts from within. It begins in the depths of the softest part of our soul, and it radiates outward. When you feel empowered and intelligent and happy, you take care of your body.

Healthy is happy. Healthy is beautiful. Healthy starts from the inside and works its way out. And healthy looks different for everyone.

I will no longer be listening to the media. I will not be objectified. I will not let someone else's idea of perfection shape what I believe I should be. I have gifts and talents and life and laughter that only I can contribute to this world. And that is beautiful.

Are you ready to join me on this journey? Over the next while I will be sharing my experience and the steps I am taking to change my perception of beauty. I will be critically analyzing all of the media images and messages I run into. I will be changing my life. And I want you to join in. Start now, and let's redefine beauty.

(Linking this to Tuesday Facts by Nicholl)