Sunday, October 30, 2011

What Love Really Means

Should I type this out?

Should I just leave this in my little black mole skin journal?


I LOVE my journal!!!!

But I also don't want people to think that I am mad at them because I have been acting a bit funny lately.

I REALLY have been acting a bit funny lately. 

During the week I am fine. I try my best to find the positive in EVERYTHING. I get so giddy over the smallest little bit of pleasure that is brought into my life: friends coming over, watching the leaves fall from the trees, listening to the laughter coming from my little family, going for long fall hikes around the lake.  

But the truth is, we are going through yet another trying time in our lives.  

It seems like as soon as we get out of one life trauma (college with a baby, a sudden death in the family, a placenta abruption, an emergency appendix removal, a new pacemaker) something else comes up.  I guess that's really just how life roles.  I've talked to many people about life and  they all have informed me that the crap just keeps on coming.  It's just how we deal with the CRAP that makes the difference in our quality of life, not the absence of CRAP. Because there is no such thing as life with an absence of CRAP.

Anytime there is a MASSIVE amount of CRAP in my life I tend to turn inward.
I go the the gym, I go for walks, I snuggle up to read or knit and I journal like cRaZy.

As a future pastoral counselor and normal person, I KNOW that this is a horrible thing to do. I instead need to reach out to people during times of trouble, I need to pray, read, go visit the Monks and sit in silence before God Almighty. I need to climb a tree with a friend.

But honestly, I suck it up, deal with what is before me, the day, and try my best to suck as much happiness out of what I have been given.  That's my personality I guess.  I'm a lot like the old philosopher in the book of Ecclesiastes.  I see doom and gloom all around me, I often think it is better not to have been born at all, yet I enjoy the life that I have been given.  I REALLY enjoy the life that I have been given.

Sometimes my "sucking it up and being happy anyway" gets the best of me. The amount of energy it takes to "suffer through it with a smile" burns me out. When that happens I just can NOT do it anymore. I break. I cry. I crawl in my bed, eat too much ice cream and read.  

This morning once I FINALLY made it to church (long story of me trying to get two very active children bathed, dressed, fed and out the door all by myself) and was able to sit down, I broke into tears. After trying to make myself look more presentable, like I hadn't just sat in the bathroom floor alone snotting up the whole place, I went to gather my things to go home and climb into my bed with my comfort ice cream and book.  A dear friend saw me walk past "are you ok? what's wrong?"  

There have been many a time when someone has asked me "what's wrong", only to disappear with fear when I start blabbing about the stress because they REALLY don't want to know what's truly wrong. They decide they don't want to get involved so they walk away.  

However, this person was different. Instead of walking away or giving the simple "oh you'll be fine" speech to get me to shut up, she grabbed me, took me to a private place and allowed me to talk while she listened.  She then told her story of life stresses (we all have them people) and we both cried together.   

I have NEVER had someone do that for me before.

Well, besides my husband, but that's his job. He signed some legal papers 7 years ago promising to sit down with me whenever I have an emotional break down and listen to me. For better or for WORSE. Right?!?  (he he)     

But this person does not have any obligation to me. She could have walked away thinking "man, what an emotional basket case" but she didn't.  She stayed. She listened. She shared in my agony and opened herself up to me about her own fears, stresses and frustrations.  

 She wouldn't allow me to go home and crawl back into my little black hole of a bed.  She forced me to face my fears, stresses and frustrations head on. She allowed me to see that I am not alone in this.  

I wish there were more people in the world like her.

She inspires me to be a better person.
To be the person that isn't afraid to reach out to someone who is hurting. To be the person
who isn't afraid of sharing my deepest sorrow in order to help someone through their darkest days.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I kissed the lips of a published author

Oh my goodness, you all.  I am so EXCITED!

The book came in the mail today.


The book that Roger and Amanda cowrote together.

We knew our copy was coming this week and have been checking the mail religiously EVERYDAY.
I've been watching for the mail man out the window everyday starting at 2pm.

This afternoon as I was stepping out the door for my daily walk I noticed a MASSIVE package sticking out of the slot. "ROGER!!!  ROGER!!! COME QUICK!!!  IT'S HERE! IT'S HERE!!!"

He came a running out while I came a running in.
We passed each other in the doorway.

Once we figured out where we were going and what was going on, he grabbed the package out of the mail box.
"open it Rog!!!!! open it!!!!"   (me jumping up and down)

My goodness the book is BEAUTIFUL!!!
I mean, I knew it was going to be nice but I really had no idea HOW NICE it was going to be.

I am BEYOND proud of all who were involved in the process of getting this book to print.
The pictures are stunning, the words are magnificently moving and the lay out is phenomenal. 

I am obviously even more proud of my husband Roger and friend Amanda.
They both pulled some long nights staring at the computer screen.  

I'm just can't stop smiling!!!!!!!

Roger Jasper and Amanda Hervey will be at the Kentucky Book Fair on November 12th.
So head on out the book fair to pick up your very own copy signed by the authors!!!

Have I mentioned how proud I am of these two people yet?!?!?

Our Family Band

I guess it is VERY obvious how much fun Roger and I have with our two little buddies.

Saturday mornings are the best!

This morning was no exception.

Roger and I were woken up by two smiling children sneaking into our room.
Paul climbed in the warm bed with us, snuggling up to my back, while Anna stood at the bottom of the bed trying to pull at our toes, laughing hysterically.

Paul and Anna both LOVE music and are all the time setting up a family band in the living room.
Roger and I just sit back, try not to laugh too hard, and enjoy the show.

We thought we would share a little sneak peak with you all.

P and A rehearsing in the living room!
Look at the little stage that they made for themselves!  
Microphone on the "carpet" (quilt) and a little seat off to the side.

Having a family band is hard work.

Rehearsals are sometimes so frustrating.

These kids keep Roger and I laughing all day long.
They are seriously such a joy to have around.

It's amazes me that Roger and I were able to make such funny, smart, and caring children!!  

I think we've done a good job reproducing Reverend Jasper!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Night Time Randomness

I saw this video and smiled so big I just had to post it.

The summer that Roger and I got married I went to my first ever Hanson concert.

I have been a BIG Hanson fan since I was 13 but had never been to a concert.

I was 19 years old and a newly wed, seeing my favorite band live for the first time.

Roger, being Roger, wanted to sit way back in the balcony to enjoy the show from a distance.
Me, being me, wanted to be as close to the stage as possible and I wanted to DANCE!

By the middle of the show I had drug poor Roger up right in front of the stage.
By the end of the show I was pointing out Taylor Hanson's wife standing on the side of the stage watching her husband sing. "OH MY GOSH ROGER LOOK WHO IT IS!!!!!!!"
And by the end of the night I was standing by the tour bus talking to Isaac Hanson about my love for Charles Dickens as he signed my copy of Great Expectations.  

That was the only thing I had handy for him to sign. I had brought it with me to read while I waited in line to get into the concert. I had no intention on being a groupie by the bus but I guess I got so caught up in the moment.

As we were walking back to the car my husband was mortified that I not only drug him to a Hanson concert but that I made him wait by the tour bus with me like a crazy person.

We had only been married a month at the time.
I wonder if he thought :oh my gosh what have I gotten myself into."

I was on cloud nine. 
I, Jessica Jasper, just met Hanson!!!!!!!!
And not only that, but Isaac's favorite book is Great Expectations too!!!
OH MY GOSH I talked to Isaac HANSON about Charles Dickens!!!!!

When I became pregnant with our second child Anna, Roger took me to another Hanson concert.
Or maybe I begged him so much to take me that he finally caved in.
That night, even though I was with child, I danced like a wild woman.
I totally morphed back into 13 year old Jessica!
It was wonferful!
Roger just stood there, mortified once again, that he married such a crazy person.
Their concerts are just so much fun!!!

So unlike the Bob Dylan concert I went to with Rog and Tyler in Nashville.
That was awful.
That was the first time I ever got high off of second hand smoke.

My latest bug in my husbands ear is to take me to Nashville in December to see The Zac Brown Band.

He can NOT stand country music.
It has been our biggest head butt of our marriage,
He says I romanticize  country living too much and I say he needs to learn to ride a dirt bike.
Just recently he agreed to let me teach him to ride a dirt bike but I'm thinking I better teach him to drive a standard first then introduce him to the dirt bike.
But the fact that he is going to allow me to teach him these things is SOOOOO romantic.

He's also reading Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry for me and I'm telling ya,  that is HOT!!!
Someone taking the time to get to know you by reading a beloved book means a WHOLE LOT to me.

But ya know what else would mean a WHOLE lot to me?
A day in Nashville followed by a rockin' concert by The Zac Brown Band!

Using Charlie Sheens words, Roger, you would be WINNING if you made that happen!

And I promise I wont forget to get you a birthday gift this year!
Who's bright idea was it for you to be born the day after christmas anyway?

Monday, October 24, 2011

My life is so hard....... NOT

I sometimes feel guilty for having so much fun playing with our children all day long while Roger slaves away at the church and at a 90 hour degree program to receive his M.Div.

FYI...... he is graduating in May!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The man drives 8 hours a week to Georgetown, ky to go to class ALL DAY LONG.  It is 2 hours there and 2 hours back plus the ALL DAY sitting in class plus the whole full time job as minister.

While he is taking classes, visiting people in the hospital, sitting with grieving families as they plan funerals for loved ones, researching to prepare a sermon, and studying like a mad man for all the classes he is taking, I am at home watching these lovely children grow.

Whenever I confess my guilt to him he gives me a "you are a crazy woman" look.
He says that knowing that I am home raising our children helps him get through the long days and nights of work, class and study. "At least one of us is with them!"

I really do have a wonderful time being the main caretaker of my children!
Don't get me wrong, when Paul was 2 and Anna was an infant it was crazy hard (click on that link to view a blog post I wrote during that time period.)

But now we are in the glorious preschool and kindergarten years!

First let me debunk a common misconception. Not ALL stay at home moms STAY AT HOME.
Anna and I love to go go go. 
We LOVe being part of a community.
Each day we are out and about.
We have exercise class, music class, library, grocery shopping, the zoo, the mall, play dates......... on and on. 

This morning Anna REALLY wanted to go play at the mall.

Here is her posing with her gum.
The child LOVES gum.
I have to hide it from her.

At the mall she loves to play pretend on the machines.

This is her horse Thunder.

She's always up for making new friends.

Turns out the new friend loves nursery rhymes just as much as Anna.
They played this Humpty Dumpty game for about 30min.
I took my knitting and worked on making Roger's cardigan while I watched this pure joy!

Anna loves getting the little carts at the grocery store.
She walked around the whole time so proud of herself and announcing to every person she saw "Hello, I have a little cart. You have a big cart. I have a little cart. I am grocery shopping."

So incredibly proud of herself for loading the groceries in the trunk for me.

After lunch she decided to color a bit before we took a lovely bike ride through downtown.

Before our reading time and nap time she played like a wild woman outside.

This afternoon before dinner she took her coloring book and crayons outside.

Paul joined her with his coloring book and crayons.

When Daddy got home he joined the kids out in the yard, bringing his seminary work, while I took a lovely 30min walk through downtown.

When I got back from my walk I worked on making a lovely dinner of potato soup while the kids played outside and Roger worked on a seminary paper.

Life really can't get any better than this!

At least for me.

Poor Roger probably thinks other wise.

Needless to say, he is VERY excited about graduation!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Abraham's Herbs

So, I don't know if you've noticed but today has been a BEAUTIFUL day!

The weather has been plum near perfect.

This morning Anna and I worked on making my halloween costume.
She thought the hot glue gun was AMAZING.
She was determined to convince me to let her use it all by herself.
I burnt my finger a tad bit.
Roger was nervous for the both of us. 

On the way to get the supplies for the costume Anna and I stopped by the animal shelter.
I'd never been in one and was amazed at how sad it was there.
So prison like.
I'm not really a dog or cat person but man oh man those poor little animals.

This afternoon Roger came with us to pick Paul up from school since this is his day off.
we up and decided to take a random road trip to the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln. 
"hey Paul! ow was school!  wanna go on a road trip!??!"

The kids were absolutely amazing!
On the trail while we were walking I said.....
"fist bump Rog!! (then we fist bumped)  We are reaching the easier parenting phase and this is AWESOME!!! I'm so glad to be getting out of the toddler stage."

We hiked around the trail, looked at the log cabin, and watched Paul as he saw a sink hole for the first time.
"wow this is a real live sink hole. I'm looking in the earth!!"

The kids walked the ENTIRE time without screaming "I'm tired."
And let me tell ya, there were some good size hills for those little 3 year old legs of Anna's.
She just trotted on up them like she was a expert hiker.

After seeing the birthplace we decided to drive on down to the house Abraham spent his young boyhood.
Roger- "do you know who Abraham Lincoln was Paul?"
Paul- "yeah!"
Roger- "Who was he?"
Paul- "He was a principle!!!"

Don't worry we explained that he was a president not a principle.

While at the boyhood home we noticed they had a good sized herb garden set up with descriptions of what they used to use the herbs for in the olden days.
I saw some peppermint and knelt myself down and discreetly picked some, placing them in my jacket pocket.  I explained to the kids about the herbs, letting them try a few.
Anna found a near by weed and started chowing down on it...... "NO NO NO Anna that's a weed. YUCK NO NO NO"
She said "yummy!!  that one tastes like lettuce!"

Then I looked over to see Roger, with his pocket knife out, harvesting some spearmint.
"Roger!?!?!? oh my gosh."
I about died laughing.
I was a tad bit mortified.
Everyone around was looking at us, the rednecks, stealing from the herb garden at the historic sight of a former President.

I'm still feeling a tad bit bad for taking some herbs but I'm telling ya, this tea that I am having right now with these fresh herbs is mighty good!

"roger, we need to make our very own herb garden!!"

Can we pray together?

The following was written by Sarah Bessey and can be found at  THIS website.

I just LOVED this article and HAD to post it here.
I totally feel this way.
It is as if this woman read my heart and wrote it down.

"You know what I would have liked tonight instead of decorating tips or a new recipe? I would have liked to pray together. I would have liked the women of the church to share their stories or wisdom with one another, no more celebrity speakers, please just hand the microphone to that lady over there that brought the apples. I would love to wrestle with some questions that don’t have a one-paragraph answer in your study guide. I would like to do a Bible study that does not have pink or flowers on the cover. I would have liked to sign up to bring a meal for our elderly or drop off some clothes for a new baby or be informed about issues in our city where we can make space for God. I would like to organize and prioritize, to rabble-rouse and disturb the peace of the rest of the world on behalf of justice, truth, beauty, and love. I’d love to hear the prophetic voice of women in our church.
Please, may we be the place to detox from the world – its values, its entertainment, its priorities, its focus on appearances and materialism and consumerism?
So here is my suggestion: Please stop treating women’s ministry like a Safe Club for the Little Ladies to Play Church.
We are smart. We are brave. We want to change the world. We run marathons to benefit our sisters, not so that we can lose weight. We have more to offer to the church than our mad decorating skills. I look around, and I can see that these women can offer strategic leadership, wisdom, counsel, and even, yes, teaching. We want to give and serve and make a difference. We want to be challenged. We want to read books and talk politics, theology, and current events. We want to wrestle through our theology. We want to listen to each other. We want to worship, we want to intercede for our sisters and weep with those who weep, rejoice with those that rejoice, to create life and art and justice with intention."

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Jessica's no good, awful day at the library

Ok, I'm at my wits end.
I'm so tired of people walking around acting like they are little islands unto themselves, completely ignoring those around them.
heads off to the side, no eye contact, pumping into you without saying a word.
I'm not sure why I am uber aware of this and why it bothers me so, but it does.

I enjoy interpersonal communication.. eye contact.... an occasional smile... a head nod... a wave.
All of those simple things make me feel that I actually exists in the world instead of being a shadow.
That someone cares.

I try my best to make eye contact, wave, and/or smile at those around me.
I tend to get either blank stares or the sudden head movements of those who want to act like they didn't even see me.
I just don;t understand this.
Do I live in a world full of people that are ignorant in regards to interpersonal communication?
Or am I surrounded by stuck up snobs who think too highly of themselves?
I'd like to think that it's the first one!
but sometimes, I'm just not sure and lean a little more to the second.

Take this afternoon for instants.
There I was standing in the library, being completely ignored as if I were a shadow person by the librarian even though I smiled at her several times, when all of a sudden Anna has a MAJOR melt down.
I try my best to get her to calmly pick out the books that she wants, allowing Paul time to pick out his books, but the darn 3 year old, who has a VERY strong will, is determined to yank EVERY SINGLE book in the children's section off of the shelf.   

She was in a rare form.

screaming to the tops of her lungs
Running a muck. 
Me calmly trying to help her to calm down, to get a grip on her emotions.

I finally had to remove her from the library but not before dragging her THROUGH the ENTIRE library to the front desk, SCREAMING, in order to check out the books Paul had decided he wanted to take home.

Did anyone make any sort of eye contact with me?
Did anyone give me that "oh I have totally been there" look?
Did most everyone look away, ignoring the fact that I was dragging a screaming and kicking 3 year old through the library about to drop all the books?

And get this.
When I got the the desk the librarian walked away saying "I'll be with you in a second" leaving me STANDING AT THE DESK WITH A CHILD HAVING A MELT DOWN.
Upon her return, while anna is still SCREAMING in my ear, the librarian had the audacity to turn the computer screen towards me (keep in mind I am holding Anna VERY tightly in my arms, she's screaming, trying to hit me in the face) and point out that I had a $5.00 fine on my account.

At that point I felt the urge to point out to her that at that moment I didn't give a rats ass that I had a 5 dollar charge on my library card and ask whether or not she noticed that I had a child having a melt down in my arms.

Instead, I smiled at her, very calmly saying "yes. I know that. thank you."
Once again, no eye contact from her, or anyone around me, just complete silence (not counting Anna).

I have never felt so ALONE.
I was near tears as I was walking to the car loaded down with books and 2 kids hanging off of me.

I got the kids in the car, buckled them up, got in the car myself and noticed a little amish girl sitting in the passenger seat of the van parked next to me.  
She was probably in her teens.
She gave me a HUGE smile and wave.
I smiled and waved back then pulled out of the parking lot thinking "finally. human contact. Someone noticed that I was alive and took the time to let me know that they saw me!"

The girl doesn't know it but her simple gesture of kindness turned my afternoon around!

I write this for no other reason than to say "you are not an island."
We ALL need and crave community.
We were born to live in community with one another.
We are not hard wired to be alone, to keep to ourselves, to ignore the sufferings of those around us.

The next time you see someone struggling reach out to them.
Forget these so called "American social boundaries" in which YOU are ONLY responsible for looking out for the well being of yourself.
People NEED other people.

Here's ya an experiment ....the next time you go grocery shopping try making eye contact with those around you.
You'd be surprised at how often people float through the world ignoring those around them and then go home complaining about how lonely they feel.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Anna's Cardiologist Appointment

It has been a very emotional day for me.

This morning I took my 3 year old daughter Anna to the cardiologist.

While at a resent check up the pediatrician heard a murmur while listening to Anna's heart.

With my heart history, when the pediatrician heard the murmur she immediately referred us to a cardiologist. 

(I was born with Transposition of the Great Vessels. Had open heart surgery at 3 months of age. Had 2 stents placed in my heart at 15 years of age followed by a dual chamber pacemaker

My BIGGEST fear, besides not being able to have children, has been having a child with a heart defect. I would inevitably blame myself no matter how many times I would hear "it's not your fault."

The drive to Louisville was very teary.

I was exhausted from the morning of getting myself and two children dressed and out the door in time to drop Paul off at school and to stop by the ATM.

I was overwhelmed with frustration that I had to do this major thing alone since Roger had class all day.
And I was consumed with worry over the "what if."

I tried turning on what Paul calls "the Jesus Music" to calm myself down and get into a state of prayer while I drove but that music makes me so sad when I'm already sad.  Song after song of tear jerking lyrics forced me to put on some James Taylor.

I have a sore spot on the inside of my mouth from chewing on it all morning long.

I was THAT nervous.

I tried to mask my fears for Anna.
I didn' let her see me crying and I talked with excitement to her about going to the cardiologist. 
"they're going to take a small camera and look inside your body right at your heart.  Isn't that so cool?!  You'll get to see your heart Anna. Not many kids get to see the inside of their bodies!!!"

Anna was nervous as well.
"mom are they going to rip my skin off to see my heart?"

She had an EKG and an Echo Cardiogram....... then we waited on the doctor.

I had originally tried to get her set up to see MY cardiologist but after several attempts I gave up and went with the physician available.   

As soon as the doctor walked in and introduced herself she patted me on my leg and said "Just so you know. We didn't find anything.  Her heart looks good." before talking to me further.

My shoulders eased up and the breath, that I had no clue I was holding, began to flow again.

As the doctor was listening to Anna's heart she began to have a concerned look on her face.
She kept turning Anna in certain positions and listening to her heart.
The doctor finally gave me a concerned look and said "that is a REALLY BIG murmur. Would you mind if we take a closer look at one of her valves with the echo cardiogram?"

We undressed Anna and the doctor took over for the tech, looking at her heart.  
She kept saying "humm.  yeah. hummm.  we need to look closer at that. humm. yeah. look at that."

I just held Anna, trying to prepare myself for the worst. Trying to hold back the tears that were escaping from my eyes.  Trying not to be angry that Roger was not there with me.

The doctor then turned to me and said "everything looks really good. Her valve looks just like they should. I just don't understand why she has that big of a murmur. I mean, that is REALLY a significant murmur but everything looks good here and she's not giving any signs of anything so I think she's alright!"

As soon as I got into the car and Anna had fallen asleep, I burst into tears.

It's been a long day.

I'm ready for a bubble bath and some A&W rootbeer!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Boo at the Zoo

On Saturday, after spending all week with a SCREAMING Anna, Roger and I decided to pack the kids up and take them to the Zoo.
We are members of the Louisville Zoo and they have this really cool trick or treat thing there during October. If you're a member the first 2 weekends of october are free to get into the Halloween Bash but after that you have to pay.
So we went.

Honestly I didn't want to go. I was EXHAUSTED and very bitter about having to deal with the children ALL OF THE TIME.
I wanted a break.
As I was climbing in the car I said "Aren't grandparents suppose to be doing this crap. I'm tired."
seriously I was in an awful mood.
Anna has been SCREAMING like cRazy all week and all day.
We think she might have ANOTHER ear infection.

Today I had to call Roger "can you please come home. I am LEAVING. I'm done. I'm leaving."
I went to the gym for an hour and half while he dealt with the screaming child.

Back to Saturday.
We went to the zoo!!

Anna went as a monkey eating a banana and Paul went as spider man.

We waited in the car line for 30 min to get into the parking lot.
Then we stood 30 min in line to get into the zoo.
I had to pee REALLY BAD the entire time.
Roger kept patting my leg saying "we've committed to this. We've committed" because I kept saying "let's just go home. lets just go home."

My mood started to lighten up when I began to see the cute little kids in their adorable little costumes.
The mood lightened EVEN MORE when I finally made to the bathroom!

Once in, we got to walk around the Zoo visiting the characters and getting candy.

The kids were WONDERFUL!!  They sat in the stroller taking in the sights and sounds.
Roger and I enjoyed getting to talk without having to YELL OVER SCREAMING CHILDREN!!!

Grumpy did not want his picture taken.

"Roger look, look, LOOOOOOOK!  A big Rodeo coming to Louisville. Can we go?!?! CAn we go?!?!  can we Go?!??!?!?"

The Zoo trip ended up being a barrel of monkeys!!!

Paul was amazed to see the characters from Toy Story!

I was FLIPPEN excited to see Harry Potter and Hermine Granger!!
Me- "Roger can you take another picture I look like a dork in this one."
Roger-"no matter how many pictures I take you are still going to look like a dork. You just had your picture taken at a children's function with the characters from Harry Potter."

"Look Rog, it's my boyfriend!!!"

Anna about jumped out of the stroller when we got to this.
The child LOVES candy so seeing candy hanging from the trees made it very hard for her to contain herself.

Fred and Wilma!

Now that I think about it,  I'm not sure how offical this Pooh Bear was. 
All the other people in costumes had Zoo stickers to identify them as working at the zoo.
This Pooh Bear did not.
I MIGHT have just ran up to a stranger dressed like Pooh and said "OH MY GOSH a little old man dressed like Pooh Bear! can I have a picture with you?!?!?"
I really need to work on my filter.
I need to learn to process through things before I say them.

I saw these rabbit ears and thought I'd try to pull that sucker out of the ground, must be a huge rabbit.

Alice was running by, saw be working so hard at pulling up the rabbit and invited me to tea with the Mad Hattter!

After tea we thought that it would be a great idea to begin following the yellow brick road.

Upon further examination this pirate was NOT Johnny Depp, although he did wink  at me and say "Hello Love!" when I ran up to him in excitement.

Me -"Roger, that super man is HOT. can you take a quick picture of me with super man?"
Roger -"I am ALL the super man you need."
I pushed Paul up to take a picture in my place.

And I went and found WONDER WOMAN!!!

Paul climbed up on the roof and spider webbed his way down.

The kids enjoyed the hay maze. 

The carousel was open so we took advantage of a nice ride in the dark!

We caught Roger sneaking candy.
Roger -"to be fare, I found this on the ground."

On the way back to the car I saw this Father-Daughter duo and HAD to take a picture.
This is a picture of fatherhood. 

We didn't get back home until after 9pm but the Zoo trip was well worth it.
The kids had a blast and Roger and I got to feel as if we had a date night!
It helped to remind me of how nice it is to have this wonderful man to share all the ups and downs of parenthood with.
because MAN ALIVE parenthood is a crazy ass roller coaster of emotions.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Random Ramblings of a Girl Who Thinks Too Much

The first day that Roger was back from his trip we went on a mini-date (with Anna of course) to the Whistle Stop to eat lunch.

It was nice.

Then we walked through the town of Glendale talking while Anna skipped along the sidewalk.
We ended up in the grave yard.
Why is it that every time we are on a date we end up in a grave yard?

While in said graveyard Anna announced to the dead that she needed to pee.
I let her squat and pee in the graveyard.
Roger was horrified.
I told him to get over it.
He now loves me even more!

I got my hair cut today!
For some that is not THAT big of a deal.
For me it is MAJOR.
I have very little time to do anything for myself.
Roger offered to watch Anna for me but little miss Anna wanted to tag along.
She is obsessed with playing beauty shop so it was like her disney land.

The woman I go to is right down the street in an old remodeled home. 
 It's about a 8 min walk from the house.
We drove.
Don't judge.
It was raining REALLY hard.
I would have walked if I were ALONE but Anna was tagging along in pure bliss.
She stood silent the ENTIRE TIME I was in the therapist chair getting my hair cut.

We went to the library today!
I have a MASSIVE amount of fines on one of my cards. 
I think it is Paul's card that has over 20 dollars of fines on it.
Note to self..... the movies have REALLY BIG late charges.
 remembered to bring MY card to use for the kids so that I wouldn't get the librarian eye roll.
I hate when I get the librarian eye roll.
oh come on. 
As I was checking out I glanced at the "new books that are in this week" shelf.
I about PEED myself when I saw the book The Help just sitting there on the shelf saying "check me out. check me out. you have been looking for me for forever."
I squealed 'oh my gosh!!!!  It's here!!!" and grabbed the book, scaring the male librarian that was checking me out.... the books... not me..... what were you thinking I was meaning?

I made BLT's for lunch!!!
Anna and I made one up for Roger and surprised him at work.
I have to take care of the man.

While there Roger showed me a book Chris is letting us borrow called Stuff Christians Like by Jonathan Acuff.  
We read a little bit of it out loud, cracking up, bending over in laughter, getting yelled at my our 3 year old daughter that said we were "TOO LOUD" and have decided to read it together in the evenings.

Jonathan Acuff also writes a blog at
The book is CRACKING ME UP!!!
I can't wait to read more
Go check it out.

On the way back home from the office I forgot to role up my windows before hosing down the windshield with the washer fluid.
I hate when I do that.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fall Break

Raising children is MUCH easier when you are surrounded by family.
No wonder all my aunts and uncles live so close to Mawmaw's house and the farm.
I think that if I lived within walking distance of my grandmothers house I would have such an easier time at this child rearing thing.
Not that it wouldn't still be hard but I would have a mawmaw to run to like I did this week.

I just got back from spending an entire 10 days with my family.

I had a bit of a rough start since it has been so long since I have moved back in with mom and dad for that length of time but after the first 3 days it was smooth sailing.
By the end of the week I was getting rather used to taking the kids over the mawmaw's house every morning and sipping coffee while she took the kids to play on the farm. I was also rather enjoying having dinner prepared for me by mom and dad while I went on long walks in the woods alone.

True Bliss!!!

Now I am back to reality.........oops there goes gravity.

Although I LOVE my life as it is I can not help but think about how nice it would have been to have bought a piece of land on the family farm and set up house.

Having all those cousins running around for the kids to play with and my aunts, uncles, mom, dad and mawmaw to sit with on the back porch, sipping coffee.

There are certain things that I cherish about my childhood that I want so bad for my children to experience.
I felt that this week kinda made up for lost time.

They got to play in the barn in a hay fort!
(We used to make those ALL THE TIME as kids. The hay forts were especially fun during the winter months when there wasn't much else to do that would keep you out of the house and not freezing to death.)

They got to see a baby calf less than 24 hours after its birth.
(I remember  several times going out in the field with Papal when a momma cow was having trouble delivering her calf. He had to tie a rope to the calf's feet and help pull her out of her momma.)

They got to ride around in the field with mawmaw and the cousins enjoying the beautiful days and hike around through the woods.

My children playing on the swing set that Papal had my uncle build for us grandkids.

They got to work with the cousins and make their own haunted house in mawmaw's basement.
(remember those?  We used to do that kind of stuff all of the time.)

Most importantly, they were surrounded for a whole 10 days by a close knit family.

nothing like driving a tractor through granny and grandpa's woods

who knows how many hours they spent up that tree

I felt like a LOT of the burden of child rearing was lifted off of me.
They had a big ol' field to run through and explore and a whole heard of cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles to play with.

I took the opportunity to do the things that I LOVE.

Like taking the dirt bike out for a little spin.


Going out to dinner and a movie with Mawmaw and Mom.

Laying out under the beautiful fall colored trees for a glorious afternoon nap.

I even did one thing that I typically HATE doing.
I went shopping.
You read that right.
I went shopping.
I typically HATE shopping but for some reason I had a hankering to get out with mom and shop.
We ended up finding a GREAT deal and I bought 2 skirts.
You read that right.
I, me, the girl that HATES dressing up, bought TWO SKIRTS.
Can you believe it??

I really don't see that the shopping BUG is in me but I must admit that I had so much fun looking through stuff with my mom and that I am quite excited about the awesome deal I got on these skirts.

On Saturday morning I took Paul and Anna to a cross country race.
My Aunt is the coach and pretty much my whole family runs.
The girl with the heart condition was born to a family of cross country runners.
I know.
It is rather hilarious.
I guess that's where I get my will power to push on.
Like my aunt Carlotta likes to say about frustration  "It is the burr under my saddle."

My aunt Peggy called to ask if I wanted to let Paul run with the little ones.
Paul is always talking about how he is a "FAST runner" and how he is going to be in a race one day, so I took him.
pre run stretch


Peggy getting ready to start the race

run paul run

He was so excited but tuckered out halfway through "mom, my arms and legs were hurting too bad mom."
I was so proud that he ran as far as he did.
He said "maybe running isn't my sport mom. Maybe my sport is soccer."

my little 4 year old cousin Luke ran that 1/2 mile like a wild horse.
I have NEVER seen ANYONE run that fast.
That child is incredible. 

And he wasn't even tired when he finished.

We stayed to cheer on my cousin Andrew as he finished his 2 miles.

This weekend I also got to learn a little family history about my Dad's side of the family.
I know VERY little about my grandpa Singleton.
As I was talking to my Dad about genealogy he brought out some papers from the back of his closet that had pictures of my great grandmother Ada Singleton and her children.
He also had a whole stack of papers that included tons of family photos and information dating back to the 1700's.

i about peed myself.

"welp dad, it turns out that I am JUST LIKE my ancestors. All my grandmothers were housewives just like me!!!"
We both died laughing.  HA HA HA

But seriously though, each grandfather was either a farmer, a rail road worker or both.
 My great grandmother Ada died of dropsy when my grandfather was around the age of 4.
She had 2 children  out of wedlock and was disowned by her family.

In one of the obituaries of a 1800 grandfather it read "he was buried in the family grave on the Singleton Homestead."

awww. shucks.  how cute.

I am now determined to learn more about my family history!
It is so fun learning about where you come from.

speaking of

This is a picture of my Great Grandparents on my mom's side Lela and John Thacker.
Story is is that they were MAJOR in love.
Like giddy school children.
Just look at her sitting on his lap!
I'd like to think I get my child like spunk and romantic heart from her.

This is a picture of her mother and father, my Great Great Grandparents.
Mom couldn't remember her name but his name is Dave.
He was a prominent business man that had trouble staying away from the bottle.

I asked mom for a copy of these photos.
I wonder how Roger would feel if he walked into our house to see framed photos of my ancestors?

He'd probably be like. "Jess seriously?  I already have to put up with your Charlie and Pawpaw."

 Charlie is the Gnome that I BEGGED Roger to get for me for my birthday. The little sailor dude I call PawPaw.  Pawpaw was with me all through my childhood and when I saw mom about to throw him away I saved him and took him to live with me.

I should probably write these little guys into my will shouldn't I?

I can't wait until Roger gets home!!
As soon as we get a chance I am going to take him to stay in my aunt and uncles cabin in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.  There in no cell service out there, no electricity or running water.  It will just be us, a cabin with a buck stove and nature!!
That sounds sooooo romantic to me!!