Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Gift

One of the best gifts I have ever received was this:


Isn't it just FANTASTIC?

My dear friend, Alisha (who is super-duper talented), designed and framed this for me on my birthday nearly 2 years ago and these MIGHTY words have sat on my nightstand ever since; being the first thing my eyes see when I awake every morning, and the last while I drift away to sleep at night.

I had never heard of this before but tears filled my eyes as I read the marvelous truth contained in the frame that night. This has become one of my very favorite quotes, as well as some of the most brilliant and inspirational words to live by!

"Who are you not to be?" 

I LOVE THIS! It makes me smile every. single. day.  :)


***What's your very favorite quote?


Wishing you all a happy and safe weekend... ENJOY IT!

(Marianne's quote can be found in it's entirety here)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Letters to Heaven

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Last night, I was returning an email from a dear reader who said she was struggling to find the strength it took to pray- especially during this difficult time in her life. As I wrote simple words of encouragement to her, I was flooded with memories of the same exact feelings, and the same dilemma. When I needed a connection with Heavenly Father in that most pivotal and challenging time in my life, my frazzled brain couldn't concentrate long enough to utter two sentences. I was at a loss for words. I'm never at loss for words; but I was then. I didn't have what it took to really pray and when I told my therapist this, he said "Write to God, then".

Ah ha!

And so began my Letters to Heaven.

Their symbolism to me is magnificent! The powerful conviction that even in my darkest of times, I could bear my heart and soul through words on paper, to the very person who loves and cares for me the most, and know, without any doubt, that it was read by Him, word for word.

After responding to this new friend of mine late last night, it just so happened that I came across the very prayers that I had forgotten all about and archived away. This, I believe, was no coincidence.

What a subtle, yet comforting reminder it is that I am never, ever alone.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Let's get better acquainted, shall we?

I think we should play a game! You know, so we can get to know each other a little better?

Alright, so copy and paste the 4 questions below, add your answers and repost it in the comment section! Easy enough? GOOD, because you all have to do it now! :)

     1) If you HAD to change your first name, what would you change it to and why?  

     2) If you won the lottery, what would be the very first thing you would do? 

     3) What is the worst/best gift you've ever given/received?

     4) What are you wearing right now?


Here are my answers!!

1) I'd change my name to FRANKIE! There was beautiful woman, named Frankie,who worked at the hair salon I went to as a child and from then on I've always loved it! I still plan to use it if when I  have a little girl someday, as long as the future hubs agrees! :)

2) I'd start with a WHOLE new wardrobe- head to toe!- AND then I'd book a nice little getaway to the Mediterranean, I think.

3) The worst gift I've ever received was from my parents on Christmas Eve. I was 8 years old. My sister and I were allowed to open ONE present each before going to bed that night. Considering that most of the presents were average size, it was no surprise that we picked the one present that stood out from the rest. It was the most beautifully wrapped, heaviest and BIGGEST box that was under the tree and it was tagged to 'Jacy and Jenny'. Excitement oozed from our very souls as we shimmied the gynormus box away from the tree and into the center of the room.

What soon followed was not only the worst gift ever, but the most comical Christmas Eve I remember!

Picture it now: Two young girls, in their holiday jammies, hanging outside a second story widow, clutching for dear life to the metal rungs of our very own and brand new fire escape ladder!! Yes, people... twas the night before Christmas and we had a legitimate emergency evacuation drill! :) Oh, the GOOD TIMES!

4) I'm wearing this.... a red cardigan over a knitted cream flowy shirt, skinny jeans tucked into my vintage camel-colored cowboy boots (that my sister scored for .25 cents at a yard sale!) and a necklace that doesn't really gel with any of it :)


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We're All in This Together

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Since I started this new adventure just two weeks ago, I have been in awe with how much love and support I have received! Through your comments and emails, you have touched my heart in ways that you will never know! It's been amazing, to say the very least, and for that I thank you!

But what I've found to be even more AMAZING is the number of resilient and beautiful women who surround me (and some men too:) on this little blog of mine. Numerous women have since reached out to me, pouring their hearts and their personal stories via email; each one totally unique, has touched me, inspired me, and has made me realize, even more, that no one is exempt from trials or heartache. No one! No matter how different our situations may be, or where we live, or what faith we belong to, or how old we are, we are all enduring (or have endured) incredible trials in our lives. You would be amazed at the stories I've received thus far... It's quite unbelievable really and my heart breaks for anyone experiencing such difficult circumstances.

But, sadness aside, what I love most about these women/men and their stories is that we are ALL trying to be better! Every single one of us, one by one, a day at a time, we are all looking to better ourselves and hopefully find happiness, forgiveness, and peace along the way!

So, please you guys, if you read this blog and like what you see, PLEASE share it with anyone and everyone who you think might benefit from it! I know what it's like to feel alone... and to feel like no one out there understands... but the truth is, I am NOT alone. You are NOT alone and this blog is proof of that.

I feel that the motto for this blog should be "We're All in This Together". I know it sounds cheesy, because it IS cheesy (isn't it a song from High School Musical? lol) But you know what? I don't care because I LOVE cheesy and it's the truth! We are ALL in this together- striving to over come the unexpected difficulties of life. We can learn from one another... we can comfort one another... we can befriend one another... and we can overcome anything that comes our way!

It's only been two short weeks since starting this blog but in that time I've noticed a significant and positive change in me, personally. I've been so insanely excited about it that I've hardly slept at all! Seriously. Between writing posts here, reading your emails, responding to your emails, reading your blogs, commenting on your blogs, and connecting with each of you, I'm usually up until 1 or 2 am and then I just lay in bed and think even longer! I'm finding that blogging does indeed take A LOT of time but, if you ask me, it's totally worth every second of it! If I can be of even the smallest of help or comfort to anyone, anywhere, I'm happy to do it! I mean that because I truly believe and am convinced that we are ALL in this together! That being said, if I have yet to respond to your email, I haven't forgot about you! I promise! I may be slow, but I WILL get back to you. I read every word and I will always write back :)

Thank you again, from the very bottom of my cheesy heart, for the unbelievable amount of love and support you've shown me already! Every day I am inspired by your courage and strength, but most importantly your commitment to move forward with dignity! You are each beautiful and your value, priceless.

I LOVE YOU ALL!


p.s. I was able to meet NORA last night! We found each other through our blogs and discovered via email that our stories were eerily similar. There was an immediate connection and so we decided to meet up! There we sat, in the booth at Zupas, with our boys mind you, for over 2 HOURS, smiling, laughing and even getting choked up as we talked about our experiences and what we've learned thus far. What an incredible blessing this was! I'm so glad I found you girl!




Monday, March 26, 2012

GOLF MONSTER



Definition of GOLF MONSTER
n.


1      a: someone who is learning to play golf and loves it
 
        b: someone whose dreams consist of how to improve her chip shot

        c: someone who plays two sets of 9 holes with her 'man-friend' in one glorious weekend in March

        d: someone who gets 2 PARS in a row


I've never been much of a golfer. Ever. Mom and Pops put me in lessons when I was 12 or so, but it didn't last long; I never really got into it.

Last summer though, my mom was heading to the driving range (as she's been golfing for years and is great at it) and I thought I'd join her. I hadn't swung a golf club in 16 years and had no clue what I was doing, but I decided it might be fun to try something new. I was terrible! I couldn't get the ball off the ground, but we still had fun and I left yearning to learn how to play the sport.

The very next week I met Seth.

Seth happened to be a golfer and a pretty good one at that! So, of course, when I showed interest in learning how to play, his ears perked right up and our very next date was spent on the driving range, where he teed up every. single. ball (probably 50 or so) and gave me a 60 minute lesson. From that moment on, I was totally hooked on the game and I was becoming even more hooked on him!

Since that day last August, we've spent many hours at the driving range (and yes, he still tees up every ball for me) as well as afternoons on the golf course, playing numerous rounds of the world's greatest game! It is in these times where I've learned that Seth is a very patient man... very. :)

I am by no means 'good'.... yet..... but I love, love, LOVE having a new hobby-- especially one that he and I can do together! I've never been the athletic type and even though Seth calls golf the 'lazy man sport', it's been so wonderful to get out, enjoy the outdoors and actually play a sport for once in my life. I'm loving every minute of it! And I'm thrilled that the weather is warming up so we can actually GO!

Ah, there's something so beautiful about a quiet afternoon on the golf course. But there's something even more beautiful about the crisp sound that's heard when the club contacts the ball just right. It is those very rare moments that keep me going back for more!







































Oh, and you're probably wondering why this post is titled GOLF MONSTER (no, unfortunately I didn't make it up and award myself the title). Actually it was the Golf Pro (who knew I was fairly new to the sport) who honored me with it after hearing that I got 2 pars in a row. Apparently I am now worthy of such a name- which I think suits me pretty good, don't you? :)


***What sports do you play? Are you currently learning any new sports? And if this sports mumbo jumbo doesn't interest you at all, what did you do this weekend? I'm curious! :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Simple but True

I saw this on Pinterest today and just had to share it with you. A very simple thought it may be, it rings so true and the result is MARVELOUS! If you don't believe me, give it a try and see for yourself :)

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Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you're having a wonderful weekend!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Seven Hundred and Thirty


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Curled into a ball on my bedroom floor, I was hanging on for dear life.

'This can't be real... this can't be happening... why?'  my mind churned, trying to grasp the reality of what my husband had just divulged. My eyes, full of water, could barely fixate on the gold fibrous strands of shag rug that roughly rubbed against my cheek.

Disconnected from my whole body, disconnected from everything I ever knew, I felt the most indescribable pain. I never knew it possible to literally hurt on every square inch of my body, when no physical damage had been done. I never knew it possible to feel such an aching throb in my chest, when no medical diagnosis could be made. I never knew it possible to experience a death of a loved one, when no body was laid into the ground. I never knew it possible to feel such defeat: as a wife, a woman, a lover, a friend, and a human being.

Faintly I stood up. My hands rubbing my head, my teeth biting my fingernails, my arms wrapped around my gut. I paced back and forth, back and forth. In that moment of weakness, I powerlessly gave in to the madness. "WHY?????" I screamed at the very top of my lungs. "I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! WHHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYY???" the shriek of my own voice surprised me. My insides burned and my body shook uncontrollably. I had never felt such rage, such energy, such force in my life. I shoved him away from me. I beat on his chest with my boney fists. "Get away! I hate you! Noooooooooooooooooo! No, no, no, no, this cannot be happening!!" I broke down again, only this time it was on the tile floor. My knees slammed against the cold porcelain and I hysterically wept into my hands that shallowly cupped my face.

My husband had committed adultery. Life as I knew it was over.

I had learned of his addiction 6 weeks prior, but nothing compared to the anguish of the actual words that confirmed his infidelity. Dismayed and heartbroken, my world caved in around me and I began to deteriorate with the rotting debris.

I still loved him. And that love didn't disappear because I knew the truth; instead that love conflicted my fragile and deeply wounded heart, because the damage he caused was SO intense. I loved him, but I loathed what he did even more.

This moment of rage, even if for just a few minutes, was the lowest I've ever been in my life. Ever. It was a day that is permanently engrained into my memory. It was a day that I do not revisit often. It was a day that I hope to never experience again. For it was a day that changed my life forever.

But it was just one day.

I have since lived and breathed seven hundred and thirty days- some unbelievably hard, some painfully sad, and some incredibly lonely, but amongst all of those challenging days, I have lived and breathed some of the  most undeniably BEAUTIFUL days of my life. Tears are filling my eyes and streaming down my face as I type because I feel so blessed to be where I am today; holding fast to the knowledge that life moves on. Truly believing that no matter how unconquerable my trials may seem and no matter how low I get, the sun will always rise the next morning... and I will be okay.

Two years ago today my life crumbled. I crumbled. Unsalvageable as it seemed, and unfathomable as it was, I never thought I would find happiness again.... but I am living proof that time can heal even the deepest of wounds.

So, no matter what you are experiencing in your life right now, whether it be big or small, be patient with yourself, hold onto your personal faith (whatever that may be), keep moving forward with your head held as high as you can, maintain your dignity, and more than anything else, NEVER lose hope.

"There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.
-Bern Williams

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bow Ties & the Man Friend




















... and so is my man friend!

That's right... I call him my 'man-friend' because I prefer this term over any other. 'Boyfriend' felt middle school. 'Partner' felt awkward. 'Guy I'm dating' felt too long. So after much rehearsal and deliberation, I finally settled on 'man-friend'. Truthfully, I can't decide if the word feels mature or just plain creepy.... regardless, I LOVE it!

And with that introduction............

MEET SETH!



















He's 31.

He's cool.

He's confident.

He's genuine.

He's emotionally and sexually healthy.

He's driven.

He's consistent.

He's predictable.

He's honest.

He's loyal.

He's independent.

He's realistic.

He's patient.

He's communicative.

He's kind.

He's funny.

He's financially stable.

He's easy to get along with.

He's fitting in as a healthy addition to my life!

And he wears a BOW TIE, for crying out loud! :)

We've been dating 8 months now and things are going really well! We're both happy with our relationship thus far, but are in no rush to say 'I do'.

Seth, too, experienced MUCH heartache in his previous marriage, due to his wife's severe eating disorder (among many other factors). But instead of dwelling on the past and letting her choices ruin him, he has changed his life for the better; shaping him to be the wonderful man he is today. With his permission, I plan to share some personal details of his life because what he endured has taught me SO much about life, love, relationships, communication, expectations and patience. Truly. He is such an amazing person and I'm eager to share parts of his story with you, as well.

***While I'm not going to ask your opinion of Seth because I already know he's super cool (but you can congratulate me haha!), I will ask what you think of his bow tie? LADIES: Do you love a man in a bow tie? Or is it too old fashioned for you? GENTS: Are you brave enough to sport one?

You can buy the 'BOWTIES ARE COOL' print shown above, here.


And just for fun, here's one of us together!! ;)







Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dating: My Way

I've been getting quite a few emails requesting dating advice. While I am no pro at this, I have learned some pretty priceless lessons along the way. The best DATING ADVICE I can give to anyone, anywhere (never married, divorced, young or old) is to follow these 4 simple rules:

(if you missed yesterday's post about the most horrific date I've ever been on, you might want to read it here as most of these dating tips evolved from that one specific night :)

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RULE NUMBER 1-  You are in control. You say what, when and where.

I have been on more first dates where I was feeling really nervous and/or uncomfortable! Whether the guy wanted to take me on a long car ride up the mountain, or even to a restaurant a few cities away, in the back of my mind I was always a little concerned for my safety. Always. Once I learned that I didn't have to do anything I wasn't comfortable with, my dates were much more enjoyable!

For example: I had 'mountain guy' who after dinner wanted to take me to the top of a peak and pop popcorn over a fire... just us. This was a first and blind date, mind you, and while I give him an A for effort for cuteness, this did NOT sound like something fun to do with a stranger.  After reluctantly agreeing on the phone that I'd pack some hiking clothes, my stomach turned sour and I was dreading the date. An hour or so later though, I gathered up the courage to call him back to tell him that I'd prefer staying somewhere closer to home. He was perfectly fine with the idea and we had a nice time.

I also had 'biker dude' who wanted me to drive up into the canyon on his motorcycle, my legs wrapped around him and NO helmet. This was a first and blind date, as well. When he mentioned his plan over the phone, I didn't even consider it. I told him maybe another time and that I'd prefer to meet him across the street in a public place. He then asked if we bag the motorbike ride, that I reserve 4 hours of the night to spend with him instead. I didn't want to spend 4 hours with him and so, I told him I only had enough time for dinner since my son was with a sitter. He was highly disappointed and there was no question about it! But I had to do what felt best for me.

I could list all the creepy dates I've been on and WHY I feel that Rule #1 is so important; but I'd rather post examples of how I've changed some dates to better accommodate my 'comfortable factor' as a woman in the dating world. Once I got the COURAGE to call the shots, it was then that I enjoyed going out and actually dating- anxiety free.

RULE NUMBER 2- Meet him somewhere in public. Do NOT let him pick you up at your house.

I know it sounds like something my overly-cautious Grammie would say... but seriously... MEET your date somewhere for your first or second or even third date. And I don't care if your friend thinks he's nice or if your mom's neighbor across the street thinks he is absolutely adorable. The truth is, YOU don't know him nor do you know what his intentions are. While there are some really GREAT guys out there, there are also LOTS of creepy ones! So, unless you know this person on a very personal level already, pick a place to meet in public!

This will also allow you to bail early if you're not really feeling it. You can be kind and courteous, of course, but if you're ready to go home after dinner, you can. You don't have to abide by his terms- which goes back to Rule #1.

RULE NUMBER 3- Don't divulge your entire life history.

I'm totally guilty of this and yeah, it was usually on the FIRST date!

It was almost robotic in a way. I'd order my food, the menu would be taken from my hands, and then I'd say "So.... yeah... I'm divorced... my husband cheated on me... oh you know, porn, lies, infidelity!"  Pretty soon there would be silence and I'd realize that I just told a perfect stranger EVERYTHING that had ever happened in my life/marriage... and we hadn't even gotten our drinks yet!

This is no bueno people! Don't vomit your life history on the first date (or second or third). Of course you can elude to why you're divorced by saying something like "yes, I am divorced... unfortunately infidelity was involved.... but I'm getting better everyday! Let's not talk about that right now though... tell me more about you!" Or something along those lines. But save the gory details of your SPLIT (or recent breakup) until you think you really like the guy and  it becomes important to share some specifics.

In the mean time, no one wants to hear all the drama- especially on a first date!

It's also important to leave a little intrigue about yourself, anyway ;) If you like them, keep them wanting more of you... don't lay it all out there day 1.

RULE NUMBER 4- Ask him questions that are of IMPORTANCE to you.

Okay, so this might seem like it's contradicting to the last rule, but I'm a firm believer in this!

Pornography and masturbation addictions were key contributors to the dissolution of my marriage. Because of this, the P and M words were/are (except I'm in a relationship now) brought up very quickly on my behalf. Not on every date, mind you, but the guys who I was somewhat interested in got the question on the first or second date.

"So.... WHEN was the last time you looked at porn?" and "Do you have any addictions?"

Usually I'd get an honest answer out them.... if they weren't choking on their pizza, that is :) I'd then take whatever answer I got out of them to my shrink and we'd assess if he was a worthy contender for another date... LOL!

If something is important to you (ie addictions, the desire to have a family someday, religion, whatever), don't hesitate to ask him! Uncomfortable as those questions may be, you might as well get them out of the way, instead of prolonging the inevitable!

...................................................................................................................................................................

So there you have it- dating my way!

I honestly think if I had known these rules and executed them from day one, I would have saved myself from so many lousy, nerve-wracking, awkward dates!

***LADIES: Anything else you would add to this list? I know I left out the relax, have fun, be confident sort of tips, but I think those are pretty no-brainer. I'm thinking more on the 'protect yourself and be safe' sort of lines. DUDES: What do you think of my list? Too harsh or do you agree?






Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Night President Obama Saved My Life!

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I had been officially divorced for one week when a girlfriend asked if she could line me up with her 33 year old friend (who saw me at a social event and was interested). Being that I was totally ready to date, after all, it had been 7 whole days of being divorced, I jumped on it! DUH! It was time to get my life back, remember??

The preface of the date was 'Jacy, if he likes you back you'll be sooooooooo lucky- everyone wants him'! Okay, so this statement alone should have been my first clue, but in a moment of desperation to feel wanted and loved again, I went ahead with the date anyway. And maybe this guy was Mr. Right?

The date was set for Monday night @ 7:00 pm. My nerves could have killed me that night. Dating? Really? How did I get here again? I thought to myself as I frantically tried on about a dozen shirts, while throwing the losers onto the floor.

7 o'clock strikes. I'm anxiously awaiting his arrival in the living room. No Mr. Right.

7:15 strikes. Mr. Right calls. He's running late.

7:25 strikes. The door bell rings.

DOOMSDAY.

I open the door and there Mr. Right stands, maybe an inch or so taller than me. He's dressed in a gray hoodie, zipped all the way up and is wearing a backwards baseball cap. I noticed his face has a slight sheen to it when seconds later I learn why "I just left the gym... it was busy... had to get my work out in... you ready?"

Parked in my driveway is a BIG, black, jacked-up truck. So big that I could not have pulled myself into the cab without some assistance, even if I tried. His hands grab both of my sides and with his big muscles that he just worked out, he lifted me up like an ice-skater would his partner. The engine revs really loud and off we go- 40 mph through my neighborhood.

Mr. Right's seat is tilted so far back that I wonder if he can see over the steering wheel? I can't see over the dash and my seat is fairly upright- how could he possibly have a clear view? I buckle my seat belt right away. Rap music blasts over the speakers, the bass rumbles my chair, which makes it extremely difficult to hear him talk about his multi-million dollar business ventures and his family's fortune. Three words escape my mouth the entire car ride: oh, yeah and cool.

Pei Wei Asain Diner is where he takes me because he's feeling somewhere 'chill'. As I'm standing in the line debating over chicken or beef, I feel a pair of meaty hands (no pun intended) aggressively grab my shoulders. He starts to dig in and massage "so.... what do you want, cutie?" he gently whispers in my right ear.

Our booth was cozy; considering it was in a typical 'order at the front and we'll call you when your food is ready' type of restaurant. After a good 30 minutes of dribble... "I do this... I do that..." he finally inquired about me. I think I got one or two sentences in when he interrupted me by saying "so, you're divorced... I hear that divorced women are really sexually deprived! Are you?"

Being totally caught off guard, I stumbled around and didn't know exactly what to say. "Kind of...?", I thought. Whatever my answer was, it made no difference; we were back to his monologue in a matter of seconds.

After dinner, he wanted to 'chill' at my house and watch a movie. I say that I'd prefer going to a movie at the theatre. He shoots that idea down.

Somehow, and looking back I cannot figure out WHY and HOW I let this happen, we end up at my house with a romantic comedy from Redbox. I go to the restroom to get away for a minute. When I walk downstairs into living room, I see that every single one of my detachable cushions are off of my sofa/love and masterfully crafted into a GIANT fort on the floor. Blankets, throw pillows, and the ottoman all had their specific place in his masterpiece.

"Ummmmmmm, what is this?" I ask

"It's a fort! Doesn't it look so comfy? Come snuggle with me!"

I sit down next to the 33 year old MAN, but I'm feeling rather childish and stiff. He pulls me close and attempts to get in the spoon position with me. I tell him I don't like spooning. His beefy hands, calloused from the hand-held weights, are caressing mine. The movie plays in the back ground while the lights from my Christmas tree give a soft, romantic glow. Pure bliss.

And just when I think it can't get any more beautiful, he charms me with

"You are so rigid Jacy! Geeeez! This is the problem with divorced women. You need to let your guard down and relaaaaaax. "

Okay, that was it. Enough!

"If you had any idea what I've been through and had any respect for me, you wouldn't be saying those things. You know nothing about me!" I said as my voice quivered.

"What, you think I don't respect you?". His eyes are wide.

"Not really."

"Well, let me give you a massage to make it up to you. Just relax, will you?"

I tell him I don't like massages. He doesn't listen. He forcefully wraps his arms around me, puts me in some wrestling hold and then flops me on my stomach- he straddles over me.

Okay, so now I'm starting to get a little more than FREAKED out. It's 11 o'clock, my front door is locked and here I am, pinned down by a stranger IN MY OWN HOME! What was I thinking?

So, there we are... just me and him. He's massaging my back and I'm fighting him in a jokey, laughy way (because I don't want to immediately label myself as a brat, among his friends- DUMB, I know!). After he's done with my lower back, he moves to my butt and starts kneading it like dough.

"Okay, that's good." I said as I pushed him off of me. I jumped up and ran for refuge to the other corner of the Pillow Kingdom.

When is this going to end, I'm thinking to myself. Go home already!

It was at that very moment that nothing short of a MIRACLE took place! In the dim twinkling light of the Christmas tree, Mr. Right just happened to see my ever so delicately, hand-painted ornament displaying that of President Obama's face. His smile turned into a look of utter disgust.

"You honestly believe in the redistribution of wealth? You have NO moral values by supporting him!" he yelled.

And with those final words, it was time to send him home. I walked him to the door and he parted with "if you ever meet my friends, don't mention Obama... they will eat you alive, seriously!"

"Okay, you bet. Good night!" I slammed the door and locked it.

It wasn't over just yet, though. Mr . Right decided to send me a thoughtful follow-up text the next afternoon that read "Hey, don't forget to take the Redbox back- it's under my credit card."

I didn't respond.

And that was the end of the most terrible date ever; the night President Barack Obama saved my life!

THANK. YOU. MR. OBAMA! If it hadn't been for your presence in the dead center of my holiday decor, I would have NEVER gotten rid of that jerk!

Okay, okay.... so it was the worst date I've ever been on, BUT I did learn some valuable lessons that night cold, winter night in 2010. And, lucky for you, I'll be posting that list tomorrow (along with other tips that I've picked up along the way)!

***Dating horror stories? I know you've got em! Surprise me ;)

It's important to note that this story was not embellished for blogging purposes one bit! It is the same today as it was 16 months ago- JUST AWFUL! lol

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Reflection and Self Worth: Part 1

We finished our normal routine last night (jammies, brushing teeth, story time, nightly prayer and the review of what's on the docket for the next day) just like we always do. When I told Little Dude preschool was tomorrow he said, "Mom, I don't want to go to school!" I asked "Why? I thought you loved school?". He replied somberly with his arms hanging by his side, his shoulders slouched, and his head drooping toward the floor "the kids are so mean to me, mom. I don't like it."

My first thought was 'those little brats! Being mean to my son! Who do they think they are?'.  I didn't say this aloud; instead I rubbed his back and reassured him that the kids loved having him as their friend. He begged to differ. It was not an easy sell.

While I understand that Little Dude is 4 (and doesn't always tell the truth accurately), my heart broke because I know, first hand, the brutal reality of how mean kids can be. I know from personal experience. I couldn't help but look at my son and wonder what kind of experiences he'll have in his life? What kind of teasing he'll be subject to?  As all of these thoughts flooded through my brain, I was immediately transported back to my K-12 days.... days that, after all this time, kind of give me the willies (and not the good kind).

 So, I showed up to school looking like this!



















Isn't this the BEST picture ever? The hair, the Impetigo around my mouth, the baggy shirt, the snags that I called teeth.... WOW! This brings such a smile to my face!

But surprisingly though, I wasn't teased in this stage of my life all that much- or maybe I just never knew about it? ;)  Instead, however, my most difficult years were that of high school; how convenient is that? The most vulnerable time, I think, anyone goes through. You're hormonal, you're growing, you're trying to figure out your value and worth, you're constantly comparing yourself to your friends, you're dating- it's a pretty intense time to say the least. And as if that's not enough to worry about, this happens:

First period of the day. Algebra. Junior year.

Mr. Green was up in front of the class demonstrating an equation when he asked


"does anyone know the answer?" 

The class was silent. Suddenly I heard my name followed with this statement


"Jacy, nooooose the answer!" (the word 'nose' being drawn out and accentuated with obvious sarcasm).


Every head in the class turned to look at me. I could hear soft snickers coming for each corner of the room. My whole body froze- it felt as if a thousand needles had poked me all at once. The tingle was uncomfortably painful. My heart dropped and I sunk down into my blue chair, only to raise my hand to cover the very insecurity I hated most about myself; my parrot looking nose. I was mortified.

I remember going home after school that day feeling like a total loser. I couldn't believe someone would call me out like that! I just couldn't believe it! Was my nose really that bad? Was it that noticeable to everyone else around me? Was I that unattractive? I bawled the entire drive home and to say that I felt ugly would be an understatement. I felt so worthless.

That night, after I had regained my composure, I remember talking to my mom about the realistic possibility of getting a rhinoplasty (nose job). She had known it was something that had really, really bothered me for many years. She was compassionate and  knew exactly how I felt because, after all, I inherited the 'Brady nose' from her.  Of course being the good mom she is, nothing happened over night. She reminded of my worth and beauty and told me to brush off the mean-spirited comment that was said. I tried my hardest.

8 months later and after A LOT of thought, I had the procedure done. I was nervous, excited and everything else in the middle! This wasn't just a small little surgery, this was going to change my entire look- in a very subtle, feminine way.

Once the bruising and swelling subsided, the bandages came off and I was more than please with result! It was everything I had hoped it would be. Suddenly, a surge of confidence came over me! It was like I was a whole new person. No more hiding my nose with my hand, no more deleting pictures that showed a profile of any sort, and no more feeling masculine- I felt great. So great in fact, that the next day, even with slight bruising under my eyes, I booked it into the beauty shop. I had always wanted to cut my hair like Sharon Stone's in Sphere and I finally, FINALLY had the guts to do it! Off went the hair and I bleached it platinum blonde. I was so happy!

The next day I went back to Mr. Greens algebra class looking like a completely different person. To no surprise, the bullies back at school disapproved of my new look. When I walked in late and interrupted the lecture a different 'popular' boy said,

"Hey, who's the new dude who checked into school?"

The class burst into laughter and my face went tomato red again- only this time, after I sat down, I flipped the perp the bird under the radar. And while I was called a 'dike' the entire duration of the haircut (which lasted almost a year), I didn't care what anyone thought because I was cool with ME and nothing else mattered!

Okay so you're probably wondering why I'm resurfacing a story from over a decade ago and the point of it all?

It's not that I want you to go feeling all bad and sorry for me... or that you'll shower me with compliments.... this is life, right? It happens to ALL of us!

The reason I write this is because I have so much I want to share about re-discovering my self worth and confidence (especially after being cheated on and going through a divorce). I have learned SO much in the last 2 years and I'm realizing that my past does play a pretty significant part in it, as well. So by sharing uncomfortable bits and pieces of my past, my hope is that it will come full circle as I explain HOW I've regained my confidence, and WHAT I'm doing to keep it there.

Plan for a few more segments on this! There is so much I'm dying to share but I can't do it all in one post... it would be a novel ;)

***Do you have a time when you were teased and it impacted you greatly? Isn't it amazing how the events that took place in our school days have such a significant affect on us? Sometimes for the rest of our lives even? If you're comfortable, do share! I know you've all got something- big or small!

***And please tell me you have AWESOME photos like mine!? I think you should send me yours via email and we'll have a 'flash-back-picture-day' post! Ha! But seriously... ;)

READ PART 2 of this series HERE and PART 3 HERE





Monday, March 19, 2012

Destination- the LOFT

I live downtown, but this isn't where I imagined raising a 4 year old- far from it actually.

However, after my divorce, it didn't take long to realize that managing a house, a yard (with lots of grass to mow), and a mortgage payment was very tough to do alone; so I decided to sell. Yes, I sold it in a very bad time and yes, I lost a significant amount of money. C'est la vie.

On the positive side though, I was able to move into Casa de Parents 'LOFT' which was vacant at the time. What a blessing this was for me and my son!

While there's no doubt that living downtown in a studio loft has it's inconveniences (no separate bedrooms, hardly any storage space AT ALL, no carport, no where for Little Dude to play, a block away from the homeless shelter), it has an incredible 'coolness' factor to it, too! Besides living so close to the mall, unique shopping districts, tasty restaurants,  and the events center, I've been able to enjoy these views for a whole year now!!





from my bedroom window





























What do you think? I totally DIG it!

*** Are you a city person? Do you like downtown living? Would you ever want to give it a try? If not, why?

Oh, and I plan to posts pics of the interior soon... but I'm working on this... Piles of laundry anyone??  YIKES!!




Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shamrock Shakedown!

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In celebration of St. Patrick's Day (a holiday that I've never really gotten into or knew much about- besides wearing green to avoid a pinch, of course), I thought it'd be fun to start the day off by joining the festivities at the annual St. Patrick's Parade. Little Dude loved every minute of it! As cute and exciting as it was, sitting on the cold cement for 2 hours was a wee bit too long; my bum was numb and frozen by the end of it. Regardless, I'm glad we went!

After the parade we came home and being the curious person that I am, I decided to do a little research on the topic. I thought THIS was an interesting article filled with cool information about the holiday.

Then I reminisced about the wonderful opportunity it was when I was able to visit Ireland nearly 8 years ago while on study abroad. I'll never forget those breathtaking views that looked just like THIS. Seriously it was so incredible! 

My final tribute to the holiday will take place tonight as Seth and I watch one of my all time favorite movies: Waking Ned Devine. If you've never seen this flick, it's a must- any time of the year! But make sure you switch on the subtitles; their accents are pretty thick and somewhat trick to understand at times. ;)

***What did you do for St. Patrick's Day? Anything FUN? Any traditions you'd like to share?

Friday, March 16, 2012

You know you want my cookies!













Um, yes....YES I DO!

Have you ever been to RubySnap? If not and you're in the area, I highly suggest you GO! The cookies are utterly delightful and it just so happens that the dainty, quaint shop is only two minutes from my downtown loft (which is sometimes too conveniently close, if you get my drift ;)

Little Dude and I popped in just the other day and bought a half dozen cookies which were to die for! Even the rock-chip repair guy asked for a taste in lieu of a tip.... yeah, I about fainted when he picked the ONE cookie I had my eye on and was saving for later. It was torturous to watch him literally devour every last bite, licking his fingers clean of whatever cream cheese frosting was left.














If you're looking for something totally retro and are anywhere in the Salt Lake Valley, you MUST check out this bakery! It's scrumptiously unique and I highly doubt you'll be disappointed... but if you are disappointed, don't throw them away! Please bring the rest to me (since I live right up the street) and I'll finish them off for you!

MmmmmmmK?

Oh, and my favroties are the Maris, Judy and Lilly!



















***What are some of YOUR favorite treat places? I'm always on the lookout for something new and different!

P.S. this sugar cookie was the thickest and most beautiful sugar cookie I have EVER seen... and it was sooooo yummy too!



I SPY: Mommy's Purse















Can you find: Finn McMissile, a pair of earrings, expired Disney on Ice tickets, a tampon, Mac lipstick (that makes my teeth look quite dingy), a piece of a broken necklace, a clear straw wrapper, a child's toothbrush, crumbles of uneaten blue gum, 2 hair-ties, sunscreen, Tow-mater crayons, hand sanitizer, 2 dum-dum wrappers, a SelectMed bill , a purple dinosaur and a penny??

So... what if I told you that this was the exact content of my purse today? Just dumped out- no adjustments made?

I tell you what! I spend more time throughout my day looking (okay more like rummaging or dumpster diving) for stuff in my purse and it drives me absolutely C.R.A.Z.Y! But no matter how many times I clean it out and swear to all that's good and holy that I'll keep it clean, it's usually a matter of hours before it's filling right back up again! With JUNK!

Sometimes I wish I had OCD when it came to organization. Really. I mean, I like to be clean and I don't think I'm a total slob (our definitions may vary slightly ha!) but when it comes to keeping things organized, I just don't know how to do it! No kidding. My brain knows exactly how I want my purse (and my closet and car and toiletry cabinet and pantry) to look but I just don't know how to do it. I should mention, too, that it's not the de-junking part that I have an issue with, it's how to actually maintain it once it's been gutted.

Last week on NPR (I loooooove me a little radio-talk!) there was an interesting interview regarding HABIT and why we do what we do. I was totally intrigued by what was said and THIS book was mentioned. Because I'm in this gung-ho-better-myself phase, I ordered the book and I'm going to read it pronto; then I'll post the most important parts and what I learned (so you won't have to read it ;)!

In the mean time, until I've permanently changed all of my bad habits and become perfect, please tell me I'm not the only one lugging a junk drawer around on my shoulder? Pretty please?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Delicate Dance

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I often wondered if I've handled the whole 'dating with a child thing' correctly.

While there is no right/ perfect way to handle it, and it's entirely up to each individual, I failed to follow one of the only specific rules out there: Wait to introduce your child to the new boyfriend until it is very serious- this way, if things don't work out, the child does not become attached and hurt, yet again.

Alright so I've been dating a man, SETH (whom I'll introduce in a later post), for 7 months now and I decided very early on, regardless of what the professionals in the books said or what my counselor suggested, that the sooner I introduced my son to Seth the better. It was important to me because I wanted the man I was 'interested' in to see every aspect of my life (my son as well as me in my role as a full-time mom). I felt it quite ludicrous to avoid any time together until 'it's serious' because what if he didn't like me as a mom (which is different than the kid-less Jacy) or more significantly, what if he didn't like my son? Or even the idea of a blended family?

So, I followed my own instincts and I carefully introduced my man- friend to my 3 1/2 year old after just one month of dating. Very delicately Seth has weaved his way into our life- not too much, not too little, just about right. Everything has felt really smooth since.

I think, however, things might have gone slightly passed complicated after this little exchange took place last night:

Little Dude: Seth you can sleep at our house tonight, ok?

Seth: No buddy, because I've got my own bed at home I need to sleep in.

Little Dude: But my mommy has a bed and she has 2 pillows- you can sleep in her bed and share.

Seth: Thank you, that's so nice! But I better go home and sleep in my bed tonight.

Little Dude: But Seth, we are your family now. Please don't go. We are your family. You need to sleep here with us. Why won't  you stay here? Please...

Seth glanced over at me with a surprised look on his face- I was stunned. Tears were streaming down my cheeks and Little Dude looked at me with the most innocent and loving eyes as I tried to explain that Seth is just our 'friend'. I could tell by his expression that he was slightly confused as to why I was crying- because in his mind it was such a wonderful and comfortable idea.

I stared at his little self and tried to imagine exactly what it was he was feeling... what he wanted.. what he hoped would happen. He wants a family unit here in this house- just like the one he's got at his dads house (a dad, a step mom and a baby brother). He wants consistency and he wants it from a man- not just me. And what's so incredible about all this is that he's only 4 years old- just last month. He's so young and doesn't really know any different but yet, he's longing for that traditional family thing.

I'm pretty sure when I looked over at Seth last night, his eyes were watery too. It was a heart wrenching moment for us both because, to be totally honest here, we aren't anywhere near getting married. While we are dating exclusively and really enjoying one another, neither one of us are ready to make a decision of that magnitude any time soon- mainly because a child is involved. So while I'd love more than anything to give Little Dude that stability the reality is, we aren't a family yet... maybe we will be someday but there's also that chance we might not be. This is why we date.

What an incredibly challenging and delicate dance this is. I'm starting to see why it's seriously recommended to hold off on the introductions...

***If you have ANY advice on this at all, please share. I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed and out of my league on this one.








Wednesday, March 14, 2012

"Do Something Remarkable"


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Nearly 16 months ago, after learning that my divorce was final, I remember sitting in my shrinks office unsure of what the future had in store for me. Like always, we had a really motivating conversation but this time, at the tail end of it he said "Jacy, now go and do something REMARKABLE. Whatever it may be, pick something you're passionate about and GO DO IT- you have such a gift!"

I left his office that day and felt an incredible power to conquer the world and I was determined to do something remarkable.

Seasons changed and time whizzed by- 16 months in fact- when I woke up one morning (just last week) and thought to myself "Well crap, Jacy! What are you doing that's remarkable? Anything?" I pondered throughout the day and made a list of all the great things I've been doing since I heard those empowering words so long ago. This is what I came up with:

1) I'm being a good, pretty much full time (minus 10 hours a week while I work) mom to Little Dude- there is no greater work than this- for he is the future.

My list ended at that. There was nothing else. There was no other remarkable thing to put on a #2, let alone to make an actual list. And while I know that motherhood is remarkable and is the most important thing I can be doing for my thriving 4 year old son, I was still feeling slightly.... well, to be totally frank, bummed out.

Was this really my life? Waiting day after day, hour by hour for my life to change? So that it can begin once again? Waiting for the opportunity to pick up exactly where I left off, when life was good- before it was so suddenly ripped away from me- but this time with a new husband instead of my old one? Was this a 27 year old 'mid-life, mid-life crisis' thing? Was this a single mom, post divorce thing? Was this an every mom meltdown thing?

Whatever it was, I didn't like the way I felt which was BLAH.

Okay, so I immediately realized this was NOT a particularly healthy place to be stuck in and that it was time to step back and revamp a bit. I needed an intervention! I needed someone to hear me out and offer sound advice- and it had to be someone other than my boyfriend or my mom or my friends who are in the middle of family planning. I needed someone who really got it. No offense, mom.

So I went back to my beloved shrinks office last Thursday. As I sunk into his black leather sectional, he turned up the outside music (common protocol when I come to his office- apparently my voice resonates :). It was only a few seconds after he sat down that I unloaded all my blah-ness and reminded him of  our conversation back in 2010- the 'remarkable' one. He sighed, smiled, kicked back in his chair and offered some GREAT advice over the course of 60 minutes- I couldn't get enough. He also left me with 2 books to read. 

I've just finished his first recommendation: The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. If you haven't read this book- READ IT! Don't let its title scare you away either. While it is primarily geared towards salesmanship, it's also wonderful insight for anyone looking for success/happiness, no matter what your definition is, in your life. Best $7 I've spent in a long time and a very easy read.


This book (along with encouragement from my counselor) not only re-grounded me but also solidified that I do in fact have control over ME and that I can do something remarkable- even if certain opportunities are limited for me right now.

So, here's what I'm thinking:

I am passionate about writing! I'm even more passionate about what I've been through and the other women who are experiencing anything remotely similar. So! I'm going to write a post on this blog every single day for ONE year- no exceptions!

I hope that this project/goal of mine will not only cure me of my so-called blah-ness but help me grow as well by writing about things that I truly believe in and accomplishing something that is remarkable to me. 

So, here goes! Writing in the mornings and nights as my son sleeps and publishing something (whether it's short or long, happy or crappy) every single day for the next year. It's a lofty goal but I can't wait to get started and I hope you'll stick around!

One down- 364 more to go :)

Jacy

**What are you doing that's remarkable in your eyes? I'm always looking for new ideas to better myself! If you're like me and couldn't think of much, I highly suggest you find something that is remarkable to you and GO after it!




Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My name is Jacy...

.... and I'm so PROUD to say it!

I'm 27,  I'm divorced, I'm a single mom and I'm no longer ashamed of it. I've been through the most unbelievable turn of events these past 2 years and I'm finally ready to own it and make my life better because of it!




















This project has been rolling around in my mind for many months now, but one excuse after another led me to put it on the back burner. Fear of rejection and also the fear of the unknown crippled me- unpublished posts have gone by the wayside and I felt controlled by what happened to me. But now, after much time, healing, deliberation and finding an inner strength inside of me that I had no clue existed, I've finally found the courage to do it!

If you're new here, check out my ABOUT page for a little back story. And while it's not the whole burrito in one giant bite, you'll get a small taste of what happened. Other significant pieces of my past will fall together as you follow this blog.

My name is Jacy and this is my story.

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