Saturday, June 30, 2012

Isolation













I left my phone in California Monday morning (a perfect ending to a perfect getaway). Thinking it would be no biggie not having my phone for a few days, I was mistaken. It was a BIG, AWFUL, EXCRUCIATING ordeal-- to such an extent that I began having withdrawals... headaches, blurred vision, fatigue, dry mouth, bargaining, denial, depression, loss of appetite, desperation, hallucinations, etc. 

Okay, so maybe I didn't experience ALL of these symptoms but I did feel very isolated those 5 endless days. I even teared up a time or two and in my loneliest of moments, I might have found myself in conversation with Little Dude's Spider Man soccer ball.

To you, Mr. Not-So-Chipper UPS Guy, I am beyond grateful that I barely caught you hopping into your delivery truck yesterday afternoon, holding a package with the name JUCY CLEMONS printed on it. Hopefully you weren't too uncomfortable when I threw my arms around you and squeezed you tight? I meant it though... I really truly meant it. Thank you, thank you for saving my sanity!

And with that, I am totally ready for the weekend!

What are you up to?

Friday, June 29, 2012

My Name is LINDSEY

Brian and I met in 2004 during my sophomore year of college. We fell quickly and deeply in love and spent much of the following year and a half together.  Always the consummate gentleman, Brian showered me with love notes and surprised me with pies. Yes… homemade pies.

For a variety of reasons which seem inconsequential now, we decided to break up in the fall of 2005. After a few months of feeling the high of liberation you get after a mutual break up, I realized we had made a mistake.  We kept in touch, but things never seemed to sync back up even though he was never far from my thoughts.

One night, three and a half years later, I had a dream about Brian and so I sent him an email to see how he was. The last time we had corresponded was at least eight months earlier and he was living in Virginia. To my surprise, the next day he walked into my work and told me he had moved back recently and the very night I sent the email to him he was debating on whether or not to come to my house to tell me he still loved me.  We decided to have our second 'first date' over Chinese food at a park.

In July of 2010, we were married in an intimate ceremony in a garden. It was the best day of my life. I distinctly remember having a moment of panic that day because I was so happy. I felt like after all we had been through this was just too good to be true.





























This year, on Valentine’s Day, Brian had a seizure. We went to the hospital and after some testing found out he had a brain tumor. With hope in our hearts that it was benign, he went into surgery two tumultuous days later. Pathology brought back our worst fears. Anaplastic Oligoastrocytoma Stage III, a very rare, high grade brain cancer.

To say our world was turned upside down is an understatement. We were trying to do things normal young couples do, looking for our first house and trying to get pregnant.  One of the hardest parts of this for me is that we have to put trying to conceive on hold. We had been trying for a year and a half. I was pregnant last fall, but had a miscarriage which was heartbreaking, and now this.

Brian’s prognosis is uncertain because of the rarity of this cancer, but they are giving us numbers in the 7 to 9 year range.  In spite of all the fear and uncertainty, I have the love of my sweet husband and our faith to sustain me. Our family and friends have been a constant source of support in ways I couldn’t have imagined.

One day, after going outside and uttering a very angry prayer where I told God that I hated my life, I went inside and opened the New Testament. In a bright and frank answer to my prayer, I read in 1 Peter 3:10, "love life, and see good days." This gentle command has become my goal each day. To enjoy the beauty of each moment, however hidden it may seem. We are striving to draw closer to each other in times of sadness and learn to accept the help that others so selflessly offer to us. I am so grateful  that we found our way back to each other and to be the one who will take care of Brian. I know that we will be able not only to endure this trial, but to endure it well.

My name is Lindsey and I am learning to “love life, and see good days.”

**Remember that the purpose of this series is to open our hearts, to interact, to uplift, to support and to grow. Lindsey will be reading your comments so, you may comment directly to her.  Any questions you have and/or words of encouragement and love are welcomed.

Post-brain surgery and 41 staples later














P.S. You can offer more support by befriending Lindsey and following their story at ACTUALLY EVER AFTER.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

How to Reclaim Your Self-Love

















Life's changes can feel catastrophic. I know this first hand.

When his secrets unfolded and my marital situation turned upside down, so did everything else in my life. For a while there, I pretty much dissolved into a puddle, forgetting everything that once made me, Jacy.

No single word can describe the devastating blow of losing your self-love.

It's easy to look back and act like I've come so far, so quickly and that I've recovered well (and maybe I have?) but the truth is, it hasn't been a stroll in the park. Rather, it has been a painstakingly SLOW and tiring process... but I'm finally beginning to remember all the reasons why I love me. The love for myself is resurfacing... bubbling up from below...  and I am sitting here with the BIGGEST smile on my face as I type :)

So! Today I want to share with you a list of  things that have helped me in reclaiming my self-love (and it's important to mention that I am currently working on most of these).

You ready?

How to Reclaim Your Self-Love:


#1) Make a CONSCIOUS DECISION. Before you start on this monumental quest, you must first CHOOSE to do it. You've got to wake up in the morning, stare at your reflection in the mirror and say "It's time I start loving you dammit!" Believing in yourself is the first and most important ingredient if you want to progress... and even if it's the tiniest little bit of belief... you must believe.

#2) STOP comparing yourself to others. I know it's hard (I do it ALL the darn time, still) but you've got to learn to stop- someway, somehow. Comparison is dangerous... it's poisonous.... and it kills. When you compare, you criticize yourself and then negative energy oozes from your pours. It is impossible to love yourself if you're constantly focusing on everything you can't do/ or don't have. Figure out how to control yourself from comparing. For me, I've learned that I feel so much better if I avoid certain blogs, magazines, and T.V. shows. It sounds quite silly but it's helping me in enormous ways!

#3) Focus on all the wonderful things that make you, YOU. Remind yourself of your positive qualities and all the things you have to offer. If you must, make a list and post it on your bathroom mirror! Everyone has AMAZING qualities... and you do too... so put your pride and/or embarrassment aside and write down some of the things you love most about you. Once you've done that read them everyday until you can honestly recognize their truth. Learn to love and appreciate your physical reflection, as well. Study your femininity. Study the brightness of your eyes and their meaning. Study your uniqueness and those features that make you stand out. Declare with confidence what makes you, YOU. And don't forget to graciously accept compliments given to you!

#4) Indulge yourself in doing things that you love to do. Make time for interests/hobbies that make you feel happy. When we excel at our talents (no matter what the talent(s) may be) and see progress with our own eyes, our confidence blossoms.

#5) Accept your flaws. We ALL have them! But instead of dwelling on them, accept the ones you cannot control and look for ways to improve the ones you can.

#6) Think of yourself less and others more. When we become so incredibly consumed with our own issues, it's almost like we completely forget that others are struggling too. We bury our heads in the sand and we sulk. No good ever comes from this (and trust me, I know because I've had my head in that deep grainy sand before). But if you come up for air and take notice to those around you, you'll quickly realize that you ARE NOT the only one dealing with insecurity, sadness, or difficulties.  This will help you to see things in a different light than before.

#7) Serve. When you serve, you feel better about yourself. Period. I don't care what it is that you do... if you are being kind and thoughtful in some way or another (to someone else), you will feel better. A phenomenal love will engross you, your heart will feel warm and you'll love yourself even more. The power of giving is fascinating.

#8) Acknowledge your feelings. It's okay to have setbacks. It's okay to cry. It's okay to grieve. It's ALSO okay to find humor in things. It's okay to get excited about things. It's okay to enjoy the good around you. Embrace your feelings.

#9) Take good physical care of yourself. Get out, go for a walk, get some sun, breathe the fresh air, enjoy the beauty that exists all around you. Respect your body by eating healthier foods and drinking ample amounts of water. Exercise more (I'm totally slacking at this). Your body is your vessel- take pride in it. Ensure that you are getting proper sleep and find the time to relax every now and then, too.

#10) Celebrate your existence. Life is short. Life is a miraculous gift we are given. Tightly grasp the tender moments you have. Ponder your presence here. Dig in spiritually (whatever that means to you). Love those around a little bit more by giving tighter hugs, lots of kisses and more of your attention. Express gratitude for all of your blessings: your beating heart, your health, your abilities, your talents, your family, your friends, your home, your job, your goodness, your entire being, etc. Live your life. Love your life.

#11) Smile. Smiling is the beginning to laughter. Laughter is contagious and when it is shared, it can help lighten burdens by increasing happiness, enhancing relationships, and even improving your physical and emotional health (I'll be posting on this another time :). Make it a point to surround yourself with happy, positive people.


Well, there you have it... a list of things that have helped me as I'm learning to love myself again. Pretty universal truths I'd say, but a good reminder is never a bad thing, wouldn't you agree?


** Can you confidently say that you truly love yourself, in this very moment? If so, TELL ME ALL ABOUT IT! If you are like me and are currently working on it, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO GET THERE? Anything you'd like to add to my list? I love new ideas!



“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.”
- Oscar Wilde


p.s. This post was written specifically for my friend Stacia in Pennsylvania and will be published on her blog tomorrow as part of her newest feature! So check out SIMPLY STACIA! She. is. awesome.
Image Credit

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fashion Column: "HAILEY STYLE"

Drumroll please....

Meet my cute friend HAILEY!











From Hailey:

this outfit makes me feel cute & classy! as a freshly divorced 23 year old, who is falling in love with life all over again, i love to feel beautiful! (something that i NEVER felt during my toxic marriage). this is one of my go-to outfits because the black on black is slimming! my black jeans are super comfortable and really high waisted so i feel "tucked in" :) my top is girly and i love that i bought it on super clearance months ago and it just so happens to be "peplum" which is totally IN right now. I have had this cardigan since i was like 16 years old and it has made it through every closet purge i've ever done. it's THAT PIECE that i will probably have until the day i die. I love it. it's classy, cute and timeless. my necklace matches my wedges (and braces, haha) and tie the whole outfit together. i would wear this outfit on a date, to a party, or just while running errands around town with my mom (you never know who you'll run into!). 

wedges: Ross 
necklace: Real Deals in Logan, UT
earrings: American Eagle
top: American Eagle
cardigan: Maurice's (back in like 2005!)
jeans: DownEast


You look DARLING Hailey! I love this simplicity of this look, yet you look so sophisticated and classy. I love it all! And I love those pieces that are timeless... I think we all have those! It's such a great cardigan :)

Not only does Hailey have a great sense of style (as you can tell),  she has a really great blog too! If you're looking for a real and honest approach on life, you'll enjoy every word she writes over at The Hailey Daily. She is such a sweet woman!

**How cute does she look? Do you have those timeless pieces that you will keep forever?

** Wanna be featured? Check it out!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Do You Like Me?




















I've always had the "need-to-be-liked" tendency. The mere idea or actuality of someone "not liking" me sent me into shock mode. My body would freeze. I would feel hollow. My eyes would fill with water. Oh, how I loathed that feeling!

I want to be friends with everyone. I want approval, toleration and acceptance from everyone. I want to hug everyone. I want to drench everyone I know with love, compliments and reminders of how much I adore them. I want life to be a beautiful fairy tale- free of any contention. I want everyone to like everyone. Is that a bad thing? 

I cannot tell you how many times I've sat in my shrinks office going over and over (and over) the disheartening truth that not everyone is going to like everyone and most importantly, not everyone is going to like me. Jagged pill to swallow. I mean, I like everyone... at least I try to like everyone because I really, genuinely want to... so why isn't the feeling reciprocated?

Then I try to make it right by proving to the people who don't like me, that they should  like me. Truth be told, after going out of my way in forcing them to like me, they probably dislike me even more because now, they think I'm a phony and a fake.

Hmph!  Sometimes it feels like a no-win situation.

Well, here's the good part:

I'm not sure what it is (this blog, the amazing women I've met so far, my relationship with Seth these last 11 months, the crazy journey these last 2+ years) but something is happening within me. Something is changing the way I see and the way I live my life. I kinda think I am growing up. I am slowly learning to be comfortable with the fact that some people might not like me and this is the way life goes....

Some of you may not like my personality... some of you may think I am loud and over the top... some of you may not like this blog... some of you may think I am insincere... some of you may think that I am self-absorbed... some of you may think that I am misguided... some of you may not agree with my political/world views... some of you may think that I was unforgiving... some of you may disagree with my words... some of you may look down upon where I am spiritually... some of you may think that I am out of touch with reality... some of you may not be comfortable around me... some of you just may not like me... and you know what... whatever the reasonings... THAT IS OKAY!

Ah! What a liberating and refreshing place this is to be! I don't need to try and please everyone anymore. In fact, I don't need to please anyone anymore. As long as I am living true to myself and my beliefs and  I am speaking totally from my heart, then my likability will stem from those qualities; and those who want to be around me will stick around, and those who don't will keep their distance.

I know it sounds easy and simple... but it has taken quite a bit of growth and maturation for me to get here... and I'm still working at it.

My counselor once told me a really great analogy and I wish I remembered who he referenced it to. Regardless, here's what he said (and I'm paraphrasing here):

Think back to Jesus for a minute...

1/3 of the people FOLLOWED Jesus. They loved him, the respected him, and they believed in him.

1/3 of the people DETESTED him, so much so that they wanted him dead. They crucified him on a cross.

And the rest of the people, the other 1/3, they DIDN'T CARE either way. He mattered absolutely nothing to them.

While this analogy isn't meant to compare myself/yourself to Jesus, it is rather meant to remember that even He wasn't liked by everyone, so it is okay if YOU aren't liked by everyone either.

So back to the title of this post... Do You Like Me? 

Jacy, I do like you. I am learning to trust you and I am learning to be content with the fact that there are some people out there who won't like you. I'm not always comfortable with it, but I'm willing to take the jump and believe that if you can always be yourself... if you are kind, if you are thoughtful, if you maintain your dignity, if you speak from your heart... it doesn't really matter if anyone else likes you or not. The point is to find security and confidence in YOU and then the rest will follow. 

**What about YOU? Do you have the "need-to-be-liked" tendency? Are you comfortable knowing other's may not like you?

**P.S. This post isn't for you to tell me if you like me or not... please refrain from going there. This is more about my personal self-discovery ;)



Image Credit

Monday, June 25, 2012

An Eventful Weekend


Hey all! What'd you do this weekend?

Ours was filled with all sorts of memorable moments... Watch and see...

Thursday afternoon, Seth, Little Dude and I boarded my dad's small 4 seater plane and flew West toward Seth's hometown (a gorgeous little city nestled right against the foothills of the Sierra Nevada's).















This was us "pre-flight". We look so happy, don't we?

It's a crying shame that no more than 30 minutes later, our happy smiles turned sour- very, very sour. Constant turbulence caused BOTH he and I to fill our Ziploc bags with BARF. Disgusting. Once Little Dude fell asleep, I started to hyperventilate due to Hypoxia, also known as "altitude sickness", making my arms (from my hands to my elbows) and my feet completely numb and my heart rate UP. This has never happened, ever. Freaked me right out!

Luckily, once we landed we felt much better and so, minus a pretty bumpy start, the adventures began!

First thing first... we went fishing!

It was oodles and gobs of fun for the first 4 minutes until Seth slipped on the incredibly slick boulders and cracked his chin right open. Once we saw the big glob of blood on the boulder and realized half of his chin was dangling off, we knew it was bad news! The next 4 hours were spent in the E.R. and 14 stitches later, he looked like this :(



















We laid pretty low that night.

The next morning after Little Dude went on a canoe ride, a feather hunt and a morning hike with Seth's dad, we headed to an old mining town for some good ol' family fun.

We learned how to candle-dip...


How to pan for gold...





And we even learned how to ward off "bad-guy" robbers on a Stage Coach ride!




















Somewhere in the middle of all this FUN Seth got bit by a Meat Bee and in no time, it looked like this! WOAH!


We went to church with his folks which was so nice. It's unfortunate that Seth was walking like a stiff old man. Apparently he smacked his chin SO hard that he got some decent whiplash! POOR GUY!


After church it was time to head home, tackling the dreaded airplane ride once again. This time we were much more prepared. Little Dude and I took Dramamine and I was the lucky winner who got to sport a cannula.




As hideous as this looks, the extra oxygen lent to a much more enjoyable flight for me. Gratefully Little Dude crashed right out and I was able to witness THIS BREATHTAKING VIEW!




















Seth was our pilot most of the way home (minus take off and landing) and he did AWESOME! 
















Alright, so it wasn't the smoothest trip we've ever been on... (what's with our trips to the Urgent Care as of late? We make a disastrous trio I guess :)... but we had a blast anyway! We definitely created some unforgettable memories!

Until next time, goodbye beautiful place!













Sunday, June 24, 2012

Problem-Free Philosophy



















Last night we watched The Lion King and it didn't take long for me to I remember why it's one of my favorites of all time! The soundtrack was given to me as a gift for my 12th birthday and oddly enough, I remembered almost every word to every song that played.

Such a great film! I will always love it, no matter how I old I get :)

Image Credit


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Big Boy

Little Dude started preschool this week. He prides himself in being a BIG BOY at a "big-kid" school and went in pain free. We even utilized the 'drive thru drop off' (which is AWESOME btw... I don't even have to get out of the car!) and he did GREAT! He was the line leader on Thursday, which he told me all about, and apparently it is a really BIG deal!

One proud mama right here :)











Friday, June 22, 2012

My Name is LACEY


I am so honored that Jacy asked me to share my experience with you.  I think it only appropriate that I start by saying...

My name is Lacey and I am going blind. 





















Not something I EVER thought I would have said when I was 16 years old.

I had an almost perfect life growing up and had so many ideas of how my life was going to be.  I had hearing loss as a child and wore hearing aids from the time I was 6 years old but this was not going to change my way of life.  

That all changed when I was 19 years old.  I was diagnosed with Ushers Syndrome.

Ushers is a genetic disease with hearing loss starting at birth or younger years and Retinitis Pigmentosa in your teens.  RP is a disease that deteriorates the retinas and eventually leads to blindness.  I am losing my peripheral vision (tunnel vision) gradually, as well as night blindness, and I have very bad depth perception.  Someone with healthy eyes will see 130 degrees.  I now see 15 degrees and eventually, I will be completely blind.  There is no cure or help to slow down the progression of the blindness.

This is how a normal person would see…














And this is how I see… (this is not exact but you get the idea)












I, being a na├»ve 19 year old at the time, did not let this get to me.  My mother and father obviously really struggled with it but I was not going to let this affect my life. I basically ignored it as much as possible.  I still had a lot of sight left and as far as I could tell, it was normal. I did wonder about a few things:  Why do I struggle to walk in the dark?  Why do I always hit my head on things?  Could others really see the people sitting right next to them?  Why did I always run into people at work and out in public?  These questions could go on and on.  But I was not going to let them bother me and get me down.  I HAD A LIFE TO LIVE!

I married a wonderful guy at 21 and lived a completely normal life.  I had 2 daughters and life was good.  As time went on I found myself getting a little nervous driving at night because it was becoming hard to see how far away a car was (or wasn’t).  I found myself tripping over things much more frequently and noticed a big difference in my eyesight.  It was officially starting to affect my “normal” life.

Four years ago, when I found out I was legally blind, I made a decision that has completely changed the way I live my life.  I quit driving.  I must say that this was the lowest point I have ever experienced in my life.  Suddenly, I couldn't go run errands when I wanted, I couldn’t take my children for a quick bite to eat for lunch or take them on fun little outings just to get out of the house for a bit.  How was I going to get the kids to dance, sports, and piano?  The list could go on and on.  I had to depend on others for help with getting to doctor appointments and doing any necessary errands that could not wait until evenings or weekends when my husband was home.  It was so hard to lose my independence and not be able to just hop in the car to go where I wanted to go.  I absolutely hated to ask people to help me.  I did not want to burden them.  It was very depressing.  But I have learned over time that people are very willing to help.  You just have to ask... and I have gotten really used to this.  My children have grown used to walking and riding bikes/scooters whether it be raining, snowing, or nice and sunny, more than most children would have to do.  There are still hard days of feeling frustrated and trapped.  It is still hard to ask people, especially if it is just a trip for pleasure.  But I do feel we have adjusted.  I couldn’t do it without my husband who does so much for me and loves me despite the changes we have had to make.  And also parents, sisters, friends, and neighbors who are so willing to help.  In talking to friends who have Retinitis Pigmentosa they have all said their biggest challenge so far has been to quit driving... so I feel pretty good that I have gotten past this point in my journey.

Ushers Syndrome is genetic, and I have a cousin with the same condition as me.  When I had my two daughters I didn’t really even question if I should have children.  It was just the norm and I couldn’t imagine doing any different.  As the realities of going blind set in, I really struggled with the decision to have any more children.  My girls have not shown any signs of deafness or RP, but what if the next one did?

How could I handle having another baby/toddler and not being able to see them walking right below me?  I met and spoke with a guy who has RP and 6 children.  I asked his thoughts on this matter and I will never forget his response.  He told me that despite his blindness he has lived and enjoyed his life so why should that stop him from having children?  They can enjoy their lives as much as he does whether they end up with RP or not.  My conversation with him changed my thinking.  So much so that I ended up with another healthy baby boy…who is now almost 2 years old.  I cannot imagine my life without this precious little soul.

I have heard from a few people that are blind that they are so glad they lost their sight instantly because it made coping so much easier.  And those with gradual vision loss have said that once their sight was completely gone, it was mentally easier for them.  I’m sure that is probably true but I can’t imagine missing out on the things that I see each day.  I definitely appreciate looking at my sweet children and wonderful husband every day.  I appreciate all the sights around me whether near my home or out traveling.  I will take all the sight I can, for as long as I can. I just have to make the adjustments as they come my way.

There is some promising research and clinical trials in progress that I am hopeful will stop the deterioration and maybe even improve my eyesight some.  I am sure it will come at some point in my life,  I just hope it does before I have no vision remaining. But I will not let this disease get me down.  It may change what "normal" is for me but everyone has their own "normal".

This is just mine... and I love my life!

**Inspiring, right? Remember that the purpose of this series is to open our hearts, to interact, to uplift, to support and to GROW. Lacey will be reading your comments and so, you may comment directly to her if you'd like.
Image credit


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Online Dating Tips















If you ask my man-friend and I how we met, both parties will confidently tell you we were set up by a "mutual friend".

What we won't tell you is that our "mutual friend's" name is The Internet.

It's true. We met on an online dating site. MATCH.COM to be specific. We are that couple. 

I feel somewhat sheepish typing it out and I have no doubt that Seth's head is hanging in total disgrace as he reads this at work this morning (sorry babe... the truth shall set us free :)

Regardless of the, dare I say, shame that's attached to online dating, it just makes sense for so many reasons!

You're working full-time, you've got kids, you're in school, you're older, etc. all of which make the task of "branching out and meeting new people" really hard! Your time is limited, you're not into the 'single scene' and so, dating gets put on the back-burner (and that's OK for as long as you want). Then you decide some interaction with the opposite sex might be nice and you have no idea where to start. So, what do you do? You set up a membership on an online dating site because it's just plain convenient.

Welcome to a very unusual and foreign galaxy.

You wonder what you're thinking? You feel embarrassed and exposed. You're scared out of your mind. You have no idea what to expect.

Relax. Breath. It's going to be okay. You're still cool.

Had I known then what I know now, navigating through the unfamiliar territory of online dating would have gone much smoother in the beginning. That being said,

Here are the BEST online dating tips I've got:

#1 Keep your profile SIMPLE. Leave a little mystery and intrigue about yourself. Keep the "I don't play games" stuff OUT. 

#2 Don't sit around waiting for guys to message you. YOU take the initiative and YOU reach out to the gentlemen that seem interesting to YOU. This is your life... this is not some joke... if you don't like what is coming your way, grab the bull by the horns and start the conversations on your end (short and sweet is best... nothing too long or personalized... because you may not get a reply at all... and then you've wasted 40 minutes of your time on a total stranger).

#3 If there is a connection and there is a response, get the conversation rolling! My rules with this are as follows: email back and forth at least a handful of times. If that feels comfortable, then try talking on the phone a few times. If you're still interested after that, then make plans to meet up (but remember that safety comes first! If you do decide to go on a date, follow THESE basic dating rules).

#4 Grow a thick layer of outer skin because you're going to need it! The guys that you message may not write you back. The guys you go out with (that you totally dig) may never call you again. Men your dad's age and older may be the only ones showing interest in you. WELCOME to online dating. Do not... I repeat... DO NOT take anything personal! Your success on an online dating site is no reflection upon you or your worth. It is simply a tool to help you connect with people... that is all.

#5 Give people a chance! You never know the kind of amazing person you will meet. It's easy to base your initial interest purely on looks (especially as you're scrolling through hundreds of profiles), but, as I've said before, looks can be very deceiving... so it's important that you base your judgement on how this individual makes you feel once you've begun interacting.

#6 Be selective. This may seem contradictory to my last tip but this one is crucial. Do NOT waste your time with people whom you know aren't looking for what you are. You don't owe anyone anything. If you don't want to go out with Billy (even though he keeps pestering you relentlessly about it), you don't have to go! You call the shots. You are in control. 


This is the beauty of online dating... you do it YOUR WAY! After much trial and error and finally getting the hang of it all, I met Seth. We corresponded via email a dozen or so times... we talked on the phone for 3 hours a few times... and after about 2 weeks of communication (in some form or another), we decided to go out. And apparently it went really good because, well, we've been together ever since!

So even if the online dating thing may not interest you (because it feels cliche, humiliating, and not your thing) there are good men/women out there! There are so many people just like you... wishing they could meet new people... unsure of how to do it.... with not enough time in the day... So, if you're wanting to get out there, give it a try! What will it hurt? Just make sure you incorporate the tips above and you'll get the hang of it in no time. And who knows... you might actually like it... and you might actually find a really good MATCH for you! I did... and you know... it's not all that embarrassing anymore.

I actually think it's sorta cute that we met online :)


**ARE YOU AN ONLINE DATER? Any tips I missed? Have you had success? Do you refuse to do it? If so, WHY? 



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fashion Column: "Gabrielle Style"

How is it that yet another week has gone by? Jeepers creepers people! Another fabulous Fashion Column: "READER STYLE" feature is here!
Remember Gay, the friend I met through no coincidence? Well, check out what she's got going on from sunny Los Angeles!






























From G:


I would say this is my "everyday style" but if I were to be honest with myself, my real everyday style is...running shorts and a tank top. And that's just embarrassing.

On the days I do pull it together and get out of my workout clothes, I keep it pretty casual.

I love t-shirts. I love color. I love simple pattern mixing. I love flip flops. Apparently I love bare foot as well.

I actually like the creative outlet of getting dressed and seeing how I express myself through clothing. 

That might sound like a bit of stretch- but with all these kids I'm trying to take care of, I might desperately label activities as "creative outlet"!  


As you already know, I absolutely love Gay. I love her spunk, I love her writing, I love her big huge heart and I love her outlook on life. She's pretty awesome! But today, I'm going to focus on one thing and one thing alone: I am a HUGE fan of this look! It's fresh... it's clean... it's vivid... it's upbeat... it's expressive... it's daring... and it's totally cool! 


You should pop on over to her really down-to-earth and witty blog A Girl Named Gay. You'll be really glad you did! 

**Soooooo.... WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT HER LOOK? Let the compliments begin!

** I need more of you to participate- HERE'S HOW. Go on! You know you've got an outfit in mind... so throw it on, snap a few pictures, write up a blurb and send it on in!



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Oh, the Places You'll Go!


























Okay so I might not be traveling to any of these places any time soon, buuuuut it sure is fun to get lost in the magical dream for a little bit :)
** If you could go ANYWHERE in the world right this very second, WHERE would you choose, WHO would you take with you and WHY?


(top to bottom: Paris, France- Cappadocia, Turkey- Agra, India- Amsterdam, NetherlandsConey Island, New York- Bangkok, Thailand)




Monday, June 18, 2012

Feature: "MY NAME IS..."



Something undeniably awesome has been brewing in my mind!

When I started this blog 3 months ago, I knew I wanted to write openly and honestly. I knew I wanted to write for my continued healing. I hoped that someone, somewhere might benefit from my experiences but I didn't really know what to expect. In fact, I came in with little to no expectations at all.

To my sheer amazement, your heartbreaking/hopeful stories began to fill my inbox... your encouraging and well-wishing thoughts began to fill my inbox... your appreciative and kind words, in regards to this project, began to fill my inbox... and they are still coming. All the time. It blows me away! But what I am electrified by most is the growth that I've acquired from connecting with you. By stepping outside of my own world and observing the unique experiences of others, I am changed. I see the world a little differently... I see you a little differently... I see me a little differently.... and it's a marvelous different.

Because of you and the enlightening journey this has been so far, I've decided to add a new feature called "My Name Is..." wherein which willing individuals will be spotlighted by sharing their personal adventures of hardship, prevailing, or accomplishment, and how they've maintained and/or redefined their happiness in the process.

It is my hope that by opening our eyes a little wider and resetting the focus, we can view life through spectacles other than our own, lending us the wondrous opportunity to better ourselves in irreplaceable ways. 


Prepare to be inspired!


**The first piece of this series will be publisheded this Friday June 22nd (oh, but it's soooo amazing I don't know if I can wait that long :)

Image Credit

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Good Man

This morning, with much gratitude, I reflect the excellence in quality of the most intelligent, generous, and hard working man I have ever known: my dad.

While he has gifted our family with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that will be forever cherished, it is his honesty and integrity that have permanently imprinted my soul. A solid foundation of strength in my life, I consider myself golden to have a dad who not only provided a wonderful childhood and home, but who also offers and maintains a friendship of mutual respect and love every step of the way.














Sitting around a smoldering campfire sometime last year, my dad and I found ourselves discussing life and how quickly it can change. When I expressed fear and concern of getting remarried someday and the possibility of being divorced/betrayed again, he interrupted my worries and said in a comforting manner, “We will be here for you, LacyJ. No matter what. We will be here.”

A man who would do anything for his family.  A man whom I love with all of my heart.

DAD:

If you are reading this today... LIKEWISE. I will always be here for you, too. You are the essence of a GOOD man. Thank you for always standing up for what you believe in. Thank you for your example. Thank you for enriching my life. 

Happy Father’s Day! 



Saturday, June 16, 2012

Busy Busy Bee

Here's a little taste of what we've been up to lately:


Little Dude and I were able to visit my folks in Wyoming for a few days. The trip is never complete without some S'MORE time!

















Then my new lovely friend (whom I met through this blog :) and I decided it would be fun to bag the emails and meet up! Turns out that she had a pass to the ZOO and could get us in for free, so we met there! It was such a blast getting to know another new friend and our kids LOVED IT- especially the active and hilariously entertaining polar bear!



















We also hit up the driving range where Little Dude had his first golf lesson. He caught on like a champ and I was one proud momma! I'm not sure if my son is a prodigy or if he's just a got a crazy-good teacher? :)



**What have you been busy doing this summer?

Have a BLAST this weekend!

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