Friday, August 31, 2012

My Name is KASSY



My name is Kassy, and I was an army wife.





























My husband Darren and I have been together since high school and for as long as I can remember, he wanted to enlist. I, on the other hand, was always very against this. I mean, who really wants their other half to be on the other side of the world fighting in a war? He would bring up the topic and I would shoot it down, for years. He brought this topic to the table one more time, but this time, he had done his homework! Let's just say he was a salesman at the time and he totally sold me. 

He soon left us for Basic, AIT, and airborne school and I would soon be married to an active duty airborne infantryman.

Because he would be going full time Army, and because of his MOS (job title in the army), we would not be able to stay in our little bubble called Utah because there are no jobs that fit the description in the state. So while he trained in other states for months, I stayed home and prepared for our new world. When he was assigned to his unit, we found out that he would be going onto Iraq very soon after. Again, I stayed home with our two young kiddos. It was very hard and scary as a first timer (knowing he was in Iraq), but I was very thankful for both his and my family who helped take our minds off of that.  


Right after Christmas in 2007, he arrived back to Utah just in time to pack up our home and put everything on a moving truck to move north, very north in fact. We were headed to Fort Richardson, Alaska. We boarded an airplane in Las Vegas and ended up in Anchorage- in the dead of winter. Talk about a giant change! But, we were also excited.

That next year, Darren was gone training a lot, preparing for an Afghanistan deployment which would take place about a year later. The kids were 1 and 3 years old and even though I was use to doing most everything alone (my husband was a traveling salesman pre-army), I was in for a whole new ball game!  I was in a place where I didn't know a soul, and I would never be able to jump in a car and go back home to Utah- it was too far. Plus I was in snow! I had no clue how to even drive to the store because I came straight from the desert!

After that first year, the time had come; time to put our game faces on. Deployment time was here. This meant that I was going to be totally alone, with no family and, at that time, only a few friends. There were times I felt that I was in a foreign country being on post- Alaska was just so different from what I knew.

I said goodbye to my love and drove home. 

I remember feeling like I was dying. 

The pain in your heart and the knot in your gut is something that unless you yourself have lived, you just cannot fully grasp. The first part is rough, to say the very least. But after about a week of feeling like doing nothing at all, you really have no other choice but to BUCK UP. You have no other choice but to put faith in the unknown. I am now, more than ever, a very firm believer in "whatever will be will be"  because this is the only way you will make it. You have no other choice but to (as they say in the army) "soldier on" and "square yourself away". I was the mom to two small kids (2 and 4 years old) and I needed to have it together. I was their rock. I owed that to them. Because this was a life choice that Darren and I made together, choosing to move away, far away from home knowing full well I would be without my husband, it was my job and mine alone to keep the world of my sweet little kids going and as normal as possible.

It was not easy being without Darren. I could never bank on a phone call and would sometimes go a month and a half with no word from him at all. Webcam was awesome, but it only worked maybe 3 times and for such short spans you would hardly get in any sort of conversation at all. All you can do is take it one day at a time.

But during that time, you learn a lot about yourself, what really matters in this world and also what you are truly capable of. I had never been away from my family (this includes my mom, grandma, aunts, cousins, you name it), but I found out that I am much stronger than I had thought! The sense of independence I gained is something that I will thankfully carry with me for the rest of my life. I did, however, have an amazing small group of other army wives right there with me the entire time and they will be family to me from here on out. I am forever thankful that I was blessed enough to meet them on this journey.

Once Darren finally came home, after one long year in Afghanistan, life was great but it was also very different at the same time. 
















We have had to find our new normalcy again. 

But I am so thankful and grateful that we have been able to take on these chapters in our lives together and continue to grow, not only as individuals but together as husband and wife. I thank God everyday that the bond we share continues to grow- something that I now understand is often times hard to find. I am happy to say we just celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary (yesterday) and I look forward to many more years together!



















We are no longer living in army world. Darren is out due to medical reasons- the main one being his knee. When the surgeon went into fix it, he found it inoperable and is at the current time, only a few years out from a total knee replacement due to combat. 

Now, we are back in Utah and we are trying the civilian life again. It is still quite new to us, but it's getting better everyday. I will forever be grateful for what the Army did for us in plenty of ways. It helped us grow and showed us what life is really all about- opening my eyes to things I would have never been able to understand had I not given my husband the ok to enlist. 

In my mind, I will always be an army wife.


**Remember that the purpose of this series is to open our hearts, to interact, to uplift, to support and to grow. Kassy will be reading your comments so, you may comment directly to her.

And of course, a big heartfelt thank you to each and everyone of our service men/women (in past and present, wherever they are)... as well as a BIG thank you to their spouses and families who also sacrifice so much!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Broken Hip


Last night the Little Dude and I were joking around. He was in his Spidey costume and I was having him take pictures of my newest purchase- this dress:





























(It's crucial to note that I rarely buy anything of a spendy amount but this dress literally jumped off the hanger and TOOK ME up to the counter at Anthropoligie... a place I haven't shopped in... um... EVER! Cute, right? I love it!)

Anyhow, because the kid is only 3 feet and then some, he was having a tough time getting my whole body in the frame. So, we grabbed the step stool out of the bathroom to boost him up a little. He loved it. He just kept snapping and snapping and snapping the pictures and thought he was the strongest of all super-hero's.

Once the game of taking mommy's picture was over, he decided he'd play a little game called "Run Across the Room and Launch Off of the Stool onto Mommy's Big Bed." Not the best game, but I thought... what the heck? I'll let him have some fun.

He did it over and over and over again. The more times he did it, the higher he got, and the more wild it became.

Pretty soon I said, "Okay son, enough... I don't want you get hurt buddy. Time to be done."

"Buuuuuuut Mommmmmmmm!"

"Not buts, it's time to be done. What if you get hurt?"

"I won't get hurt! I won't! I won't! I won't! I'm fine! I don't care if I get hurt!"

"Little dude, it's really not safe. And you will care if you get hurt. Please listen to mommy. No more."

"Nothing will happen Mom. I am fine. I'm not hurt."

"Okay, well you still need to be done. Please grab the stool and put it back in the bathroom where it belongs."

His little body resistantly walk over to the stool. He stands on it. "Mom, please... I won't get hurt... one more time... pleeeeeeeeeease?"

Right as I begin to open my mouth, too much pressure is applied to one side of the cheap, light-weight stool and WABAAAAAAAAAAAAM! Little Dude is on his back screaming hysterically.

"I broke my hip! It's BROKEN Mom! Owwwwwwiiiiiieeeee."

I kneel over his startled little self and through the sobs, we have a little chat- he and I. Kind of like an "I told you so" chat but with less accusations in it.

"Remember just a few moments ago when I told you it was time to be done? That you could possibly get hurt? This is exactly what I meant, pal."

You could see him processing and replaying the whole thing. He managed to stop crying so that he could hear my words; then he cried some more. Once he gathered his composure, it was his turn to talk. He told me everything that was on his mind as best he could. As I listened to his rational during this little heart to heart, I realized something very profound...

I was learning to LISTEN and understand him better and he was listening to LEARN from me and what had just happened.

Had he not disobeyed, the perfect opportunity to teach him something so important wouldn't have been present. Sure, he would have been obedient and I would have praised him for that... but, this was an even better scenario. He learned firsthand and he was beginning to understand the consequences for his choice. I felt terrible that he fell, but I took full advantage of the teaching moment.

As Little Dude sleeps in his bed this morning and I replay last nights events, I can't help but think about all the times my parents tried to protect me. I vividly remember something my dad told me the night before I moved out and left for college in 2002. He said,

"Jacy, don't have sex with anyone. I know it's tempting... and I know you might think it's cool and that you're mature.. but don't do it. It'll last a few minutes max and then, when it's over, you'll think 'what in the hell just happened?' Don't do it. Wait until it's right."

After all this time, all these years, I have never forgotten those words or when and where he said them. In fact, I have kept them somewhere very close within me... because there were a few times when I was getting frisky with someone and I thought, don't do it... it's not worth it... this guy doesn't like me anymore than any other girl... it won't mean a thing. And then, I stopped it from progressing... with my dad's simple words in my mind.

I think there is so much wisdom in the people who love us most- especially our parents. I know there can be exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, I think it is SO wise to always listen and take heed in the counsel that your parents offer. I have valued my parents opinions all my life, but in these last few years, they've been my rock. I know that their sound advice and realistic approach to life has kept me in a much safer playing field than I might have been in otherwise and I'm so grateful that I can talk to them openly and honestly about the things in my life that are real for me.

As a parent to my 4 year old son, and knowing the heartache and worry I have felt for him in just a few short years, I now understand how my parents felt (and how my friends parents felt about them) in my adolescent years. I get it now. They wanted me (us) to live as good of lives as possible, with the most minimal amounts of avoidable hardships and unnecessary pains.

When I think of this on an even greater spectrum, I think about my Heavenly Father. He wants me to be happy, too. He wants me to live my life with as little owie's as possible. He wants me to succeed. He wants me to speak to him, to listen to him and then to learn from his counsel and all those around me who are there to help.

But it's not always easy. Even still.

Sometimes it's hard to listen to anyone else, whomever it may be. Sometimes we just have to make our own choices. Sometimes we want to rebel and stand on the plastic stool a few seconds longer, just like Little Dude did. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way. And sometimes we suffer the difficult consequences. But what a blessing it is to know that there is always room for improvement.  No matter what happens, or how bad we screw up, or how far the fall, we can ALWAYS get back up with a better knowledge of how it happened, with a better plan to ensure it doesn't happen again, and with a more open heart to the sound counsel of those trying to protect us.

A small little bruise on the hip might cause some soreness for the next few days but, if you ask me, a tremendous amount was learned from such a simple fall.



Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Road Rage and the Middle Finger
















A few weeks ago I'm driving East on I-80 up Parley's Canyon. Brightly colored orange construction cones line the freeway. The speed limit is 65 MPH.

Cruise control is set at 68 MPH.

Suddenly, out of my peripheral in my side view mirrors, I see some lights flashing behind me. I check the rear view to be sure. My heart stops. I think it might be a copper.

The black sporty car is approaching quickly and his lights are going banana's. I try to change lanes, but someone is in the lane next to me. Instead of speeding up to try and pass my neighboring car, I subtly tap on the break and get over into the other lane, only to realize that it wasn't a police officer flashing me. It was RICKY RACER- a forty year old man with an attitude. As RICKY makes his final approach, he lays off the lights and while making the actual pass, he lays on the horn and ever so gently flips me the bird with his right hand.

Huh?

Whizzing past me in a flurry, he immediately cuts over into my lane and then uses his multi-tasking skills to actually wave his birdie back and forth at me, high up in the air out the back window, just so I can see it even longer.

Huh?

I had no idea what had just happened... but whatever it was, I was floored!

I tried to see what his license plate was but unfortunately, he was flying too darn fast. But let it be known, had I been able to see those letters and numbers, I would have called him in and reported him in an instant! Since I didn't get to vent my feelings to our law-enforcers (not that they would have done anything anyway), I think I'll feel better and will be able to move on easier if I just let it all out right here, right now.

Dearest MR. RICKY RACER:  

First, there is a child in my car! There are happy families traveling all along this highway.

Second, are you exempt from the bright orange cones, road work signs and curvy road?

Third, I guess I'm not sure why you are flashing me with your brights midday? Is that some sort of road lingo I'm unfamiliar with? Or are you actually distressed?

Fourth, whether or not my child understood the meaning of your inappropriate behavior, I find it very, VERY, rude and to be honest, quite unacceptable. The last time I used my middle finger was in high school (you can read about it here) but I have since grown up.

Fifth, please SLOW DOWN and chill out before you hurt someone.

Lastly, I may have written a post about being non-judgmental on my blog yesterday... and maybe... just maybe you were in a real emergency and needed to get somewhere extremely fast? Or maybe you were fired from your job? Or maybe you just found out some devastating news? Or maybe you just had a really, really awful day?

If any of the above are true,  I feel terrible about that and I am so, so sorry. But honestly, lashing out at people who share the road with you and insulting them with an immature gesture isn't going to make any of that better.

And if none of the above are true and you just in fact have road rage, I would ask that you please take your foot off of the gas, lower your hand, pull off at the next exit and take a moment to regain your dignity. The road will be a much safer place if you do.

Thank you for your consideration on this matter.

Sincerely,

Jacy- the slowpoke Mom trying to get to her destination in one piece.


**Your thoughts on road rage and the bird? I think it's dangerous and rude. Period.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Try Not to Judge


When was the last time you made an uneducated, totally unfair assumption about someone? 

Think about it!





















Last week I received an email from an old high school acquaintance which said:


"I am sorry. I know I don't know you personally, but I did know your ex and when I heard you two divorced I admit that I assumed that it was your fault. I obviously was totally wrong and had NO clue what was really going on. I apologize for the judgement without knowing you or the reasons for the divorce."

While I appreciate this sweet person reaching out to me, it wasn't the sincere apology contained in this email that touched my heart, as much as it was message within the words written. And while this isn't about who's to blame for my divorce, this post is about being too quick to judge.

I am guilty of it and I know you are too.... because we have ALL made unnecessary, unwarranted, totally uneducated assumptions and/or judgements before. It's apart of human interaction, I think. We see, we hear, we process, our minds spin to the way we think it should be and then, we cast theories that are sometimes accurate and other times, completely off-base.

I've grown not to like this little habit of mine and I can honestly say that I am trying to be more compassionate and less quick to cast any stones- big or small. Because until you have experienced someone's life experiences first hand (every second of every day), you have no idea what their story is and why they are making the choices they are. You have no idea the intricate details that have led them to the place wherein which they currently stand.

No story is alike. No human being is alike. No solution is alike. 

If I have learned anything monumental this last little while, I think it is to withhold judgement as much as I possibly can. Even in the times when I *think* I know what is going on OR in the times when I *do* know exactly what is going on, I try to step back and let other people use their personal gift of free agency, allowing them to make the choices they feel are best.

And what's amazing about this idea is that the less I stew over the choices of others and my dissatisfaction or disapproval of them, the more I'm able to steadily focus on my choices and thoughts, thus ensuring that they are ones I can be proud of- day in and day out.

I know this is nothing you haven't been reminded of before, but I just felt the need to reiterate this golden rule: 

Always, always treat others the way YOU wish to be treated.

**Thank you to this sweet person for writing in. There is such a grand lesson to be learned here, for all of us... because we are ALL guilty of it. Every single one of us. But it's about recognizing and making changes that really counts. You are awesome!




Monday, August 27, 2012

Birth Story

For the sake of documenting, I thought it'd be fun to share Little Dude's birth story with you today.






















Would you care to read? Ladies, if you'd like to proceed, you may. Gentlemen, enter at your own risk.

*************************************************************************************************************************

It was Sunday February the 3rd, 2008.  My due date wasn't until February the 16th, but I didn't care... I was so anxious and excited to have my bambino that I was ready to try just about anything! Shortly before bed that night I remember asking my husband if he thought that having SEX could really cause early labor. We laughed, shrugged our shoulders and thought why not?



So! We made full-term-preggy-whoopi that night and GUESS WHAT? It worked!

Within just a few short minutes, I began to cramp. Period like cramps. I didn't think much of it and so, we did our normal routine of preparing for bed and my husband was fast asleep in no time. Not me though. I was hurting.

The idea of waking my husband in the middle of the night for a false alarm sounded terrible so, I tried to be a brave soul and endure the awful pain alone.

So there I was... in the wee hours of the morning... pacing around like a crazy person in our musty, spider filled, cinder-block basement student apartment at the U. Our living room became a track, and I circled around that thing probably 100 times, if not more. Nothing eased the pain. I tried to stay focused on the rerun of the Clinton/Obama Democratic debate that was airing at 3AM but I just couldn't focus.  Global Warming just wasn't on my mind. Sorry.

I suffered for hours. I read What to Expect When You're Expecting for the third time.

At around 6:30AM, after I awoke my husband telling him that I thought it might be time, I called my doctor. He suggested that I wait a few hours longer and if the pain doesn't subside and the contractions don't stop, come in.

I waited for about three more hours when I finally said "Let's go!"

We arrived at the hospital at about 9:30 AM. The nurse checked me and hooked me up to the monitors and told me that she'll watch my progress and see how I'm doing before actually admitting me. At that point I was dilated 3 centimeters. Because I had been up all night, I tried to utilize this time to sleep but I just couldn't... I was in too much pain... too excited... and just too darn anxious.

About an hour later, the nurse came back to check things out and I was dilated 4 1/2 centimeters. As she tossed me a gown, she said with a smile, "Looks like you're staying. I'll fetch Dr. Smith"

No more than 3 minutes later, as I walked out of the bathroom, sporting my hideous backless gown, there stood my doctor. With a big grin on his face he said, "Well Jacy, you ready to have a baby today?"

"Uh! YES!" I said excitedly. "Alright, let's pop that water and get going!"

In a matter of seconds it was ON!

The intense cramps started and I was DYING! The cramps earlier were CAKE compared to these! Too bad the Anesthesiologist was held up a few rooms down. I was in tears at just how horrific the pain was. I had to wait for an hour plus before I got that darn shot. Hell. On. Earth. By the time I got the shot, my mom had made it to the hospital and was fortunate enough to find me much, much happier.















The epidural was a breeze. I loved it. Minus the fact that my left shoulder and chin went numb, which kind of paralyzed my left eye. I'm not the most glam looking woman in labor I've ever seen... but hey, I was about to push a baby out of my body so I really didn't care what on earth I looked like! An hour or so later, my dad showed up. It was about 3:30PM.

We all sat in the delivery room, just waiting for the time when we could finally meet this little boy. This was especially sweet for my parents because they had never experienced a healthy pregnancy or delivery... so the mere thought of a full term pregnancy with a normal delivery was INCREDIBLE for them, let alone to actually experience it (if you're new here and are unsure of what I'm talking about, read HERE and HERE).

Finally, I needed to push.

I felt it very strongly. My mom told the nurse and she kind of blew us off saying I wasn't ready yet. I kept telling my mom "MOM! Please go back out and tell them that I need to push...  this bambino is COMING!" My mom ran out into the hall one last time and put her momma-smack down.

This brought in a new, more experienced nurse. She checked me and yelled out the hall "Get Dr. Smith down here!" Dr. Smith (whose practice was just upstairs) ran into the room and was extremely unhappy with his staff. "She was ready! Don't you ever let it get this far without letting me know! This is absolutely unacceptable." he said to the few staff members standing in the room.

My legs were placed in the stirrups and it was time.

My mom was on one side of the bed, my husband on the other and at the head of the bed holding my right hand, stood my daddy. I asked him to stay and watch the birth of his first grandson... he said he wouldn't have missed it for the world.

At 4:05 PM after only a few, simple pushes, a crying, peeing, PERFECT, tiny infant with the most darling head of hair was placed upon my belly. He weighed 6 lbs 5 oz.












"Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!" I screamed in a high pitched voice. My arms were waving around as I tried to focus on this new little miracle the grew within me. Tears fell from my eyes... I could barely even see his little face... "He looks just like his dad" I said.

The room was full of radiating smiles and joyful tears- even my dad- as we watched a new life being examined across the room.















I will never forget the moment I held my son, gazed into his eyes, and his kissed his cheek for the very first time. I fell in love instantly... a real, totally selfless sort of love.
























Looking back, even though I had NO IDEA what my baby and I would have to go through together, I would never change that marvelous day back in February of 2008. I have never once regretted having my son, and I would never change any part of it... because the way I look at it, this little boy is the most priceless person in my whole world... and he is who is he-- the darling, spirited little kid everyone loves-- because he is both mine and my ex-husband's. We created a very special human being who has changed my life for the better.

So, nearly 5 years later, life isn't what I envisioned it to be at all... but that's not what I choose to focus on and remember. Instead, I will remember the miraculous day that my son was born with nothing but positivity and cheer because without him, without that chilly winter day, I wouldn't be where I am today... a mom to the world's coolest kid ever.





























My Little Dude~ forever and always my best pal!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up


Our week was full of good things!

Little Dude started his fall semester of preschool on Monday. How cute does he look in his uniform? Hilarious! He's in a 5 day a week program and he is LOVING it already :)























Consequently, I am LOVING it too because I'm able to put my talents to use and work! I'm currently overseeing the interior remodel of a contemporary commercial property. It has been gutted almost completely and I'm am thoroughly enjoying the process of redesigning the overall look. FUN STUFF! I'll be posting more pictures on that once we've made more progress.

This week we've also been to swim lessons, to friends houses, to the yogurt shop, to the driving range, to lots of tile showrooms and to great- grandma and grandpa's house.

And since Little Dude headed to his dad's last night, I tried to get dressed up a tad bit so the man friend and I could go out on the town.



















We hit up a local pizza joint and had an absolute blast! The Chedda Pull Aparts at the Pie are UBER YUMMY! The only drawback is that they are a bit UBER on my TUMMY too (if you know what I mean :)


















I sure hope your week was full of good things and I hope you relish your weekend! 

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Name is KIRA


My name is Kiraand I saved my life. 




























I once heard a saying that if you complain more than three times about something without taking action, you are just whining and not really looking for a solution. I guess I whined my whole life about my weight.

I topped out at 345 lbs.















When I was pregnant with my third baby I had gestational diabetes for the second time. I really didn’t watch it as well as I had with the first one and she was born at almost 10 pounds, 4 weeks early. I also had extreme blood pressure problems with the pregnancy, topping out at 195/110 when I delivered. The Doctor told me that I cheated death with that delivery and to really consider not having any more kids.

A couple weeks after my baby was born, I had a dream. I dreamed that I had some illegal drugs and I was taking them to help myself feel better. I’ve never taken drugs in my life, so even in my dream this seemed strange. In the dream my husband took them from me and threw them in the trash. I waited for him to go to work and I pulled them out of the trash and took them anyway. I was crying as I took them, wondering why I was doing that to my body. I woke up sweating. I had the clear impression that the drugs represented my relationship with sugar and flour. I had never been one to eat a package of cookies in the closet, but I did eat sugar, flour, and proportions, which I knew my body didn’t process.

My wake-up call came when—6 weeks after I had my baby—the Doctor said I was still really close to full blown diabetes. My blood pressure was not down to normal either. If I continued down the path I was on, I was going to have serious problems that would not allow me to raise my children. I wanted to be able to play with my children, hike with my family, run, but most importantly LIVE!

For years I had thought that I ate healthier than my friends. They could eat “anything they wanted” and still not gain weight. I finally realized that it didn’t matter what my friends could get away with eating... they were NOT me! I was responsible for me. I quit flour and sugar cold turkey on July 6, 2011 using a God based program that I found and I even decided to watch dressings and sauces that had sugar in them. I was going to take back my life!

Here it is a little over one year later. I still have a ways to go on this journey but for now my blood sugar is that of a teenager, my blood pressure is very low, my cholesterol is fabulous and I am happy to say that...     I am down 110  lbs!

I turned it around. I am finally healthy. I am happy. I don’t have guilt.

I am Kira….  and I am the kind of Mom I want to be!






























**Remember the purpose of this series is to open our hearts, to interact, to uplift, to support and to grow. Kira will be reading your comments so, you may comment directly to her. 



Thursday, August 23, 2012

Follow, Follow Me!




















Some exciting news here at My Name is JACY today!

Okay... not crazy, blow your mind, exciting... but I do have a few announcements that I hope you'll like :)

First, I finally created a MNJ Facebook page last night! I promise it'll be more than just blog post updates, so come on over and keep me company by LIKING my new page HERE. And don't forget to say hello while you're there!

Second, I've officially decided to try out this whole Instagrammy thing and I'm inviting all of you to FOLLOW ME under mynameisjacy. The reason I'm stoked about this is because it's such a fun and simple way for me to get to know YOU better, too. Yes!

Lastly, if you're a daily reader and/or stop by often and like what you read, it'd be so wonderful to see your smiling face as a part of this little spot on the web... so add yourself as a FRIEND on the right hand side of the blog and chime in whenever!

I honestly can't believe that I'm dipping my toes into all this networking stuff, but I can't help but think it'll be yet another great way to interact with all of you. So, I hope you'll join me on any or all platforms because it'd just add even more fun to this whole thingamabob!

**Are you into Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? Give me the low down of what you do and don't do and why you prefer some over others.


Image Credit

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Moodiness and a Case of "Blogger's Back"


















This is exactly how I've been feeling lately. PI-ZOOPED!

I'm exhausted... which makes me moody... which makes the task of writing something useful/thoughtful more challenging... which makes my back hurt from sitting here too long... which, in turn, causes a condition known as "Blogger's Back."

You won't find the symptoms anywhere on WebMD but have no fear... I can tell you exactly what they are from personal experience. "Blogger's Back" comes from one thing alone: blogging. It stems from sitting in one position for way too long, day after day. Tightness will present itself in every inch of your back and then the aching will set in. Then you'll feel like your back is on fire.

If you find yourself wanting to eat ICY HOT, I bet you have it, too.

Here are a few at home remedies that have worked for me (the only known person suffering B.B. as of right now):

Fill up on IBU Profen.
Take 1-2 hot baths per day.
Sleep with a hot pad on HIGH in your bed every night.
Rub some peppermint oil on the affected areas and let it soak in (you'll LOVE this and you can to do it regardless if your back hurts. Rub it into your scalp and down your neck before bed, it is amazing!)
Ask for a massage from whomever loves you the very most.

So, blogging everyday for the last 5+ months has proven to be hard on my body... who knew??  But, I realize that if I'm going to hit this little goal of blogging every single day for one whole year, I just have to BUCK UP because... well... this blog is so worth the pain! If you were ever wondering or doubting how much I love you all, this post should confirm it to you :)

And now I think I'll schedule an appointment at the Kura Door for a 90 minuter. Little Dude's karate chop is decent... I'm not going to lie... but it doesn't come close to what Josephine can do. I leave that place in pain- a good kind of pain!

Wishing you all a wonderful Wednesday!

**Am I the only blogger suffering from a little B.B.? Any other feel better suggestions you might have for a friend?

**And if you didn't notice, no Fashion Column today...  I know, such a bummer because it was so fun!  If you'd still like to do participate, send a submission in and I'll always post it... but I'm not going to bank on them anymore.


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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

LET'S MEET!




















Yep, I'm serious.

I've been thinking for a while now that I'd love to do a get together with any and all of my blogger friends who'd like to join me. I can use a little GIRL'S NIGHT and I couldn't think of a better way to do it than with all of you!

So! Here's what I've got in mind...

How many people decide to show up will determine what we do. If it's a smaller crowd, I say we hit up a cool restaurant downtown Salt Lake and maybe do a little City Creek window shopping afterwards (or something along those lines). If it's a bigger crowd (making a restaurant atmosphere less conducive for getting to know one another), I say we bag dinner and meet at a little outdoory dessert/cafe type place. I don't really care what we do, as long there's some sort of yummy food with the good company, I'm a happy camper :)

You can be single, divorced, or married. You can be older or you can be younger. You can be happily married or you can be struggling married. You can be super outgoing or you can be more reserved. You can be someone I already know or you can be someone I've never met. Whatever you may be, WHOEVER YOU ARE, you are welcome to come and I'd love to meet you! Only one condition... you must be female. No boys allowed.

My calendar is marked for the evening of Saturday September 22nd

If you're somewhere in the vicinity of Salt Lake and you're interested in meeting up, you can comment below OR you can email me at jacyleeclemons@gmail.com. From there we can solidify plans and decide what will work best considering the response. Even if just one person RSVP's, it's still TOTALLY worth it to me and I will be there!

The time has come to put our fears aside and make some new friends :)

Whaddaya say to that?

Who's with me?

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Becoming Better People


*Remember my Reflection and Self Worth posts? Specifically the one about cutting my hair senior year to mimic Sharon Stone? If you missed it, you may want to check it out HERE before reading today's post.





























Ever since starting this little blog of mine I have received some of the sweetest, most kind spirited emails/messages from SO many of you (whether we've never met or you're someone from my past), and they've meant so much to me! Thank you, thank you!

So, last week I got a powerful email from an old friend of mine throughout my K-12 years that I wanted to share with all of you. It said:

"Hey Jacy! I recently ran into your blog, and I've just really felt the need to send you a message thanking you for being so open and honest about the difficult things you've faced and are facing in your life. I always really looked up to you in high school, and I thought of you as someone with limitless self-confidence. But I can remember when you got that haircut-- which was totally awesome and beautiful, but different from how the rest of us cut our hair, and thus subject to cruelty. And I can also remember that I did absolutely nothing to stand up for you, or to suggest to others that what they were doing was NOT okay.



That was a huge failing on my part. I really wish I had figured out in high school the importance of sticking up for other people--especially other women. I guess I just want to apologize, and let you know that your blog reminded me of the importance of not just defending people against bullies, but also helping women to see how beautiful and extraordinary they are, in spite of all the world's messages that we all have to change in order to be loved."

~C

As I read this, my eyes filled with tears and the smile on my face widened until I couldn't smile any bigger. What a pleasant surprise this was! As I finished reading the thoughtful message and began to reflect on those somewhat challenging times, I also began to filter through all of the times I did nothing to stand up for those being gossiped about, made fun of, or bullied in a sense. I began to shamefully remember all of the things I said that were cruel... or the times I acted snobby... or the mean pranks I actually followed through with... or the bratty things I did that I wish I wouldn't have done.

Gosh, if I had to go back and write a list for all of the times I did something out of character or immature or foolish or all of the times I didn't do the right thing, it'd be one long o' list. Not my proudest of moments. 

But you know what? Those times don't define me... and they don't define my friend, either. I don't think any high-schooler on planet Earth has it all figured out... actually, I don't think any person, any age, on planet Earth has it all figured out!

So this is life; we are ALL imperfect.

But what's important is that we are making changes in our lives that facilitate our ability to improve- the ability to recognize our failings and become better people- working for the greater good of humanity. It's about leading by example because that is the most powerful teaching tool available. It's about raising children who are aware, so that they can be more compassionate of others- no matter how different they may be. It's about standing up for your beliefs and your values, even though you hate to be the only one standing. It's about loving and not being afraid to open yourself up to that sort of unfamiliar and scary kind of love.

While this little message may only seem to you about a silly "dike" haircut back in 2001, it meant so much more to me. It reminded me of how crucial it is that we continually work on ourselves, no matter how old we are. It reminded me to always look at my own behaviors under a microscope and ensure that I am doing very the best I can, at all times. It reminded me to end my days as a better person than I was the day before. If I haven't done so, I try again a little harder the next day... and the next... and the next. It's an on-going, never-ending process.




Sunday, August 19, 2012

Simple Things on a Sunday

































Lots of love on this peaceful summer Sunday! We are on the road today, heading back home :) I'll be back tomorrow.

Until then, I hope you're all happy and well. Big HUGE hugs!

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up


Before Little Dude starts school on Monday, we decided we'd come up for one last family shindig in Wyoming. I know, it seems like we are here every weekend... and we are here a lot... it's just SO gorgeous... WHY NOT? Plus my sister and her friend were coming too, so we couldn't miss it!

Here's a little recap of what we've been up to (we are still here btw... till Sunday):

We drove up to Jackson Hole and ventured a little further to the Tetons. Bummer it was hazy... still sooooo beautiful!
















We hiked around spectacular Jenny Lake with my Momma V and sister Jenny.





Grandma V and Little Dude did a little camping... sort of. Camp-out lasted until about 3 am when the boy had to go tinkles and decided he'd had enough... Momma V had too... so they finished the night inside... ha!

































We did some airplane flying that lasted a whole 20 minutes- cheapest airplane toy ever. But best jammies ever! So I forgot to bring some pj's this trip and all we had were old 2T footie ones here? Just cut the feet off and whaaaaala! JAMMIES! Fashion Column anyone?






































Wildlife watching was intense this time around! We are usually glued to the hummingbirds fighting at the feeder but yesterday we saw a MASSIVE moose out the window. We ran outside to stare at it and once he saw us, he jumped over the fence onto our property, walked up our driveway, cut through our lawn, and was probably no more than 15 feet away from us standing on our deck. By the time I grabbed my camera, he was on his way into our back yard- the Salt River. Here's the best picture I got of the beast. Pretty cool!














After that, Little Dude was completely mesmerized with the binocs, even though he'd look through them backwards. And yes, that's my son... different morning, different pair of modified jams. It's called utilizing what you have :)




















And to wrap it all up, last night we played a super fun dice game called Left, Right, Center. If you like games, it's easy and enjoyable for all ages. You can play with candy or money or prizes or whatever... but last night, Papa was feeling generous and BIG money was on the table! Aunt Jenny CLEANED up and won $10 in grandpa's quarters. Not a bad gig if you ask me!!

















I think I'll just go ahead and say that I have a pretty awesome family- quite possibly the best. I'm in love with this stunning place and I savor every minute we are able to spend here together as a fam-damily. What a fantastic way to end our summer!

**Have you ever been to Jackson Hole? Have you seen the Tetons? Do any of your family's have cabins? If so, where?


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