Sunday, October 7, 2012

Burnt Out

I am burnt out on this 1/2 marathon training.  Not on running, just on this training.  Boo.

It will all be worth it on November 10th though when I cross that finish line!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cart before the horse?

I have registered for my first 1/2 marathon EVER, I will be running 13.1 miles on November 10th.  I am super nervous, my longest training run to date has been 10 miles.  It felt good but it is still not 13.1!

So in all of my excitement (and maybe getting swept up in the moment) I have registered for my 2nd 1/2 marathon...even before I have run my first!  Am I crazy?  I am feeling like I am crazy!!!  It is in Seaside Florida - and I am meeting some girlfriends there so that we can run it together, and bond and spend some time on the beach in a beautiful town with our awesome families.  So really and truly it is more then a 1/2 is about us girls.  We are going to ROCK it!!!  I.can't.wait!

So have I put the cart before the horse?  Fingers crossed for November 10th, I will feel much more confident once I at least have that under my belt!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Yeah...pretty much

Hello Hello!

I got a text message from my husband today just telling me that he thinks I am an amazing Mom.  That put me on top of the world.  My husband makes me want to be a better person in general.  He just has that effect on me.

I came home from work to a super sweet little boy (who lost his first tooth last night) and a big man who were kicked back and enjoying some bonding time.  Nothing sweeter.

Looking at the two of them made me think...yeah, I am pretty much loving my life. 

Friday, August 17, 2012


I have been thinking about my circle of friends, how it has changed over time, how it really changes day by day. 

I feel guilty about how much I neglect my girlfriends.  I really and truly want to catch up for coffee or a workout or dinner or to let the kiddo's play, but the actually doing of it just never seems to work out. 

I am sad about that.  It is totally my fault.  Texting & Facebook just does not cut it.  As important as girlfriends are in my life, I need to step it up. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

am i doing 1/2 or 2x as much?

I have registered for a 1/2 marathon in the fall.  13.1 miles.  I am going to truly be testing my relationship with running.  I love to run, but 10K's seem to be the sweet distance for me.  Most of my runs have been 10K's.  We will see how it goes.  I am not going to lie, I am nervous.  I have run 8.1 miles so far in training and after mile 6 I just get soooooooo bored. 

My neighbor, on the other hand, is doing a full Iron Man race in a month.  His training runs are 15 -18 miles (plain crazy!).  We were talking the other day about his run portion of the race, which is 26.2 miles.  "I am only doing 1/2 that and I am terrified!" was my thought.  When I walked away from him and his goals and determinations and his crazy abilities I felt like 1/2.  I am only doing 1/2 of that.  I felt like my "big deal" 1/2 marathon in that fall was nothing.

I am thinking about it now though (after some much needed yoga) and realized that often times perspective is truly the key to how we are looking at things and, as a result of that, how we are feeling about things.  I may be doing 1/2 of his distance, I am actually doing 2x (plus) my distance.

Don't get me wrong, my neighbor is a rock star and while his ability to do those races might amaze is not something that is for me.  I am a 10K runner, who is pushing myself to do a 1/2 so that the feeling of accomplishment, dedication, want and thankfulness for a strong body can rush through me when I cross the finish line.  I want to check it of of my list.  Will I ever do another one...who knows, but for know I am choosing to look at it as I am not doing 1/2, I am 2X as much as I have done before.

Go me!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

being fearful

I want to work on that...the being fearful thing. 

I listened to a really wonderful sermon today about becoming complacent in our faith.  It pretty much rocked, and got me to ask myself some deep questions.  Andrew challenged us to really connect and to be fearful, it was a tough message.  He pressed us to ask ourselves if we are really open to God working through us, are we seeking him out, or are we just going through the motions?  He asked for us to not ever get too comfortable with our faith and to always know that our glory is in God - not in ourselves.  To live fearfully, consistently fearfully. 

We can worship the Lord, but in the end have we come to that moment where we know Jesus and he knows us?  I am not too sure of this fearful thing...and I want to get it right.  I want to live fearfully.  I am humble to the Lord, and ever so thankful for Gods grace.  But am I fearful?  I am praying on it.

Monday, June 18, 2012

finding my happy

finding my happy

with myself...
with my family...
with my friends...
with work...
with exercise...
with eating...
with my life...

what a journey. 

i finally feel like i belong in my skin and in my life.  i am enjoying it, and crying over it, and laughing about it...but most importantly living it.  there is a balance to everything.  it is amazing what happens when you truly just turn it over...

here is a little bit of what is going on with me lately...
  • i am psyched to be going home to the green mountain state with my little man for a week.  i can't wait to see my family and watch them love all over my baby!
  • i have been running...and loving it!  i registered for a 1/2 marathon in the fall, it will feel good to check it off of my "list" but i have learned in this training that i think that my heart is with the 10K distance.  anything longer then that is a real challenge for me, for my mind.  it bores my brains out!!!!  i give it up to all of you long distance (like marathon) are rockstars!
  • i took my new mt. bike (the best mother's day gift ever!) out with my boys.  i named her "lola" and then wrecked on her - we were both scratched up but it validated that i am still at least a little bit tough!
  • i am committing to yoga every day - even if it is just a few makes a huge difference.  i love it!  it does crazy things for those tight runner hips.
  • i am loving my Church...Jesus has stolen my heart and led me to a much better life.  He is the "it" that was missing doubt!
  • i am making killer salads every day for lunch - yum!  my son thinks my husbands favorite food is "Mexican" and that mine is "Lettuce"...that just might be true : )
  • i am drinking a Monster Zero every day.  they are fantastic!  don't judge.

a good life is filled with love.  Love God and Love each other!  the world is a much better place when all of that is going on.  i promise!


Monday, June 4, 2012

unconditional love

that is what God has for me.  it is amazing how loyal and loving He has been to me...even when i have strayed.  what a beautiful lesson in unconditional love.  that, no matter our life story, we are all His children and as soon as we are willing and wishing we will be welcomed by him with open arms, unconditionally.

what an amazing thing to be witness to His grace.  i am lucky.  i am loved...unconditionally.

and just for is my little man...loving every bit of summer coming on!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


i am feeling heavy, both figuratively and literally.  my body just feels slow, thick and weighed down.  my heart feels full of sweet wonderful life, but is also feeling some stresses.

i feel like there is so much happening right now.  there are some really great things and some things that are challenging to me.  i am feeling pressures, and lots of them. 

i am also reminding myself that these are the moments when i must choose faith.  i must choose to believe that the plan is bigger. 

a sweet friend of mine made a comment today about being so full of love that you are ready to burst but needing a good cry at the same time.  that is where i am right now and you know is the best of both worlds.

because i have the choice, i'll take faith...and a good cry.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


If you have never listened to the band Casting Crowns, you need to.  I promise you will love them!  The song "Come to the Well" is my current favorite.

I know I have stepped away for a minute, I have been love with what is happening in my life.  You know, I have always considered myself a Christian (but I was a lost one - without a home or community, trying to make it on my own...impossible to truly do) there is something really really awesome about finding a church, a home.  It makes me realize that we are all so powerful when we come together.  People are amazing.  Relationships are wonderful.  Finding that changes EVERYTHING.  The way I live, the way I think, the way I move, the way I breathe...and not just they way I do those things, it changes the WHY.

So I have been spending some time, thinking on my struggles and how they are truly okay.  I have come so far just in the last year.  I would have to say that today I am thankful for the realization that NO one human is perfect.  Because once I realized that, I also realized that I didn't have to be.  It took me almost a year to learn that.  Embracing my imperfect self is a wonderful feeling, I feel liberated.  I am broken, and beautiful.

Have a great weekend!!!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Everything Changes

Over the past year I have been back and forth looking for a church, all the while still figuring out how to truly trust my faith and my story.  I have been wandering...and lost...and hurting...and lonely.  I was confused, because among all of that I have an amazing husband and beautiful son.  I have many gifts in my life.  I feel grateful for them and undeserving at the same time.

My family and I accepted an invite from some friends and today we attended their church with them.  We have received those "come to my church" invites in the past but they didn't ever really appeal to me.  These friends are a super sweet couple and I found myself unusually drawn to the invitation that they extended weeks ago.  Then the signs over the past few days have been undeniable, and the feelings intense.  On the way to meet up with our friends this morning I told my husband that I had a feeling, it was strange and I couldn't place it.  Something was about to happen but I had no idea what or when.  I felt anticipation that was scary and exciting all at once.

The church was amazing, the people were welcoming, little man was right at home with the youth pastor and the other kiddos.  The sermon was fantastic and drawing to an end.  I still had that feeling.

At the end of the sermon during the final prayer the pastor asked for anyone who was there today, who needed Jesus and was ready to turn themselves over to God to please show their hand.  I raised my hand along with others around me.  He said a prayer that we would all find strength and that God loves us all.  Then he asked that any of us that showed our hands, and that felt the strength at that moment, join him at the altar.  I was still for a moment and something ripped through me - it was the craziest feeling I have ever felt.  I turned to my husband and said "I need to go up there" and scooted by him. 

The walk to the front of the church felt long.  When I reached the altar, I turned to look and realized that I stood up there...alone.  No one else that had raised their hands had the strength at that time to join me.  I felt shaky.  Not seconds later I felt my friends hand on my shoulder (I think that she actually chased me up there) to show her support.  I don't recall anything else that was really said in those moments but I will NEVER EVER forget the feeling.  God lifted the weight of the world off of my shoulders.

Something in me changed.  I don't know quite what, but I like it.

I can't wait for next Sunday!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Holes & bowls

Tonight I am struggling with some personal thoughts and decisions.  I typically try to be careful about what I say in front of little man.  However, tonight I was talking to my husband and told him that I want to just "climb into a hole" but that I knew that hiding from things is not healthy. 

Some time later I was still feeling weighed down, I still am but I know that I will be brought to the answers.  I really just need some time to pray on things.  Apparently it is obvious that I am feeling some burden because my sweet sweet little man just came up to me and said...

"Mommy, I love you very much...even though you want to climb in a bowl."

He wrapped his little arms around me and squeezed.  Time stood still for a second so I could see that he was trying to take away my pains.  I debated on correcting him but decided that bowl & hole are close enough and while his words may have not quite been there - his heart, as always, was in just the right place.

How humbling.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dear God

Dear God,
I know I'm a sinner.  I believe Jesus died to forgive me of my sins.  I now accept Your offer of eternal life.  Thank You for forgiving me.  From this day forward, I will choose to follow you.

Monday, March 19, 2012

It Looks Like {Beautiful} Rain

Today is overcast, and it looks like the sky could just open up any second.  I woke up this morning and it took me a minute to wake up and get moving.  When I looked outside and saw the clouds I closed my eyes for a moment.  In that moment I though to myself - "Jessica, you can let this gloomy day make you gloomy - or you can choose to love it."  I am choosing to love it.  Perspective.

I had a wonderful morning getting my little man ready for school, we talked about Art class and we discussed his proposal to play hookie one day soon so that we could have some special time.  He ate his breakfast while I packed his lunch.  He sang to me in the car on the way to the bus stop.  I called my husband on my way to work to let him know about my and little man's plans to "hookie" and to let him know that he got off to school okay.  I listened to Zac Brown all the way into the office and drank my Peach Mango juice.  I cancelled my 9AM to give everyone that should have attended just a little bit of time back in their day.

It is 10:11AM and I am smiling - despite the gloomy {but truly beautiful} weather and the potential {beautiful} rain.  Perspective is a powerful thing.  Give it over.  It is what it is.  Choose to trust in God and have a beautiful day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Thankful Day

Right now I am feeling thankful for all of the simple things that I overlook on most days.  I was feeling overwhelmed this morning and I almost let it get to me.  It took a minute to turn myself around and remind myself that no matter what is going on...I have a choice. 
To name just a few of the things I am thankful for today:

I am thankful that I am here - by the grace of God, I am able to experience the here and now.
I am thankful that I am healthy - my poor little man has been having tummy troubles and I really wish I could take them away from him.  He woke up, after a very rough night, to inform me that "Mommy, I think that this sickness is still on me."  It broke my heart.
I am thankful for my physical strength - my body, and super strong and capable legs, carried me 4.5 quick miles on the treadmill this morning.  All the while my little man was building "block ramps" on my yoga mat for his hot wheels, eating saltines and drinking ginger ale.
I am thankful for my friends that remind me, probably without even knowing it, that I am a lucky lady and there are struggles out there that are much more challenging then the ones I have.  One of them hit 18 months today, from the day she lost her husband.  She is so strong and I am thankful to call her my friend.  She helps to give me a different perspective.  I love her.
I am thankful for my family - that I can hold my sweet little man, and kiss my big man every day.  It is a gift.
I am thankful for the beautiful weather - 81 degrees, simply perfect outside.  I love the spring time in VA.

I could go on and on and on...

be thankful.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

You get what you give

I read once that you will only allow someone to abuse you as much as you would abuse yourself.  For a long time I thought that statement was crazy, but now I finally get it.  The more I fill myself with love (for myself and others), the less abuse I am willing to tolerate (from myself and others.)  When I disrespected myself, I was willing to let others do the same.  My threshold for abuse was high, because I did not love myself like I truly deserved.  My ability to love others unconditionally was also hindered my my inability to love myself.

It was when I realized that God loves me in an unconditional way, that I might (as a child of God) actually deserve that love.  It is by his grace that I am learning these things.  I am learning to love myself in an unconditional way and in the process am willing to accept unconditional love (from especially those people that I allow close to my heart.)  Beyond all of that, my ability to give love to others without condition has strengthened beyond measure.

This does not mean that there is no room in my life for those people who may not show unconditional love but it does mean that I set firm boundaries with them.  I try to have patience, because those are often the people who need love the most.  These boundaries are the same boundaries that I have set with myself, and reflect the same dream that God has for me...and that dream is for us to accept nothing but love, because we deserve love.  And when we give love, we get love.
So this is what I ask of you...go and give love (try it on yourself first) and what you get in return will simply blow your mind!

(Let me disclaim that in the very unfortunate situation where setting boundaries and giving love does not work with someone who is abusive/conditional, I hand it over to God and walk away because that is the healthiest thing for me to do - and that is me loving myself.)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

If you judge a fish...

"Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by it's ability to ride a bike, it will live it's live feeling like a failure." - Albert Einstein

Sometimes it is really hard for me to accept that I can not control things and look at things in a truthful and thankful way. It is easy to want my life be jealous of what others are and think that happiness and peace come from anywhere but inside of us.

Often times (and part of what got me into my hole) was thinking that I could control things and once I controlled them all it would result in happiness and that I would be happy. I would somehow magically find peace, and have certain things, make more money, and I would look a certain way...and things would be perfect. The sad thing is that the "end result" that was in my mind was NOTHING like the person I am now or the wonderful life that I have now.

Today I am feeling pensive and feeling truly thankful for all of the things that I have right now (without controlling them). I have a beautiful house, all be it a messy one. I don't have stress in my job. I have a sweet husband who loves me. I have a beautiful child, an angel, a true reflection of God. I have a strong healthy body, all be it a short one, with cellulite & love handles. The messy house means that it is lived in, I am learning that. Those things about my body that I cannot change (without unhealthy measures) are that way for a reason. I am beautiful just the way I am, my life is amazing just the way it is. Once I let go of control/someday thinking I am able to experience it. Happiness and peace are in my imperfect life now, I just have to acknowledge them, and let God show them to me. I am letting go and just being thankful for his gifts.

I am learning to love that I am a fish, and that my purpose in life may not be to ride a bike. If I spend my whole life crying over the fact that I cannot ride a bike I will never know that I have the natural ability to swim beautifully.

Realize your purpose and embrace it. It may not be the purpose that you "want" or are convinced will make you happy but you have one, trust me. Once you embrace it, that is when the magic, and happiness and peace will happen!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Self Love

Insane. Intense. Impossible.

That's what I used to think when I thought about the possibility of me and self love. After years of self abuse, fear, insecurity and just plain being out of whack I am figuring out that loving myself (in spite of myself) might just be the answer.

I have come a long long way on that journey. I have learned some amazing tools and made some amazing friends (hello support.) BUT...I need to remind myself regularly to stay balanced and to check in with where I am at. Am I still balanced? If I am not - what part of me is needing attention?

And this blog is how I am going to do just that. Each week (sometimes maybe more) I will be checking in. It will ensure that I am at least thinking about myself and touching base with my heart. It will also give me a place to dump some things, both struggles and successes, that have helped me on the road that I am on.