Traveler’s Diary

With the passing of my aunt, I am here in Kentucky for a couple days.

(UPDATE: I am home now. I am just now returning to finish up this post – I promise I’ve tried to blog, it’s been virtually impossible the last few days between being in Kentucky, cleaning up puke and my boyfriend holding the computer hostage.)

Anyhow, we went to Kentucky for my aunt Jean’s funeral. My dad, my mom, my 2-year-old and myself. My brother held down the fort at my parents’ house and the manfriend staked out at my house. I hadn’t been on a trip (however short) with my parents for about 6 years. Note to self: Take earplugs next time you have to share a hotel room with your parents.

The trip was emotionally tough for me – I really just had to “go to another place” within myself to keep from crying the entire time. Saying goodbye was tough for me. I don’t really think there’s a good way to prepare yourself to see someone you loved for the last time, then tell them goodbye. She looked very peaceful and I try to keep telling myself that she is at peace now.

Surprisingly, my 2-year-old didn’t do too bad on the trip – he’s a pretty good traveler. That’s the furthest he’s traveled yet, so I’m hopeful for our first “real vacation” – which (fingers crossed) will be later this year or next. Our biggest problem was that I put him in a pull-up on the way down and he definitely wasn’t a fan of peeing in his pants. I thought my dad’s head would explode by the time Mr. L finally stopped screaming and actually peed in his pull-up. Probably not the smartest parenting choice I’ve ever made. I just didn’t want my dad’s head to explode if we had to stop to pee every 20 minutes. Potty training can be a bitch.

The iPad was a godsend – I can’t imagine the meltdowns without it. I will do a separate post soon with my opinion on toddlers and iPads, but for now – all you perfect parents can stop judging me 🙂 He’s on an iPad hiatus for now if it makes you feel better.

Kentucky 1

We drove through a wind farm on our way down – it was fantastic! Since I’m not all that well-traveled, I had never seen anything like it. Futuristic white wind turbines as far as the eye can see. I was really in awe! Read more about it here >

Ven Wert OH

Got home late – but to a clean house! Since my child had been cooped up in a car for over 7 hours, he didn’t think sleeping was necessary. Yay, me! I am really hoping for a semi-normal next few weeks. I have got to get this boy back on schedule.

So there’s a quick update! I hope to resume the witty, honest posts come Monday!

xo, Jess.

{moment of honesty} A few happenings from the past few days that I’m leaving out of this post – stayed up all night with a puking toddler, had a “do we want to live together?” discussion with the manfriend, did I mention that I have a cavity?, oh and Mr. L’s dad was arrested. I also saw the movie Django Unchained, did some basement organization and spent my Friday night shredding stacks of old paperwork. I’m planning on spending my Saturday night watching Miss America.
Man, I’m so cool.

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The Terrible, Terrible Twos

After a few weeks of almost tearing my hair out, I have to vent a bit. Forgive me, I’m human.

My child has got a SERIOUS case of the terrible twos. One of the worst things a parent can hear from another parent – or sometimes even strangers will chime in – “just wait until they’re two! then you’re really in for it!”

I swear I have been “in for it” for about a year now. Why is two the magical age of discontent? Because I’m pretty sure it is all ages. This boy of mine has got to be the most strong-willed little child… Mom, I think I’m gonna have to borrow that book you had when I was little. You know, the one about how to raise a strong-willed child. Dig it out. I need it. Whew! I just don’t know what I’m going to do with him if he doesn’t go back to being my little sweet boy for more than 5 minutes real soon. I know what I’ll do. I’ll take him to his Mimi. She will straighten him up. He will have her so wrapped about his mischievous little finger. And he is just so opinionated – and without an ounce of self-consciousness. He could care less where he is when he’s screaming “no” or trying to run away from me. Those people who can go to a store and not put their children in a cart, how do you do that?! I am pretty sure Mr. L will be 6 or 7 before he gets to go in a store uncontained 🙂

That boy wants to run constantly! We were once at the bounce house inside the local mall and he got out of the bounce house and ran full-speed out the door, into the mall with no shoes on. I chased him and once I caught him, he was just laughing hysterically like it was a game. Oh, I was so mad. Or the time we were walking into Target and he pulled away and ran into the (thankfully empty) traffic lane. I think God really wants me to learn the virtue of patience with this one 🙂

And he’s so damn independent! I mean seriously, Mr. L?! Just let me help you! You’re only 2!! It’s a daily battle – do you want me to help you go to the bathroom or do you want me to leave you alone? Do you want me to race your cars with you or am I not allowed to touch them? Would you like to take a bath or would you like me to get out so you can just do it yourself? Sorry, I’m talking to Mr. L here. I think he is quite confused about some things.

I remember being woke up once in the middle night by a screaming Mr. L, except he didn’t want me, he wanted my ♥. WHAT?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I do virtually everything for you, but you want him over me? It broke my heart. After my ♥ returned to bed, I started crying telling him that I must be doing something wrong – that I felt like I was failing as a mom. He told me that kids usually only do these things to their moms.

I think he’s right. I think Mr. L only does these things to me and no one else. I think he is starting to come out of his shell for my parents, and for our babysitter. Bless their little hearts. I don’t mean to make him sound like a little monster, but I can’t handle many more howling puddles of misery in public. We went out to lunch and shopping for a few hours today. Oh man. People must think I’m the worst mother in the world. By the time we got to Steak and Shake for lunch, he was sitting on their dirty floor playing with his cars and I didn’t say a word. I just let him do his thing. Can I interject for a moment to discuss how gross I think Steak & Shake is? I will not be returning to their establishment unless it is 2 a.m. and I am drunk. Even then I will probably choose IHOP.

The highlight of our lunch was once our food arrived, and Mr. L was eating (quietly!) He then started pushing around his cars. He asked me to race his car for him so he could jump the thing with his monster truck. I picked up the car to move it and he literally screamed like he was being kidnapped. I’m talking ear-piercing scream. In the middle of a packed Steak & Shake. It startled me so much that I just picked him right up and took him into the bathroom to beat discipline him. I explained that screaming in public is not okay unless a stranger is trying to give you candy or put you in the trunk of their car. I was so embarrassed. I was mortified walking back to our table. At that moment I was thankful we were at Steak & Shake vs. Olive Garden.

Not two minutes after we got into the car to head home, he was passed out. I think the “terrible twos” should be renamed the “tired twos,” “hungry twos,” “cranky twos,” or all of the above. He woke up happy and sweet, thankfully. Because that’s what makes it all worth it. Now that I’ve thoroughly scarred everyone, I’ll say it again. The sweet moments make it all worth it.

Mr L

The moments when we’re cuddled up together reading a book, or when he’s telling me his ABCs, or singing to me. When he tells me, “give me hug, mom,” or “I love you so much, mommy,” or “thank you so much, mommy – yay!” That completely erases all those other not-so-pretty moments that I just laid out there for the world to see 🙂

We have got a lot to work on in the attitude department, but I hope and pray we will get there. I’m not giving up yet. I know their attitudes probably get worse when they’re teenagers, so I’ll just savor my defiant little two-year-old. At least I can still lock him in his bedroom if I need to.

Later, I saw this on Facebook.
It inspired this post. This post is honest, but I wanted to use this post to remind myself that no matter how many “terrible two” incidents we have, I wouldn’t trade Mr. L for anything. He is my purpose in life. There are so many others out there praying and working their asses off to have a little terror child of their own, and I don’t ever want to be someone who doesn’t appreciate this miracle I was given.

So Mr. L – if you ever read this – I can assure you that I love you more than bacon, Diet Coke, chocolate everything, my (sometimes) sweet little boy.

xo, Jess.

{moment of honesty} I secretly want you all to chime in and tell me this is all normal. And please feel free to share some of your favorite “terrible two” moments with me!

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Losing a Loved One

I can’t quite cry yet. I was tearing up a bit, but Mr. L was able to shush me with a few sweet words, “you just sad, Mama?” and “it’ll just be okay” while touching my face. He has no idea that this world just lost a great woman.

My wonderful, wild, hysterical aunt Jean passed away a few hours ago. Now yesterday as I am returning to finish this post. I just couldn’t write about it – or anything – yesterday.

She fought a long, hard battle, but she is at peace now and for that I am thankful. Thankful that she will no longer have to suffer in pain. I will miss her so much. She was a great presence in my life for as long as I can remember.


She was SO funny, I remember that she used scare me as a little girl because she was always playing tricks on me. Once she put a doll in her trash can outside and squeezed ketchup on her and made me go look in there. I don’t know if I would ever do that to a little girl, but I will NEVER forget that and thinking about it now, I just laugh hysterically.

Later on in more recent years, she taught me so much about my family history and about where I come from. She had such a great memory – and she told me so many stories about my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. She was so honest, and she would just sit and tell me everything I wanted to know. I recorded some of those stories on one of those handheld dictation recorders when I went to visit her in 2009 (we live about 6 hours apart), and I will forever treasure those memories. I probably drove her insane asking her a million questions, but she answered them all. There are so many things I wouldn’t know if it wasn’t for her. Thank you for that, Jean.


I will never forget her house – actually two of her houses – so many pretty things everywhere. I remember looking at things and asking about the things I liked. I remember she would always have soup beans ready for us when we went to visit. I remember watching her make fried chicken, and I remember her trying to show me how to make biscuits. I remember she kept her eggs in a little basket in the refrigerator and she would mark the oldest ones so she knew which to use first. I thought it was such a good idea, and I always mark my oldest eggs now. I will never forget how hot her old house was, there was a big heating vent right in the middle of the floor and it was always blowing hot air. Funny what you remember as only a little girl.

My only regret is that I haven’t been able to go see her, and that she never got to meet Mr. L, only see him in photos. I talked to her right before Christmas and she told me to “come visit as soon as you can.” It breaks my heart that I couldn’t go and see her. I know she would have loved Mr. L and I’m smiling now thinking about how she would have teased him. He would have loved her too.

I know the last few months were rough for her – and for my cousins (her children) and their families. It’s been rough for all of us up here, who couldn’t be there. So many ups and downs, and not knowing what the next day might hold. Being selfish as we as humans can sometimes be, I couldn’t bear to think of her leaving this world before Christmas or during the holidays. I am thankful she didn’t – I am thankful that she got to spend another Christmas with those she loved. I am faithful that she is at peace now. I am faithful that she has joined our other family members that have passed on before her. I am so thankful that I got to know her, and love her.

I know that I will see her again. For now I will praise her life and not grieve in her memory. I will remember her as someone who made me happy. I will laugh when I think of her funny antics, and I will smile as I’m sure she is smiling down on our family.

palm reader

See you later, Jean. I love you and I can’t wait to see you again some day.

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How do YOU fight it out?

Okay, so many of you know me – and maybe we’re friends in real life, or maybe we’re just Facebook buds because we like to “stalk” eachother. Face it, if we’re friends on Facebook and we’ve never really talked in real life, I am probably “stalking” you. I digress… as I said, many of you know me, but maybe a few you don’t know me at all.

Let me take a moment to introduce myself.
I am Jessica and I am an over-sharer. Did you know that I am an over-sharer? Well I am, 🙂 but you mustn’t tell anyone else.

In real life, I have a handful of close friends. They are awesome and we all like to talk. Sometimes we talk about things (possibly in public) that most people would cover their ears overhearing. My sheshallremainnameless co-worker and I have probably over-shared way too much about ourselves in the past almost-two-years. Sorry blog readers, I won’t divulge all the good stuff yet.

Anyhow – back to the question – today I want you to share something with me. Yes, I have a question for YOU. I want to know how you fight with your boyfriend husband wife girlfriend friend-with-benefits other half significant other? And how often?

Are you constantly arguing? Never arguing? Do you fight quietly after the kids have gone to bed, or is it a public battle? Do you throw things at them? 🙂 Or maybe you’re better quieter than me and you know how to just keep your mouth shut?

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, I know I can be somewhat cryptic. I know I have been somewhat cryptic lately because my relationship has been a little … strained. I don’t like to come right out and talk about my personal relationship, therefore, everyone I talk about in this blog must remain nameless. So yeah… things have been a little strained the past few days and we haven’t come right out and argued about it yet. Maybe we never will. Usually the arguing over here consists of a bunch of some yelling, some ignoring, some apologizing and then it’s over. It’s usually over dumb, petty things and sometimes the argument actually makes things even better than they were to begin with. Maybe most of our arguments are healthy? HAHA!

This time – wayyyy different. It’s been a lot of passive-aggressive comments (and let me tell you, I am the queen of passive-aggressive) and lots of saying, “okay then.” It’s not as heated and it’s lasting a lot longer, and it’s driving me nuts. It’s to the point where I don’t even know what we’re arguing about. Does that happen to anyone else? Usually when I’ve done something wrong, which is never hardly ever, I like to hold out on apologizing until I can’t remember what I did wrong, and then I just give him one of those “general apologies.” One of those, “I’m sorry I’m such a bitch grouch this week,” apologies. Yeah, you know the one. Maybe I should have put “learn how to give a good apology” on my resolution list.

Anyway, I think it’s because there has been a lot going on lately (see ya next year, holidays!) and we haven’t had as much time together. It’s weird, but we fight more when we’re apart. I can’t figure out if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but if we fight less when we’re together than I’d vote that it’s a good thing. We usually only fight when we’re together if he’s been in the bathroom longer than 20 minutes or if he refuses to let me change the channel when he’s been glued to his iPad for the past half hour. You don’t get both the TV and the iPad, buddy.

Fingers are crossed that everything will be back to the normal by next week. What can I say, I’m a sucker for routine.

Oh my goodness, I’m doing too much over-sharing. Sorry for spilling my “I just admitted I don’t have the perfect relationship” post on ya! I will have to watch what I share from now on. Before I scare everyone my manfriend away.

So there’s my question to you … how do you guys argue? Am I the only weird one who forgets what they’re fighting about by the time they apologize? Please – anyone – tell me I’m normal.

xo, Jess.

{moment of honesty} I let my toddler play on the iPad while I wrote this post. If you’re judging me right now, I have a slightly smaller (down 4 lbs in 2 days!) booty that you can kiss.

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I’m fat. Day 1.

Oh, the hell. The hell of trying to get thin. Why do I do this to myself? I love food and food obviously loves me, so why do I even bother trying to lose weight?

Oh yeah, my best friend is getting married in 7 months and I am NOT going to be “that fat
maid-of-honor.” I have been a fat bridesmaid for too many years. I also want to be a healthy example for my child, and prove to myself that I CAN DO THIS, but more importantly –
I want to look good in that dress! I also want to look good naked.
I’m serious, this is it. This is the absolute last year of me being fat.

This isn’t an easy post, or topic, for me – I can probably count the number of times I have called myself fat. I prefer bootylicious, or juicy, or even big-boned. Fat is such an ugly word. I cringe when I hear it – even when someone is describing another person. Society tells us that fat = lazy, ugly, worthless – and honestly, that’s how I feel lately.

Today that all ends. I am going to take a big ol’ leap into the pool of honesty and just put it all out there. It all started this morning – fruit, veggies, lean meats, WATER. NO MORE JUNK. Luckily, I haven’t quit yet and miraculously, I don’t feel too bad for the first day. I was worried I might experience signs of withdrawal by not eating any chocolate today.

Height – 5’9
Healthy Weight – 135 to 169 lbs.

I am aiming for a goal weight of about 150, which to be honest is about 50 lbs. It makes my stomach hurt to tell you all my weight, but maybe… just maybe… this blog will help me hold myself somewhat accountable. I would be happy if I lost 30 lbs and kept it off.

If I’d have continued my weight loss/lifestyle change last year, I am confident I’d be at goal weight right now. I was about half way there, and I felt great. I fell off the weight-loss wagon because I, like alot of people, can’t stop eating cookies eat when I’m bored. I don’t think it’s emotional – I have actually been mostly happy this past year. And I can’t really blame my parents because no one in my immediate family has a weight problem. Jerks. So I’m blaming it on my relationship my lack of control. It’s so easy to lose control when you work all the time, come home tired, then have to do chores and try to raise a child. It also doesn’t help when you have a boyfriend that can eat Big Macs daily and not gain a pound.

So, I am going to make a conscious effort this year (THE WHOLE YEAR, Jessica!) to meal plan, and be more organized when it comes to food. I’m sick of losing weight and gaining it back. I now own pants in like 3 different sizes. This time I am losing it and throwing my “fat pants” away!
Which will be sad because there are some really cute pants in that stack.

Anyhow – congrats if you read this entire post.
I know most of you are skinny and are uninterested in this kind of stuff 🙂
Won’t you all join me as I venture out (and possibly fail) on this weight loss journey?

I have not shown ANYONE this photo (not even you, mom) because I think it’s just awful. So anyhow, here’s my starting point. I can only go down (in weight) from here. I refuse to go up.

xo, Jess.

{moment of honesty} I ate some Doritos, Lindt truffles, and pizza last night for my last meal.
And I am laughing hysterically right now because deep down I know I should have just kept this entire post to myself.

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A Working Mother’s Guide …?

This is a lesson rant on leaving your child at the babysitter after two weeks of a crazy, effed up work schedule.

Answer = You don’t. You don’t do it successfully, anyhow. You also don’t get your toddler an iPad, but I’ll save that post for another day.

This morning was an example of one of those mornings you just wish you could stay in bed. I woke up late – ran around getting ready, making breakfast, making sure Mr. L brushes his teeth, goes potty, puts his underwear and pants on (the boy likes to be naked), warming up the car and finishing up packing the diaper bag. Of course by the time we get to the garage, Mr. L knows where he’s going and here comes the tantrum. He doesn’t want to go to the babysitter.

Let me just say that we have a great sitter – and he loves her and their family, but after all this time with mama he just doesn’t want to go.

By the time we get there he has stopped crying – I now have a headache from all the screaming – but as soon as we pull in the driveway he starts screaming about he doesn’t want to go, he “just wants to go home!” 2 years old and so. much. drama. He pretty much makes me drag him out of his Britax Marathon. Poor kid. He just wants to stay home with his mom!

I take him inside and wait a few minutes to allow him to “warm up” to the idea of staying there. I read somewhere that you are just supposed to drop them off and walk away, but I’m not so good at that. It wasn’t too terrible, but I heard him yelling for hugs as I closed the door behind me. It makes me feel like complete shit. If I had only made better decisions – like getting married – before having him, maybe I’d have the possibility of staying at home with him. Not that I want to most days – haha – but some days, it’d be nice to be that mom that gets to raise her kids, do crafts and have adventures, meal plan, have play dates, be organized. I don’t think I’ll ever be “that mom.”

So – if you are “that mom,” today I congratulate you. You are lucky and today I envy you.
Now go do something with your kids! 🙂

Now, if you’ll excuse me – I’m blogging while on my lunch hour.
xo, Jess.

{moment of honesty} most days I am happy to go to work – because sometimes it’s the break I need before I rip my hair out. Mamahood ain’t always fun and easy.

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Original title, huh? I hope with time my writing and witticism get better – my titles will get more creative, I promise.

I don’t know what it is about a new year, but it always gives me a chance to step back and take a deep breath, ready myself for another year of whoknowswhatthehellwillhappen. It always makes me feel better when I can start that year feeling like I’ve accomplished some of my goals, but I never wrote any down in 2012, so let’s just say I accomplished everything I wanted to 🙂

Not making the same mistake this year – so, here goes nothing…

  • work harder, play harder
  • relax more and just breathe it all in
  • regular random acts of kindness
  • take Luke on vacation (however small it may be)
  • celebrate life – not one of those annoyingly happy people, but I could try to exude more happiness on a daily basis, couldn’t we all?!
  • host plenty of gatherings in my ever-improving home
  • lose – wait for it…. 50 pounds (more on this later)
  • plant (and sustain) a garden
  • organization and meal planning
  • save for and purchase my first DSLR camera

Basically, I just want to be supermom/superdaughter/supergirlfriend/supereverything.

I know that won’t happen, but if I can accomplish something on this list I can feel better about myself next year. I’m already writing my list of 2014 resolutions – it’s identical to this one 🙂

But seriously – join me on my journey – and don’t be a stranger… comment or follow me, so I can follow you back.
I READ BLOGS DAILY. I am nosy as hell. I WILL read your blog…even if it is boring.

xo, Jess.

{moment of honesty} earlier I opened a bottle of champagne and made myself a mimosa

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This is for me.

Well, if you are stumbling upon my page…welcome, and I apologize in advance for my future
all-over-the-board ramblings.

This blog is for me – although I don’t mind if you follow along.

As I woke up today I realized, it is 2013. Say it with me – it. is. 2013.
Where the hell (I also curse, my apologies) did 2012 go!? I can barely remember what I did yesterday – and not because I was drunk – but because I feel as if my life is just zooming by and
I swear, I can’t remember any of it!

Like right now my child is begging me to do puzzles with him on the iPad, telling me how weird I am, laughing hysterically while trying to put his hand down my tank top and pretending to crack eggs on my head (wait…I’m the weird one?). While my boyfriend texts me details from his couch about all the funny moments in some episode of Big Bang Theory. No wonder it’s taken me over two hours to write my first post. No wonder I can’t remember anything.

Thus, I’m starting a blog. Everyone has a blog, so SO CAN I! Plus it’s on my resolution list – which means this blog will last about a month. I tried this once before (2009?) – I’ll link it some time when ya’ll get more comfortable with me – it’s deep and dark and reveals too much of my past – but we’ll get to that too!

Bare with me here – some of you may know me, some of you may not – but I invite you to get to know me (as I further get to know myself). I’m not some witty, fantastic writer or anything. I’m just a normal (questionable), single, 20-something year old mama of one two-year-old ball of fire and energy – trying to raise this boy and find my place in life, love, and work; all while trying to renovate this little 1920s home I bought in 2011.

winter house

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