Have a Holly Jolly Christmas
Happy Holidays Everyone!
May your homes be filled with peace and love. May you be surrounded by all those you call family. May you enjoy quiet moments and uproarious laughter. May you be thankful for all you have, and share with those who have less. May your new year bring only as much struggle as what will help you grow, and two times as many joys. May you be inspired to create and share your talents with the world. And may you get to sleep in at least once this week.
Love to All this Holiday Season,
Jess & Joe
When the Going Gets Tough, You Gotta Have Your Girlfriends
I’m dedicating this Throwback Thursday to all the ladies out there! 😉
When the going gets tough, you gotta have your girlfriends. Life has a way of throwing curveballs at us. I don’t know about you, but if I’m gonna take a hit to the head, I want my best girlfriend around to see it, pretend I did it on purpose, and tell every other joker in the place that it was the most badass thing she ever saw!
I’m fortunate to have a friend like that.
This is my bestie, Cat.
Cat just had a total curveball thrown at her. And that’s putting it mildly. She’s in a place of deep hurt right now, and I would love it if you would give her a little shout out in the comments! She’s the toughest, most talented, most vibrant, best dancer, so comforting, hardworking, sassy little latina I know! And I just love this woman immensely.
Please send your peace and healing thoughts her way!
And now for a walk down memory lane. Cuz it’s Throwback Thursday after all!
January of last year. Cat agreed to be a part of my last minute 80’s theme party. Clearly, no regrets there.
This is Cat and I pretending to be Oscar Girls at the 2012 Academy Awards. We are now forged eternally as “Sisters in Sequins.”
This is Cat on her wedding day. I was so honored to be the officiant for her and her husband.
This is Cat at Circus World in 2011. Yah, she’s the one who witnessed me smashing my face into an animal cage.
Here we are out for Halloween 2010. She was Amelia Earhardt and I was Mrs. Peacock.
THIS photo was captured on Cat’s birthday in July 2010 when we all went to see Little Kiss.
I believe the word you are searching for is…EPIC!
This is Easter 2010, when I was still very much in Corporate America and couldn’t take time off to go home for the holiday. Cat invited Joe and I, and her husband’s family, and the group of us made the best makeshift Easter brunch ever!
College. 2007. I had just crashed my car after having it about a month.
Cat and I had just become close friends.
Girlfriends. Gotta love them. Gotta have them.
Gotta lift each other up.
You’re the best, Cat P!
(made ya laugh, didn’t I?)
Who are the important girlfriends in your life? What makes them stand out?
How have you supported one another?
Was Santa Good to You?
Happy Early New Year Everyone!
I’m feeling very blessed these last few days of 2013. Joe and I spent Christmas Eve with my family, made it back to La Crosse safely for Christmas day with his extended family, and spent friday night with his family for a Christmas pajama party sleepover! Over the weekend, one of my best friends, who I’ve known since high school, came with her boyfriend to stay the weekend with us!
And bonus of all bonuses, this was the first Christmas in 6 years I didn’t spend in retail during the ho ho horror of the holidays! Yaaaaaaay!
So Clue, originally called Cluedo, was created in England in 1949 and is quite possibly my favorite board game. A whodunnit mystery with quirky suspects and unlikely murder weapons! Hidden staircases you say? What’s not to love?!!
Susie Strong: Sending Pink Vibes Your Way
Today my blogger friend, Susie Lindau, goes in for breast cancer surgery.
If you don’t know Susie, you should click over to her blog – Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride – right now. Go ahead! You’re going to love it there!
(But please come back here at some point.)
You loved it didn’t you? Susie Lindau is a Wild Child. Her zest for travel, humor, and the writer’s life is contagious.
Even the way she’s dealing with cancer is funny! She’s been keeping us all posted in blogs titled The Boob Report.
But today she’s going through something pretty scary. She’s having a double mastectomy. And so many of us bloggers are sending Pink Vibes her way and praying that the surgery goes well.
The journey isn’t over. She’s got lots more wild rides to go on. One example, the reconstructive surgery. Who knew there was so much to think about? Nipples? No nipples? Tattooed nipples? These are serious and seriously funny questions for a woman to ask. I’m voting for the flower pots. She should walk around with those all the time. She’s gorgeous.
But please, take a moment today to wish Susie a safe surgery and speedy recovery. Send her a quick prayer, or make her laugh, at the twitter hashtag #SusieStrong.
Go, Susie, Go! We’re all thinking of you today!
To make a donation to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, click here. Any amount helps put us that much closer to finding and providing a cure for breast cancer.
If it says it brings you happiness, you can bet I’ve tried it.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — The Declaration of Independence.
You know, our Forefathers really had this whole foreshadowing of the future thing going on. They knew, even back in 1776, that people weren’t going to be born happy, all they could do was pursue it. Kind of makes you wish you could go back in time and clock John Hancock on the head, doesn’t it? Old mousey wigged, know-it-all!
The constant quest for finding happiness gives me this image in my mind.
I’s going to get you!
Achieving happiness isn’t the same as a math equation, although I’d be equally in trouble if that WERE the case. You can’t say that just because someone Earned a Degree + Married + Had 2.5 kids = Happiness. The standards and desires of each person are different. But still, we try to make it formulated! We read articles, we join clubs, we go on juice diets, we hang out in a certain crowd, we buy skinny jeans and then don’t wear them.
Here’s a list of things I’ve done in hopes it would bring me happiness:
1. Bought and wore on the same day matching clothes as my best friends.
- Admit it, some of you have done this too! It was the absolute hype of middle school trends in my day. And I have photos where we’re all sporting the same corduroy overalls, “bibs” to the hip crowd. And I believe there was another incident with matching chartreuse turtlenecks. Yah, those photos aren’t going online.
2. Dated some boy I didn’t like.
- I’m sorry but he was an absolute turd of a human being who chewed way too much gum, and then had our mutual friend in band call me to tell me he was maybe-sorta-thinking about breaking up with me.
3. Played Truth or Dare at any age.
- First off, why did someone invent a game where the ultimate goal is to dig up dirt on your friends? And second, who in their right mind ever selects ‘dare’? This stupid game has made me give my pocket money to strangers, steal plates from Pizza Hut, drink water from the toilet, and quote lines from Young Frankenstein while dancing in a leaf pile on campus at some ungodly hour of the night??? And now, I sit back and eagerly await the search engine terms that will link to my blog.
4. Spontaneous sex.
- Oh sure, it starts out all romantic, you’re sneaking onto the rooftop of an abandoned factory, looking out over the city lights and traffic below. You start kissing, the kissing leads to clothes coming off, and what’s that…the rooftop is made of fiberglass?!
5. Join an intramural sports team.
- It’s supposed to be fun, that’s what the people told me who got me to sign up for intramural badminton. Back to back games with international Asian students kicking our a$$es! And then, my partner sprained her ankle and I got tendonitis. For reals.
But then are things that really do bring me happiness!
Despite the pitfalls of fashion trends and a dieting faux pas, there are tried and true things that bring us joy. I started up this blog to test them. Some of my particular favorites are:
1. Movie marathons
- Having been a video store clerk for 5 years, there were times where I wouldn’t go a day without watching at least one movie! Reuniting with favorite characters and quoting lines from your favorite flicks is a comfort thing for me. I love vegging out and having theme movie marathons.
2. Giving and receiving surprises from your friends.
- You can’t beat girlfriends. There’s just nothing like them. It makes my day when a friend surprises me with homemade spring rolls on my porch after a long day at work. And I felt good surprising a friend who was injured after a bike fall with an accessory box – all the fixings to get dolled up and still wear pants, plus a ticket to the new Sex and the City movie!
3. Visiting the library.
- I am a library groupie. I love the library. I rent all my movies and books from here and visit at least once a week. It’s a place to relax, browse new titles, stock up on as much as you want, and chill in a variety of sitting areas and furniture!
4. Simple dinners at home.
- You know what my favorite kind of date night it? Cheese, crackers, and wine at home. I love laid back, romantics evenings. Cooking at home or grilling out, making a meal together is fun. Put on Pandora and enjoy each others’ company. A favorite recommendation: making southwest food and listening to zydeco music, then eating alfresco on the patio.
5. Going for a walk.
- It’s not rocket science, it’s fresh air. Taking a walk is good for you. I’m lucky to live in an area where there’s a marsh and bluffs to walk or hike in. I think nature reminds us to slow down. To literally STOP and smell the roses.
Your turn! What are the things you’ve tried in the pursuit of happiness? And what things have you found that truly bring it? Got a happiness tip for me to try? Share it!
Rules for Life: A Guest Blog by Lyn Midnight
Hey All! It’s another round robin of Life List Club advice and fun! Be sure to spend your holidays de-stressing with us and staying on track with your goals. Today, I’m happy to feature Lyn Midnight from Against the Odds who gives us her rules for life. And I’m sharing all things to be thankful for over at Pam Hawley’s Hawleyville! See you soon!
Lyn Midnight’s Rules for Life
Have I mentioned I like to make lists?
I usually use my super list-making powers for mundane things: people’s birthdays, grocery lists, and guest-posts. Only recently have I realized I’d need a whole other kind of list too. Let me explain.
There are things I know that I want. Then there are things I suspect that I need. Finally, there are things I may want and/or need but absolutely know they’re bad for me. Anyone relating so far? Basically, I made a Rules for Life list. That way, whenever I need some perspective or reminding, the list does both for me. If I’m tempted to do something I shouldn’t do, I look at the list. Granted, sometimes I do it anyway… live and learn, right? But at least I can’t say I didn’t warn me.
To show you what I mean, I’ve included my list below. Feel free to share your own list of Rules for Life or comment on mine. Some items have been omitted for personal reasons. Some other items should have been… maybe. Also, you might notice that the reason I made this list of rules was because of a guy… or a series of ‘wrong guys’ to be exact. Come on, everyone should have related by now!
RULES FOR LIFE:
1. NEVER fall for the same guy twice. NEVER go backwards.
Obviously, I don’t want to go back. Falling for someone and having my heart stomped on once is enough, thank you very much. Moving onto the next heartbreak… at least it’s a step forward.
2. Do NOT fall (or sleep with) a friend.
Ahem. I might as well stamp ‘friend whore’ on my forehead. Let’s just say I’ve been known to fall for my guy friends… which probably has some Freudian explanation I don’t feel like sharing here. However, I do realize I must break the pattern. Friendship should be more important than love/sex. Period.
3. Do NOT dwell on anything.
As you may know, I have my degree in Psychology. This one time I read a paper about men and women’s different styles of coping. If something bad happens, women jump into analyzing what went wrong and venting, while men just ignore and push it aside while they look for appropriate solutions to their problems. To be honest, I’d like to be a guy for this reason alone. They don’t over-analyze or get stuck in over-thinking loops of madness. And this is where I remind myself that I can actually LEARN to do the same. Surprisingly, I’ve gotten better at it with practice.
4. Only consider available guys.
One would think I know this already. Alas, my super self-sabotaging powers override my super list-making ones. Not sure where the desire to humiliate and hurt myself comes from, but it’s very important to keep the emotionally stunted boogie monsters at bay. List-worthy.
5. This item has been omitted. Bloody good one though.
6. Do NOT bring your phone on a night out.
Whoops, I’ve been breaking this rule. I keep hoping that I can keep my phone on me when I go out, and then I make a blunder such as calling or texting someone I should not be calling or texting.
7. Do things as soon as you can.
Postponing’s my bitch. And we’ll live happily ever after…
8. Sleep 8 hours, eat healthy, and stay energized.
Let’s see… I’ve been sleeping 10 hours (bitten by the unemployment bug… or is it called the crisis bug now?). I’ve been eating nothing but Subway, beans, and sweets. Apparently, they mix well together. And I have been stoked on Coca Cola instead of making coffee like a normal person. Sigh.
9. WRITE YOUR BOOKS.
I really wish I didn’t have to include this in the list…
10. Turn every negative thought into a positive one.
This is the big one. If I could do that on a regular basis, I know I’d live a happier life. (Duh.) Even though it’s not as easy as it sounds, the rewards are huge. And lasting. Just ask Dr. Seligman, the foremost specialist in Positive Psychology. I’d definitely give his books a read if I were you.
Now then… give me YOUR rules. I always love good company in list-making!
Lyn Midnight writes in various genres and formats (fantasy, scifi, poetry), and likes to blog about anything her heart desires over at Lyn Midnight Against the Odds. She is currently working on a scifi novel and managing another blog – The Burning of Innocence – where she posts fantasy flash chapters. The person behind the handle is a Psychology graduate and eternal nomad, trying to make her big break somewhere in England. Long live the Queen! And long live our dreams.