Tag Archives: throwback thursday

My Reigning Days as Miss Midwest Afro Queen

When talking about a girl’s body image, you have to go back. Waaaaaay back. All the way to the early years. Because a child will remember if people noticed her and whether they said nice things or a plethora of backhanded compliments. You know the ones.

Oh she’s as skinny as a beanpole!”

WHAT THE HELL IS A BEANPOLE???

She eats just like a bird!”

THAT’S CAUSE YOUR EGG SALAD HAS SHELLS IN IT, LADY!

Thankfully what I remember hearing is comments about my hair. I had long strawberry blonde hair and strangers would often comment to me or my mother how beautiful it was. They also commented occasionally on my freckles, which when you’re 6 are adorable. I can’t say the same at 28 because now I only have them on my arms and they’re called moles.

*le sigh*

Back to my hair. On nights before big school days, my mom would often braid my hair in two pigtails. Then one or both of my older brothers would grab hold of the braids, making motorcycle noises as they “drove” me screaming around the house.

The next morning, my mother would help me get dressed in some sort of skort or jumper, as that is all my closet consisted of. Then she would take out the braids and begin brushing my hair.

Then she would brush even more…

and brush just a little bit more…

until my hair was the equivalent of one of those static electricity balls you see at science fairs.

And that is why I held the title of Miss Midwest Afro Queen, circa 1991.

Exhibit A:

Afro Hair 1Exhibit B:

Afro Hair 2Exhibit C:

Afro Hair 3Exhibit Holy Friggin D:

Afro Hair 4Thank god there was no such thing as selfies then! My hair wouldn’t even fit in the shot!

 Afro Hair - close upI used Xpro II to make me look tan.
What do you think?

 Tell me your thoughts! What comments did you hear growing up?
What fashion choices make you happy instagram wasn’t around then?

Should my mother be allowed to touch anyone else’s hair?

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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 and jessi's bdayShe’s the photogenic one.

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.

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This is Cat and I pretending to be Oscar Girls at the 2012 Academy Awards. We are now forged eternally as “Sisters in Sequins.”

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This is Cat on her wedding day. I was so honored to be the officiant for her and her husband.

Photo credit: Kelly Ottesen Photography

Photo credit: Kelly Ottesen Photography

This is Cat at Circus World in 2011. Yah, she’s the one who witnessed me smashing my face into an animal cage.

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Here we are out for Halloween 2010. She was Amelia Earhardt and I was Mrs. Peacock.

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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!

Little Kiss

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!

Easter 2010

College. 2007. I had just crashed my car after having it about a month.
Cat and I had just become close friends.

College 2007

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?

Throwback Thursday: Dear Diary Edition

In search of the perfect Throwback Thursday post for this week, I happened upon a fascinating little book called…my first diary.

I was 10 when I started writing in it.

diary excerpt3

Classy right? I mean, nothing screams “Miss Havisham: The Early Years” like brocade fabric and a floral arrangement. Add some dust to the bears and I’m set.

No, seriously. If y’all catch me wandering the blogosphere in my wedding dress, wearing only one shoe…somebody better speak the fuck up!

Look at the lock on this thing?! I picked it with a bobbypin.

diary excerpt4Who, exactly, is this going to keep out?

I guess it’s a good thing I at least hid the book somewhere safe because otherwise the kids on the playground might have decrypted my code names for the boys in our class.

diary excerptIf you can’t read my writing, it says:

“I’m sort of calling the boys names like tweeter butt, piddle skiddle, flem wad, emo ponco, tonto, estupedo,…”

I vote here and now we bring piddle skiddle and tweeter butt back!

*begins painting picket signs – Long Live Tweeter Butt! Piddle Skiddle is my Homie!”

Here’s another glistening dewdrop of an entry from my 10 year old self:

diary excerpt2Eh-hem:

“Dear Diary,

I decided I don’t want a boyfriend. I can wait.

I’m in a reading program!! It is fun.

I’m on break for piano lessons. I’m glad.

I’m not mad at anyone. That’s good, huh.

I have 3 penpals: Andrea, Jessica, and Katie. Their (yes, I know it should be ‘They’re’) from PA, WA, and WI.

Ok. Let’s just ponder this post shall we?

I think, rather I KNOW, my favorite part is “I’m not mad at anyone. That’s good, huh.”

In true form, I used my diary as a venting tool, and I’m betting I’m not the only one who did so. Therefore, the majority of its pages are filled with angry content about how mean all my siblings are and what backstabbers my best friends are.

Can someone say redheaded temper???

I can graciously say that I no longer fill my diary’s pages with name calling and hate letters. I’ve grown up since then. But there’s something to be said for the way a child gets things off her/his chest and moves on. They fume for the length of a page and then they wonder what’s for dinner. As adults, we don’t always heal so easily. As funny as these diary entries are, they are also a good reminder not to dwell on the negative things in life, but to move forward and enjoy the positive. Like reading programs. 😉

Did you ever keep a diary?
What shocking things did you scribble on its pages?
Do you journal now? What do you like/dislike about it?

 

Throwback Thursday: Here Comes the Bride

As little girls we daydream about what our wedding day will be like.

I was so obsessed with it I wore my grandmother’s old slips and paraded around our front porch, two steps at a time and always in a straight line. I went through boxes of kleenex by piecing together homemade gowns for my Barbie dolls.

Now that I’m actually wedding planning, I can’t wait for the day to be over and the stress of really planning a wedding to be gone.

Soooo THAT’S the reason all the Disney movies go from first kiss to wedding to credit roll. It wouldn’t be a fairytale anymore if you had to listen to Cinderella talk about table settings with her stepsisters. Or see Snow White hit her prince over the head with the registry scanner because she wants 500-thread count sheets and he wants low ball glasses on clearance.

But as of last week, I made the last payment on my wedding gown and got all my accessories.

Let’s hope it’s an improvement from my dress-up box days.

wedding dress

What things did you daydream about as a kid that were different once you experienced them?

 

Throwback Thursday: Blossom was my Idol

Do you remember the TV show, Blossom, about a girl who grows up in a house of all men and imagines what a more normal life would be like?

This is Blossom.

This is my Blossom impersonation.

This is my Blossom impersonation.

It has all the wrong right elements, don’t you think? Clothes that hang down too long (I was going for the no shoulder look), hideous prints, and a floppy flower hat.

I was obsessed with that show. Blossom was a bookworm who didn’t know much about the world, and I could empathize.

Who were your style icons when you were young?

Throwback Thursday: Pajama Party

Meet my parents.

Here’s another glimpse into my writing project this week. I’ve spent more time editing the chapters about my family’s restaurant than any other chapters. So much to fit in.

This throwback thursday features another themed New Year’s Eve Party – pajama jammer. My pops wore long underwear, and if I know him, the butt flap was probably open. (But he would have had undies underneath!) At least, I hope so.

I’m pretty sure I had a Christmas dress at one point that matched my mother’s nightgown.

And you can see I’m modeling a very similar plaid ensemble. (pronounced un-some-bleh)

I’m calling this shot…Escanaba in da Moonlight meets The Berenstein Bears.

Pajama Party

What’s a funny memory you have of your parents?
Can’t think of one…what about the way they dressed you? Huh, huh?

Throwback Thursday: I Call This My Anne of Green Gables Look

Since I’m writing about my childhood, I thought I’d share a few throwback thursday pics.

I call this one my Anne of Green Gables look. I mean, look at that straw hat!

Anne of Green Gables LookP.S. I am totally holding the lyric book to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat soundtrack.

I knew every word. Every. Word.

Love and Green Gables,

Jess

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