Tuesday, August 28, 2012

thankful things...

1. For the love of God Almighty
2. for grace that I know I don't deserve
3. A fabulous funny mother who is my best and loudest cheerleader.
4. Dr. Pepper.
5. Monday night dinners with my girlfriends.
6. A heater in my office that keeps me from freezing.
7. Barrettes for when I'm too lazy to dry my hair!
8. Chocolate covered marshmallows.
9. The best brother I could ask for!
10. Sorority sisters that are some of my best friends, even 11 years later!
11. Red comfy couches.
12. Being able to coupon for my extended family.
13. My favorite arab.

I hope you are thankful today! God is good!!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Love is...

Performing a choreographed routine for your wedding guests.

A grooms cake in the shape of an armadillo.

Kissing your beloved for the first time in front of God and 100 of your friends and family.

Best wishes and blessings to Brad and his beautiful bride PJ!!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hurricane Isaac needs to slow his roll...

This weekend I'm heading out of town to attend my friend Brad's wedding. He's the third in a litany of births, weddings, engagements, and showers that have filled up my calendar!

I am so excited for my friend because I can see what God is doing in his life and in his bride's life too!

6,000 miles from home to find your best friend and bride is pretty cool! After they've officially tied the knot, I'll try to share they're love story. So sweet!

Hope your weekend finds you blessed and busy with people you love!

Mine will be at the beach!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

rose-colored glasses

I've had a busy few weeks!

apparently I needed a reminder of a few things. I have always struggled with how I view me. I really am my own worst enemy. But lately (and by lately, I have to be real vague!) I've been forced to reevaluate how I view me so as not to skew others view of me.

Case in point: I found this photo today. This was half my lifetime ago. I was a baby.

I thought I was ugly.
I thought I was fat.
I thought I was unlovable.
I thought I would never be good enough.

I was dumb!

I cannot go back and impart wisdom into that girl. But the grown woman in me needs to remember where beauty comes from and that an overly critical nature of one's self is a personal disservice as well as dishonors God.

I will say that I would give a great deal of money to have my 16-year old neck. Lucky girl. :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

picture time

Just thought I'd share some photographic proof of the last few months...

Monday, August 6, 2012

the literal icing on the cake.

Because I’m not completely back in my niche of writing again, I’m still struggling with titles.  Y’all are just gonna have to bear with me until I can get myself together again. 

I am continually thankful for the friends that God has placed in my life.  This was one of those weekends to celebrate my friends!  Friday night was low-key as some friends and I headed to Chatty to buy decorations for a second grade class.

Saturday, I woke up with the cleaning bug.  Four hours, two garbage bags, and 7 target organizers later, my bathroom looked like a brand new place!  As a sidenote, thanks to Pinterest and a few too many episodes of hoarders, I reorganize my cabinets with some frequency.  I never cease to be amazed at how often things expire.  Also, I need people to stop pinning highly coordinated, perfectly organized cabinets/pantries/spaces on Pinterest because I can’t make myself stop trying to recreate them in my home!  Sadly, I have no photographic proof, but I will say that I’ve enjoyed an immaculately clean bathroom countertop for approximately 36+ hours.  Hoorah.

Saturday afternoon, I headed up to Cleveland for a birthday party, specifically the ninth birthday part of my sweet Riley Jo.  I cannot believe she is nine!  Nine.  365 days from TEN.  I love this sweet girl and her funny heart.  The way she squishes up a smile on her face when she’s being mischievous.  The way she draws in her shoulders and purses her lips when she gets shy.  She is such a talented softball player too.  To her mom’s credit, I’ve been to a lot of birthday parties, but this was the best turnout I’d ever seen.  Seriously like thirty-five kids showed up.  I hope she racked up with some fun stuff.  As her Mom’s best friend, my gift was cash.  Praise God and pass the Alexander Hamiltons.

Saturday night (I know, shouldn’t I be done with this day already??), I drove back to town to have dinner with some friends.   All of my close Dalton friends are teachers.  Ashley was kind enough to let me get my “I wish I’d been a second grade teacher” fix this weekend.  There is something deep within me that gets very excited when I see laminated sheets that need to be cut out.  Accountants aren’t really known for their arts and crafts skills as you can imagine.  After church yesterday, we worked hard and finished up Ashley’s classroom.  I have always loved handwriting and was that nerdy little girl who practiced her a lot!  Yesterday, I was able to write the names of her twenty-one students several times, on paw prints and owls and helper sheets, and the like.  I couldn’t help but say a small prayer over each little student, praying that God uses my friend to touch their little lives.  This was a good weekend for my “love tank” to get filled up.  Lots of friends, a lot of quality time, and cake.

Let’s be honest, icing has a way of making things a little bit better. Or at least a little bit sweeter to swallow.


Friday, August 3, 2012

the spark

My mom finally asked me about my date tonight. Dating can be a touchy subject with my family, if for no other reason than it seems to highlight an apparent "failure" in my life. I get defensive in convos about it, so I'm generally hesitant to discuss much.

I have been so lucky in my life to feel "sparks" with people. (Sparks are not grand fireworks, just small flickers of something exciting.) Each of the three loves of my life all had some magnetic, some electric quality about them that I felt. I know it's corny, but so true for me. I don't base how I feel about platonic relationships on sparks. That's not realistic. (and I would have missed out on some incredible folks in my life.) But because I've felt them before, I need them again.

I had the privilege to go on a lovely date with a very nice guy this week. He was very nice and straightforward (a refreshing change from most guys I know!), but after talking to him on the phone and in person, I felt nothing. He made it very clear that he was interested to pursue me. And despite my mother's protests, I cannot in good conscious continuing seeing someone who has feelings that I don't share. Because I have had people do that to me, and I know how it feels long term, I think it's cruel to do to others.

But in the course of the conversation with my mom, she shared that she never once felt a spark. She just didn't want to be alone.

My mom has raised my brother and I to be fiercely independent people, almost too much at times. So I couldn't help but be intrigued to hear her say no sparks. Ever. Nothing. Nada.

And I don't know what that feels like. I am not looking for a warm body to fill a space in my bed.

But I am looking for a spark. Even if it's a little one.


... with evidence to back my story up...

Since I quit writing for a spell, there are some very hilarious things that I feel I should have shared. 

I got proposed to.  (I have a video that I will try to post.)  At the time (this past spring), he was 16 (to date, he is 17), and I told him no strictly on the merits that the state of Georgia frowns on that via misdemeanor/felony.  And that I’m old enough to be his teen mom.  It should be noted that, if he were ten years older, this would be the blog of a very happily married woman.  I kept my fake engagement ring as a memento though.

There is another sweet kid from church (he actually just graduated from high school, but once you turn 30, everybody under 29 is a kid) who will only refer to me as “The AMAZING Jenn Calhoun”.  In what I can only describe as his version of a superhero commentator voice.  I am not amazing. Also, I have text messages that I will try to photo to prove this.

(Sidenote: This past Wednesday night, I had a lady ask me if I would be opposed to a green card marriage to her nephew in another country?  UMMMM… yes.  I want a real husband, not a spouse on paper!  She was visibly disappointed that I wasn’t open to the idea.  Although my coworkers suggested I ask how much it was worth... (KIDDING).)

These boys make me laugh.  Who knew that in my 30’s, I’d have an entourage of teenagers following me?  Jennifer Lopez, I am not.  What I do know, is that I have a hard time receiving compliments.  I can lavish them on you with fervor, but I am not good at receiving them.  But sometimes, God has a hilarious and humbling way to give you what you need, even when (and how) you wouldn’t expect it.  I have told each of these sweet guys that I know without a doubt, that God is using them to pour into me for my husband. 

And there’s still the issue of the date…  but that’s gonna take a post of it’s own.

Somebody needs to like IT and put a ring on IT,

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Recently, I finished a book.  For me, and maybe only me, there is something deep inside that inspires me to write.  I would also like to assume that, based on my lack of writing, it’s obvious that I haven’t read anything lately.  Life, it happens.

The subject matter, ultimately a story of coming clean, only drives why I think I need to write.  To be vulnerable.  To be honest, even at the prospect of not getting any response in return.  I have a date.  And I’m terrified.  I think I’ve finally hit that place where I’m equally as terrified to move forward as I am terrified that I’m going to stay in a state of permanent singleness.   It’s the relational version of Schrodinger’s cat.  (Five points if you can tell where I referenced that from.) 

I took an entire year (May 31, 2011 – May 31, 2012) where I took dating completely off the table.  For the first time in my life, I genuinely put it aside, completely acknowledging that there is more that I want God to do in me and through me.  To be alone with just Him.  At first it was easy.  A sweet peace.  Until a guy crept in.  And flirted.  And flirted so shamelessly that friends pulled me aside in bathrooms and pointed out that He. Flirted.  It was all very Saved by the Bell.  Except that I’m the girl that falls hard and fast and can’t move on. But of course, he can, and did. (Without a doubt, this is a perfect time to mention that he moved on by trying to ask out not one, but TWO of my friends.  You are not as smooth as you think, Rico Suave. Girls talk.) And so I tried to regain my focus.  And repent and just love on Jesus.  And my year ended, just as seamlessly as it had begun. 

And here I am, two months post commitment.  A boy asked for my number. (I shudder.)  He calls.  (I am so terrified that I contemplate throwing up or showering instead of listening to the voicemail.)  I listen to the voicemail.  (I also take a shower.)  I call back.  I am judgmental of him based on what I heard.  He asks me out.  I say yes, with only hesitation in my head not my voice.  I am completely freaking out. (Present tense intentional.)

I do not have an inflated image of who I am.  I know I struggle with a gaggle of insecurities that would baffle most men, including all of my friends.  I work tirelessly to hide them, only showing them when I have to, when the cracks are so large in my heart that I can’t hide them, or at least can’t hide them all.

I pray and I hope and I dream, but when I am presented with reality, with this reality, I can’t help but find my stomach in my throat and my knees shaking.  Singleness is safe.  Saying you want something and actually pursuing it are two completely different things. 

What I know (and MUST accept) is that I have doled out enough advice that it’s time for me to shut up and listen to those who love me.  Who will pour into me the same way I have poured into them -- with love and respect for their advice. 

I have no idea what sharing this means.  It’s just me being vulnerable.   I guess this also probably means that I should keep you posted.

Over and out.