Friday, February 29, 2008

A better place

I will miss them.  They were such an important part of my life the last 3 yrs.  I wonder if they will be happy where they are going?

I'm sure they are in a better place.

Rest in Peace

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Joyfully




"To have joy one must share it. Happiness was born a twin." -Lord Byron

well, we're not twins but we certainly are a pair!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mr. Home Depot

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Buying out Home Depot. Good thing I have a big strong man to carry my new toilet!

day 1

video



So I knew when I left this morning that Lance would have fun with out me...but little did I know how much fun he would actually have...

did you watch my fun video yet?

He tore out everything from my bathroom...well, the toilet's still there...and the tub...the sink will be gone soon too...but for sure the walls and ceiling are history.

It's kind of fun to have a clean slate.

Yup.

Always good to have a clean slate.

It will be fun to see what the finished product will look like. I already love it.

more pics later I'm sure.

Ever hear that expression "A couple who plays together stays together" ? or how about " A couple who prays together stays together" ? or how about "A couple who wears masks, work side by side dragging bags of old nasty insulation out to the alley stays together" ? yeah, I didn't think so. But now you can say you heard it here first!

later!

gonna go look at my walls...or studs...or future walls with studs? never mind...clearly I am not the lead on this project...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

share the love

If you live near me you've probably already met Lance. If you don't, you have something to look forward to. In the meantime...feel free to check out his sweet blog and he's nice so you can say hi if you want...you can also find him on facebook and myspace...if you happen to be my friend on those sites you will easily find him ;)

http://blowingblessings.blogspot.com/


Friday, February 22, 2008

walker texas ranger

Go to Google.com type in "find chuck norris" hit i'm feeling lucky. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

my glass house

The thing about living in a glass house is you really don't know who is looking.  Or who cares to look.  Or who happens to be looking in your general direction.  Or who is camped on your front lawn with a bag of pop corn.  You pray that none of them have rocks in their pockets.  And on with your life you go.

My glass house became very fun to look at recently.  

The thing people will find is that even when I know for a fact that people are looking at my glass house, I am still me.  No show here.  Just a girl, making good choices, loving, messing up, laughing at dumb jokes, spending to much time on my cell phone, staring at her left hand a lot. Just me.  

Last night there was a group of about 8 girls, probably Jr. High age, standing outside of a class I was trying to get in...some of them I have seen before, a couple were brand new faces, although I'm sure they have been a part of our church for years.  They were all so excited about my ring and my story.  One more reminder that my glass house is being watched.  I pray that each of those girls sees a woman of integrity who makes good choices when it comes to men.  If they see that, they may start to believe it's possible.  And it is.  So many people are convinced otherwise though.  To settle for less than God's best.  To doubt their own self worth and become entangled with people and situations that are to their detriment.  I hope a glimpse into my glass house makes an impression on their lives.  The truth of things being that you can remain a woman of integrity living passionately for God and still get your fairy tale ending.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

friendship

There is something so nice about being able to just sit next to a friend, spend a day together not talking, taking naps with the tv on in the background, eating mac n' cheese and just being.  Good times or bad.  There is a level of communication that goes on that words don't do justice. Knowing you are loved just as you are.  Knowing there is a safe place to just be.  Having enough history with someone to know what's not being said.  I am lucky to have friends like this in my life.  
Today was proof that I have a blessed life.


Monday, February 18, 2008

I feel dizzy dizzy

I woke up with a cold this morning.  But I still managed to head to the MOA and spend the day riding rides with kids from church.  It was fun.  I was dizzy just standing still so you can imagine how fun the rides actually were when you add in all that spinning too!  
I took a little gal who is 4 on the timber land twister.  I was a little afraid she would be traumatized...but besides a couple moments of sheer terror on her face she seemed to like it.  She probably wouldn't admit if she hadn't cause all the other kids were saying how much fun they had. Peer pressure starts so young!

FYI. I still think the Frog Hopper is the most fun ride around.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Answered Prayer

I turned my heart to God. I asked him to show me who he had for me. The journey was interesting. It was terrible at times. It was laughable even. It seemed pointless at times. It felt forced at others. I was weary from the search so I stopped looking. I was to overwhelmed by my life anyways, so much was going on with my family and with my health and I just needed to take a step back. But I still prayed. Lord you know the desires of my heart. I want to be wanted. I want to be loved. I want health. I want a family. I want someone who is there with me doing life. I want someone who will pray with me. For me. I want to be wanted. I want to be in your will Lord.

And wouldn't you know it. The Lord heard my hearts cry. He directed my path. And he has given me a gift. A man who loves me. A man who loves God. A man who values family. A man who is strong and tender. A man who wants me.

Lance is the answer to my prayer. I turned my heart to God and He turned my heart towards Lance.

And now I am an engaged woman! He prayed for us and blessed the ring and our future and I couldn't speak. He asked me to marry him and I couldn't speak. I tried to say yes. I was lost in the moment of a prayer being answered right before my eyes.

Simply sweet. I am in love. I am getting married. I am trusting God every day. The future is so bright.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentines Joy

This was my first Valentines day with Lance. The only one that's ever mattered.

Here are a few pics from our day together...

I hope everyone reading had a love filled day!!! and even though today isn't Valentines day...I hope today is love filled too!!!

(ps...if you are stopping by my blog via my sister-in-law's post...this isn't the blog she was talking about...although there is a lot of joy to go around! just read back a couple posts and you'll be all caught up...thanks for the shout out Mrs B!)


Lance's gift to me was a necklace from Tiffany's. Pretty much perfect. It was one I had seen before and loved...




I got him socks ;-) and some other stuff too...and the socks DO have hearts on them so...


we spent some time at the MOA having lunch with his parents and checking out the new roller coasters...


Isn't he cute? and the restaurant was lovely...roses and candle light and delightful company...


I love my pretty necklace :)



I am a lucky woman. I know it. I really do.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Here ya go




Someone emailed me one of the pics of her dancing with the little girl today so I guess I can share!

Isn't it just delightful?

real joy

"Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile."Sir Wilfred Grenfell

I have a friend who is fighting some pretty yucky physical issues. She has been at Mayo for something like 5 mo. She uses a wheel chair now because she doesn't have the energy to walk. I have had the opportunity to visit her and her best friend who is by her side at all times a handful of times over those months. Each time we would visit they would tell us about how they had started wheel chair dancing in the atrium of Mayo when ever they could find a piano player. It started as something spontaneious and has turned into something that people look forward to almost every day. She closes her eyes, her best friend twirls her wheel chair around and with arms waving and the most peaceful look on her face she expresses her heart in motion. Whether it's Amazing Grace or I Could Have Danced All Night, her peace touches those watching.

Yesterday someone came through while we were talking, asked if he could play us a song...he picked something beautiful and haunting and she danced.

I watched her for a while.

Then I watched the faces of the people watching her.

Mortality.
So real.
Pain.
So real.
Grief.
So real.
Hopelessness.
So real.

These people are there fighting for their very lives. From all over the world.

And for a moment. A glimpse of hope. A glimpse of peace. A glimpse of joy. A touch to the very heart and soul.

My friend has not been able to recieve a diagnosis much less a cure. We pray for healing. So much healing is needed. And through the simple act of dancing in a wheel chair I could see on faces that hearts were experiencing healing. God is answering our prayers for healing. And he is using her sickness. There is healing and then there is healing.

They have had endless opportunities to talk with people about the hope they have. The hope that comes from Jesus Christ. To offer healing. The kind that can turn you inside out and leave you breathless and change you forever.

I am including a link to an article written about them and a picture of them dancing. They gave me a picture of her dancing with a little girl melted into her lap dancing with her that completely captures the very essence of peace for me. It's not digital so I can't share it yet but maybe one of these day I will scan it and show you. It will touch your heart. In the meantime, enjoy this picture and check out the link.






Monday, February 11, 2008

the princess and the pea

Do you know the fairy tale of which I speak?
I have my own version...

There once was a princess named Jamie Willow...most people didn't know she was a princess until the mattress and closet incident...she was spening an amazing weekend with a group of amazing women...she slept on a mattress in a room with someone who snored...so she snuck out of her room, away from her mattress and slept on a couch instead. She couldn't move the next morning because princesses don't sleep well on couches, even the big cushy leather ones that look like they should be comfortable...so she spent the day in a massage chair and a jacuzi bath...and insisted on moving her mattress into a closet! People thought she was acting like a princess...and she was because that's what princesses do...she slept like a princess that night in her magical little closet. It was a closet fit for a princess!

Fairy tale finished!

The real story...
Besides my dramatic sleeping arrangement...I can truly say that this weekend was one of the most refreshing times I have had in ages. It was unexpected and truly touched my life.

I did some scrapbooking...not much considering I wanted to finish my book that I was working on but I did get through the stuff that was holding me back from finishing so all in good time I will get to the rest.

I knew about half the ladies (there were 16 of us) previous to this weekend and the other half were friends of the ladies I knew so it had the potential of being a nice time. What I didn't expect was for how sweet of a time it would be. Truly sweet.

The reason most of these women are as beautiful as they are is because of their spirits. Gentle spirits with hearts that long for more of God in their lives. There wasn't a flashy person in the bunch...just a lot of women who work day in and day out to create lives that are honoring to God. There was little to no pretense. I may have been one of the most guarded people there in some ways. It was a personal challenge to me to let my guard down and just be myself. I took the challenge and probably went a little to far considering I didn't change out of my pajama's on saturday until dinner. lol.

But I also had some great honest conversations with the ladies around me in regards to what is going on in my life, with where I am at with God, with what I want out of my relationships, all sorts of things were discussed. Heated discussions about the nature of God and the truth of his word, along with tears for the hard times just survived and the healing that comes from moments like these where you can be transparent with people who will turn with you to God for answers and peace.

Yes I scrapbooked. I got like 28 pages done. But I also took a deep breath, let it out and just enjoyed myself and let God speak to me. That was the true value of this weekend for my life.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

goin' scrappin'

I'm leaving in the morning for a fun filled weekend of embelishments, scissors, pretty paper, adhesives, girl talk and a really great massage chair. I am getting excited. Not there yet. Might not be until I arrive.

I stayed late tonight to get everything in order so I can be gone for a sunday. I am rarely gone for a sunday so it will be strange...I am leaving things in good hands though and there's a great line up of people who will take care of all the little darlings who are here.

I'm off to the grocery store to buy gatorade and bread...my items for the trip...gatorade for me, bread for lunch on saturday with all the ladies...

The nice thing is that I don't have to spend any money ahead of time for scrappin' supplies, I am well stocked and have a plan. I am going to finish the project I started for my sister ages ago! And now that I've written it out I have all of you to hold me accountable!

oh yeah...I need to pack...dang...better get a move on...

sweet.

gotta run kiddos...I'll catch ya sometime next week!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

40 days

Starting tomorrow, there are 40 days until Easter.

I wasn't raised to participate in lent and I really don't know a ton about it or it's history but I love the idea of being intentional about preparing myself for Easter. It is easy to celebrate it as just another holiday, or a big sunday for the church world...when in reality it is the crux of what I base my life on. It is my foundation. Jesus. His sacrifice. His life and death and resurrection.

So I will prepare myself in my own way for the next 40 days. I will give something up, deny myself something simple as a reminder of what is really important, as a reminder each day to stop and be thankful for the gift I have been given.

I know my girls in NC participate, we started this tradition together back in college. I think I still have a copy of the article I read that inspired me somewhere in a file. I will have to search it out. I skipped doing it last year and it was missed, I won't miss it again if I can help it. It's a good thing to include in my life.

I am just so grateful to have a relationship with God. Doing something like this could seem like a ritual or a religious thing but for me it's all about participating in the relationship I have with God in a way that is tangible.

Here we go!


Philippians 2:1-11
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

smrt

I am so smrt, I am so smrt!!!

Been working all afternoon on sorting out my 2007 receipts...for tax purposes and then for my medical spending stuff too...I am a fairly smart woman but man, they do not make these things easy to figure out. And I had an exceptional amount of medical things happen last year...yowsa! But I think I am starting to get it all to make sense...match up...all that fun stuff...and now...everything's going to change...part of the fun of working for a small business...always shopping for new insurance and ways of doing things...I sure hope this next years stuff is easier to understand!!!
I think I finally have my tax situation mastered...I really do very little, just get it all together and make an appointment with my tax lady! I am on my way!

okay, I am going to get back to it...I just needed to take a little break...

Monday, February 04, 2008

A Success

So this last weekend we had our annual We Love Kids Banquet...we called it our WLK Half Time Show. A sports theme seemed fitting since it fell on the weekend of the superbowl. Funny thing about that is that every year for every event we did, one of the guys I work with would have an epiphany moment for allllll of them and say "I've got it! we need to do a sports theme!" and he'd get shot down every time. I mean it could be the valentines banquet or a mother daughter tea and he'd say it should be a sports theme...we threw him for a loop this year and actually went for it before he even had his epiphany moment!
We ended up with 447 kids...which was a record for this event...a couple hundred volunteers and a great time was had by all. I actually can't believe how well it all went...there are always ways to improve any thing you do so of course we have our list for future planning but I was so pleased with how it all went.
I wish there was a way to capture what it feels like to be in a room with 447 kids and the energy that lights up every face. I took some pictures of course and they are fun to look at so enjoy and I am going to go stare or do something that requires little thought because I am still a little fried from all the fun!
(oh yeah...my costume was a t-shirt with boxing bunnies on it and some bunny ear thingies with foot balls on the ends...and some garland with footballs on it tucked into my belt loops...yeah...not really much of a plan went into what I wore this time around...but the little ones really dug my antanna's so it's all good)




The perils of exercising...

DO NOT SWALLOW CHEWING GUM!!!!

Friday, February 01, 2008

kinda...not really....

funny that is...

I've been trying to leave the church for the last half hour...

My final step was to look for my shoes...carelessly tossed aside earlier so I could take a turn through the giant inflatable with a couple cutie kids...

No where to be found.

I know where I took them off and they weren't there...so I wandered everywhere I've been today in case someone had decided to bring them to me...I've been everywhere so that took a while...still no shoes.

I was debating how ridiculous I would look in my black sandle high heels I keep in my office and what that might look like with my white socks tip toeing out to my jeep across an icy parking lot. ROTFL! haha! I almost want to do it so I can say I did.

But alas. I began looking into locked offices, peering through windows with my nose pressed against the glass...lo and behold...they were sitting on a table in the charter schools main office. I, of course, do not have a key for that so I waved at my shoes and traipsed off to find a custodian.

We are reunited and ready to head home finally!

I really thought you all should know.

And that's all she wrote!

little link for a laugh

this cracks me up. and I totally saw him once at a rodeo here in mpls...he was a cute little monkey in person too :)

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So Much to Love

I love people. I love bright eyes. I love my sons, Judah & Lucas. I love laughing. I love my ringtone. I love love. I love Jesus. I love tattoos. I love milk. I love creative expression. I love smiles. I love Philippians. I love bridges. I love my house and haven. I love a rainy night. I love doing nothing. I love almonds and banana chips. I love music. I love cowboy hats. I love Anna Maria Island. I love (diet) dr.pepper. I love a good story. I love wildflowers. I love to fly. I love rod iron. I love babies. I love going to the movies. I love midnight. I love allegra. I love sunsets. I love long kisses. I love the color red. I love starshollow. I love community. I love doing life with friends. I love witty banter. I love jessilynn.com. I love my family. I love pretty things. I love cruisin' with my girls. I love remembering when. I love authentic individuals. I love hot tamales. I love when kids giggle. I love Lance. I love bonfires. I love finding people I thought I'd lost. I love yard sales. I love tacobell. I love seeing people do good. I love violins and steel guitar. I love driving to the airport. I love seeing people around me succeed at their dreams. I love being included. I love flipflops. I love blogging. I love long talks. I love dreaming.

Always On My Mind

Welcome to my blog.  I am glad you stopped by!  I choose to write my thoughts and share the joys of my life in this forum.  I hope you will read and say hi when you can!  Blessings!
Jamie
Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wing. Only one thing endures and that is character. 
~Horace Greeley