Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Contributing to Thanksgiving

Although, I still throw temper tantrums, love watching the Disney channel and obsess over my American Girl doll...I am an adult--like, a full-blown adult who's old enough to start acting like one.... big sigh.

One thing southern adult women do is cook. After the engagement, I vowed not to make the same mistakes twice. One of those mistakes being, never cooking for your family. I've also realized that cooking Sponge Bob Square Pants Mac and Cheese with chopped up weenies does not count as cooking. Nor does going to Central Market, buying the pre-cooked food and transfering it to your own dishes....not that I ever did such a thing--that Chicken Cordon Blue was made from stratch!

With my new outlook on cooking, this past weekend I attempted a Buttermilk Pie. After I made an idiot of myself by asking everyone in the grocery store where I could buy Lemon Zest (if you are as ignorant as I am when it comes to anything domestic, Lemon Zest isn't something you buy,it's something you DO), I went home and tried to "zest" a lemon. Well, guess what, I have NO friggin idea how to zest a lemon, nor do I own a lemon zester or could even tell you where to buy one. That being said,I just improvised and peeled the lemon and stuck it in the pie. Mark was so polite and ate it anyways, dicreatly pulling out the large and painfully bitter lemon peels from each bite that he took.

I want to be a southern cook, just like my mom and grandmothers. I want to fatten up my men with my thick and mind-blowing gravy. I want to fry a pork-chop and know how to make a casserole...I don't even care what kind of cassserole it is, I just want to say, "Hi honey, today I made you a delicous casserole". Doesn't that sound soooo domestic running off of your tongue? I'm even going to buy an apron and when we are married I'll be wearing ONLY the apr....okay, maybe that's TMI. But, what do men like more that food and sex? It will be a Deadly combination.

Although I am quite enthused about my future as a gormet chef, I do not know how to prove to my family that I have moved on from the "bring plates and napkins" kid to the "why don't you throw together one of your delicious dishes" adult. Once again, for Thanksgiving this year I have been told to bring something that required ZERO cooking skills. When you are told to bring some wine, does your family think "Well, she can't cook, but she drinks. We'll just have her bring something in her element"?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Yep, I'm a (almost) stepmom and Yep, I still Love Edward Cullen.

I'm not tooting my own horn, well actually I am...but I'm trying this new humility thing...don't know too much about it but I thought I would give it a shot. Is it bragging when it's TRUE?? Anyways, I am already frickin knocking it out of the park when it comes to the coolness scale of step-moms.

Tonight, I am taking Julz and her friend to the midnight showing of New Moon- for you non-vampire groupies, it's the second movie in the Twilight Saga. Okay, so we have Midnight season premier tickets, which is just cool in itself but on a school night...that's like WAY cool!

I'm happy this is an odd-obsession that I can share with Julia. We both are in love with a fictional vampire. Go figure!?

Monday, November 16, 2009


Wow, what a journey we have been on. (Well, mainly just me but aren't you glad I have the tendency to share TOO much and you have gotten to sit along side me for this crazy rollercoaster?). I'm not sure if you know or not, but my left arm is sore from the freaking fantastic rock of a diamond that is now prettily sitting on my ring finger. Yep, that's right people, I'm engaged!

My first thought after seeing the ring was, "Wow, it's soooo pretty". Second thought was, "Holy Cow, I have a freaking Honda Civic sitting on my finger", which lead to my third thought, "Crap, I sure hope he has it insured".

So am I blissfully happy? YES. Did I find an amazing man? THE BEST. Are my postings going to turn into a wedding obsessed blog filled with images of bouquets, wedding gowns and color palettes? HELL NO. I just wanted to make that clear before, you thought about forgetting about my blog until I went through my NEXT divorce. THAT was a joke...I'm not ever getting another divorce. I will shoot him before he divorces me...also a joking...well kind of.

As I sat in church with my hunk of a FIANCEE', I thought of what a beautiful picture of redemption this has been. We were singing this amazing song and the lyrics said "I don't have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way he loves us".

I have found a man that loves me regardless of my flaws. A man that brings me a diet coke when I say I am thirsty. A man who loves Jesus and isn't ashamed to show it. I have found a man who I am ready to spend the rest of my life with. I adore him and he adores me. At the end of the day, it's not about the ring. It's not about a wedding and it's not about all the hoopla that surrounds it. Yes, that's all well and good but what I am the most thankful for is the man who I said "YES" to.

He is all I could ever want. I love his heart and I am will remember to thank God daily for the precious gift he has given me in Mark. What's even more amazing about Mark, is he isn't the only gift I am getting. I'm getting Mitch and Julia as well. It scares me to think of the impact I will have in those precious children's lives. But, I feel overwhelmed that God has trusted me for them; to be their step-mom. It amazing how instant and deep the love is that I have for them. They bring such joy in my life and will from now on.

I was sinking before I met my Mark, but through grace I was drawn to redemption. God redeemed my sufferings by making something out of it. It hurt like hell, but oh how he love us. He turned my broken heart into joy. I know that there can be a beautiful and blessed life, even after divorce. We can never screw up enough to ruin the will of God. I am so blessed!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Veteran I Love

The Veteran I love is a man who covers his accomplishments with overralls. He has lived a life and seen things so few have seen or will ever see, but you wouldn't know it. He's lived in the same little town he was born in, yet before I was ever born, flew planes over enemy lines in Germany.

The Veteran I love is a simple man. He takes two, maybe three naps a day; loves his wife's cookin and his favorite time of day is sitting on his front porch drinking coffee in the afternoon.

The Veteran I love probably has never read Tolstoy, Aristotle or Alighieri. He's never eaten Sushi or enjoyed a movie other than "Pig Skin Parade" and "Old Yeller". He is not cultured or eloquent in his words. But, if it wasn't for him our cultural freedoms would be much different.

The Veteran I love is my grandfather, my Pop. A World Ward II hero who fought bravely for our freedom. A man who may not remeber where he placed his glasses, but remember's every friend he lost and every friend he saved.

Thank you Pop, for your brave sacrifice. For fighting for freedom and for displaying bravery. You are a Veteran I love and a Veteran I am so proud of.

This day is for you and all who have so bravely served. I love you!

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Smoke Alarm only went off once!

While the cats away, the mice will play!

Mark left his precious goods in my hands and trusted me for a night alone with the kiddies. Although there was one point where I contimplated slipping some lithium into my diet coke, the night was an over-all success.

If I could give advice to anyone that is coming into a relationship where kids are involved it would be: Show them that you love them; that you are their friend and that you aren't as boring as dry toast. Listen, I'm not stupid....happy kids = happy dad. Happy Dad= Happy Jen.

The kids and I indulged in ice cream, chicken fingers, more icecream, halloween candy and stayed up 35 minutes past bedtime! I was the cat's meow last night! The three of us and the two dogs all slept in the same bed. (I'm still recuperating from loosing my pillow and being kicked in the ovary one too many times from the kid beside me doing back flips in his sleep). I have made a mental note that this is a dog too many in the bed, nevertheless, they absolutely loved the slumber party in Dad's bed and I secretly loved it too.

This morning I woke up bright and early, got a shower before the kids woke up and realized that Mitch takes longer to get ready than I do. His grooming regime made me start to sweat as he told me repeatedly that I was doing his hair wrong. But, finally he gave me the thumbs up and made it to the school with stomachs full of donuts, hair styled correctly and all homework done. I'm actually quite proud of myself!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Diet Called Divorce

I've gotten back in the grove of working on my book which has left very little creative juices to stir the pot on my blog. However, I wanted to give you guys a little taste of my book, "A Diet Called Divorce". I have included the first few pages of the book below. I would love any feedback, suggestions or things you hope to read about in the book. I am currently around page 50 in the book and boy, is it juicy! Enjoy!!

Lost a Man and a Pant Size

The best thing about divorce has to be the affects it has on your physique. Sure, divorce diminishes your bank account, shrivels up your savings, pares down your number of friends, and eats away at your heart. But, it also shrinks your ass.

A year ago I stood tear-stained, grief stricken, in need of a shower and 15 pounds over weight in unfamiliar territory. I had recently left my college sweetheart turned husband of three years, the home and the new studded leather couches we bought together, a 250k life insurance plan and I found myself completely alone in a one-bedroom, yellow wallpapered apartment in the ghetto.

The new apartment was filled with all the 2nd hand furniture my husband and I had received from our parents when we were poor and just out of college, all of which we quickly replaced when we both landed above average jobs. Storing the old furniture in our garage had left the old furnishings dusty and obviously neglected. The couch was hiding it’s flaws and tears behind a newly purchased taupe slip cover but even the new pillows that accompanied it, couldn’t keep my apartment from looking like a garage sell had thrown up in it.

Cardboard boxes overflowed and filled the corners of my minuscule new dwelling with the belongings and recollections my husband didn’t want to keep and things I didn’t really want either but had fought for nail and tooth to prove a point, although I’m not sure what point I was trying to prove. The apartment was older and cheap; the furniture was mismatched and used, but it was mine.

I have to admit, my hurt pride kicked in the first few moments in my new place. The ceiling fan was out dated and had that weird mesh pattern from the 80s on it in a lovely shade of poop brown. You had to pull a rusted metal string to turn the lone bulb that served as the light in my closet and the appliances in the kitchen were closer to yellow than the advertised "cream" , But the worst part of it all was it was in the hood. The real hood, not white-people hood which means you have to shop at Wal-mart and not Target.

Sure, I had a few ghetto encounters such as the cat –call, "Hey hot cracka momma you be looking fine" from the gold-chained thug next door who I ended up buying illegal copies of newly released DVDs from for 2 bucks a pop or the kid digging in the dumpster outside my apartment for a Hustler magazine and telling me to "mind my business" when I asked him what he was doing and why he wasn’t in school. Even a white-bread girl like me made quick adjustments from my accustomed life-style.

And as I carried in the last load through the door, the new apartment tricked me into thinking I had just experienced a great taste of freedom. It made me believe that getting a divorce really wasn’t like scraping your face against a cheese grater. Sure, maybe I had to step down a few steps on the ladder of success and turn in a few of the toys you buy to prove it, but at least I wasn’t going to have someone holding me back anymore. This apartment was only temporary, after all and I was going to make sure of it.

Walking into the bathroom I squirted windex on the faded mirror and began wiping it off over and over again until I became content with the fact that I was going to have to look at myself for the next 6 months through clouded vision. It didn’t seem like that bad of a trade off to me. Crappy apartment in exchange for a fuzzy image of myself. I hated the way I looked and the less I had to stare in the mirror, the better. The prom queen who once upon a time stood in the same shoes had been exchanged for a frumpy girl in Target clothes who looked like she could be pretty if she lost a few pounds. I had become a warped version on myself, the mirror simply showed the truth.

A few hours quickly altered my naïve thinking when nightfall came creeping into my apartment, darkening my spirit even more as it darkened my walls. The first night alone in my new place and too broke to buy a television became the loneliest moment of my life. An empty and broken apartment was the equivalent of what had become of my life. I lay on my bare mattress that was desolate on the floor and cried crocodile tears until I thought I had run out.

“How had my life gotten to this?” I gently wept to myself. Shame filled my head and caused an unwillingness to cry out to God to fester itself into my soul. I didn’t speak directly to him, but I was too desperate not to try to reach him some way.

How had I gained the World and married the man of my (and many other’s) dreams, only to loose it all within a few years? This was not the existence I envisioned when I stood at an alter covered in white and pink roses, wearing the designer wedding dress that forced my father to take out a second mortgage on his house to pay for it along with the other forty grand in wedding expenses.

The memories of my husband surrounded me in the packed up boxes and piles of uselessness that I had carried from our home. Pictures that captured a happiness I allowed hurt to trump spilled out from the albums he would soon forget.

Our neighbors, who had been married for over 50 years and living in the quaint house beside us for most of their marriage, quietly watched us pack up the last hope for our marriage from their front porch. They held hands, drank a cup of coffee and rocked back in forth in their wooden porch swing observing a couple who didn’t have the grit they had to make a marriage last. They watched a couple who didn’t know what they knew; a couple who didn’t realize that marriage wasn’t suppose to be easy, nothing that was worth anything ever was. A set of young kids not giving life a chance to work things out, too immature to have ever been married, too immature to figure out how to make things work.

The wrinkles on their faces were webbed with wisdom and sadness as they watched us apologetically from the sidelines. I wiped the beads of sweat falling from my forehead with the back of my hand as I watched my neighbor bring his wife a cup of coffee. There were no words exchanged between the two of them because words were not needed. He knew exactly how she took her coffee and exactly when she wanted it. I, on the other hand, struggled to know what to buy my husband for a birthday present always settling for a gift card that he would politely thank me for with a swift kiss to my cheek. Turning my back to them, I knew I would never see them again. I was too weak and too ashamed to tell them goodbye.

He didn’t want any of our wedding pictures, “you can have them all” he said bitterly as he helped me load up the U-haul I had rented to acquire the rest of my belongings.

“Not even just one?” I whispered, hoping for any signs of remorse and change.

“No,” he said through grinded teeth, “not even one”.

“Stupid, bastard”, I thought to myself as I proudly slammed the door closed on the U-haul truck and started the engine. As I turned out of the driveway, I looked back in the rearview mirror, holding back the tears I felt swelling up and I saw him doing the same.

I almost turned around to tell him I had changed my mind. That I did love him and I wanted to be married to him and only him for the rest of my life. But, I didn’t

Hurt does not begin to explain what I put my ex-husband through. He didn’t want the divorce, so he claims, and choosing to believe him breaks my heart even more. Thousands of times I seeked forgiveness for leaving and thousands of times he has accepted, but his eyes told a different story. His heart is forever hardened and I will always be the bitch he wishes he could forget.

The divorce was a choice that seemed erratic and irrational to most of those around me, but I had my reasons—whether they seemed justified or not. Reasons I won’t expand upon out of respect for the man that I once called my Husband and a love I have for him that will never completely burn out. But the grounds that warranted my leaving was enough for me to walk out the door and leave the man I made a commitment before God to love forever. Although, regret and remorse would soon find me in this journey I was about to embark upon, at that moment, regret was one of the few emotions I was not experiencing; it was relief that was flowing through my veins and making me feel alive for the first time in a long time