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take a sad song, and make it better

July 1, 2017
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I never thought I’d be writing this, but I believe it is time.

A lot has been going on in my little world for years now- a lot that I’ve kept close to my chest; a lot that I haven’t talked about. I can’t talk about some of it and I don’t entirely want to talk about the rest of it. It’s been… overwhelming. Heh. I don’t even really know how I’ve held it together. My whole fucking entire world has been on my shoulders, and now that it’s in pieces, well… I’m just so apathetic about it. I mean. I fought so hard for it… and now it’s gone. I lost. It feels. so. twisted. I feel guilty for even writing that because I don’t want to offend my parents or anyone else, but sometimes when I think too hard, or think at all, I’m just… what the fuck, y’all. What the fuck. How did my life become this?

Anyway, to cut to the chase and to make a very very (very) long and complicated story short and simple— The Sanders Family is now a split family.

Dad is living apart from Mom and they’re working on a disillusion. And that’s not all! They are also both seeing people they intend to stay with. We get to navigate all the life changes at once!

Dad is with a gracious, kind, intelligent and beautiful artist named Suzanne. She is like this sociable Bohemian-esque free spirit with long flowy hair who paints for a living and has friends and stuff, haha.  For those of you who’ve known my dad all these years, your eyes are probably bugging out of your head right now. I know! mine are, too! I used to think- if anything ever happened to Mom, Dad was sure to become a hermit or something in a house full of his hundreds of hobbies. I thought that surely he’d find new instruments to play that no one has ever heard of, and spend the rest of his days playing records/listening to NPR and making things out of wood.  I am, of course, thankful that I like Suzanne, as unexpected as she is! Mom seems to be okay with Suzanne. Suzanne it seems is also willing to accept our wackadoo clan and hang out with all of us as a family… I mean, the situation at this point is as positive as one could hope… And I don’t know what else to say, y’all- that’s that! We will see how the future unfolds.

My mom has been a bit more private about her situation, so I guess I won’t talk about that yet.

Sometimes I have fantasies that we will end up like Modern Family where we are all quirky and dysfunctional AF but we are still one family, for better or worse, forever. But I am also trying not to get my hopes up, because being let down still feels raw and incredibly painful. Right now? I just don’t want to care. I’m done caring. I’m tired of caring. I have cared too intensely for far too long and it’s time to rest. Right now I just want to be selfish. Like, I want to be a child that tests my boundaries to see how unconditionally loved I actually am. (Am I?) I don’t want to be nice. (I am not not being nice!) I don’t want to try to hold this together and make this work. I need other people to figure this out.

I am thankful I have both of my parents, and they love me and my kids. I am sure to not take that for granted, and I count my blessings every day.


Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Happy TWO YEAR Wedding Anniversary To Us

October 7, 2014
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The Evolution of Keith and Jess

A Short History Full Of So Many Changes!

Falling in Love May 2011

Falling In Love May 2011

Keith n Jess 7Keith n Jess 2.1

Engaged April 2012

Engaged April 2012

Keith n Jess 6Keith n Jess 8

Married September 2012

Married September 2012

Keith n Jess 11Kdeith n Jess 16

Baby On The Way September 2014

Baby On The Way September 2014

I love my husband more than words can say. I am forever grateful for our partnership and friendship, and I am so happy to have a daughter together! I feel entirely fortunate that this is my life and that I get to spend it with him.

Happy Two Years, Keithy!

My Surprise Anniversary Roses

My Surprise Anniversary Roses

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

I am in love.

August 4, 2014
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On Saturday evening Keithy and I had some time to ourselves, which doesn’t happen often. (My schedule usually works out to where I get Adry when I’m not working or sleeping and I’m working when I don’t have Adry.) So Keith made some corn on the cob and washed some bing cherries, packed our picnic basket, and we headed out for a sunset picnic at Whetstone Park of Roses.
It was beautiful and relaxing and romantic.
I don’t think I’ll ever go a day not feeling incredibly in love and fortunate to have Keith as my life partner. Not only does he feed me and make me laugh, we can also just be. be together. Not talking, enjoying the sounds of a summer evening in each other’s arms.

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Keithy setting up the picnic

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Triumph? I don’t know.

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Keithy got this lovely photo of me stuffing my face with cherries…

So I got this one of him with his face in his corn:
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You’re welcome

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I’d SO been craving our Green Bean corn, and it was delicious!

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It was neat and somehow therapeutic to watch the dew form on the grass as the sun set.

I’m so thankful to be spending my life with Keith Martin.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Jessie got married!

June 30, 2014
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On June 7th, 2014 I got to watch (and participate as a bride’s maid) another one of my lifey friends get hitched.

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(I feel like there are only a few singles left in the group! We’ve all grown up! Ah!)

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My husband is a .Dancing. .Machine.! Oh my gosh, it is so fun to watch him move and have a blast. He danced his sexy husband butt off the entire frickin’ reception. He’d break for a minute or two, then start bobbing his head and moving his hips to the next song and soon enough he’d leave mid-conversation and move right back onto the dance floor.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Valentine’s Day 2014

February 26, 2014
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This year Valentine’s Day fell in the middle of a 72-hour night shift work stretch… while I was sick!

Not fun.

But I still enjoyed being spoiled and loved.

I woke up to dinner in bed, a silly poem, and chocolates.

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I know I keep saying it but it’s because I just can’t believe it! Plus, it’s my journal so I can say it as many times as I want! I am so fortunate to have such an awesome husband. I love him so much.

We joke around a lot about how it’s cruel that two people with completely opposite personalities ended up together. It makes for interesting conflict resolution! He’s a victim of bullying, a sugar coating people pleaser, and he runs away from conflict. I’m blunt, fiery, and confront head-on. We also have completely opposite mental disorders. He has really bad ADD and I have real OCD anxiety disorder. You could definitely write a sitcom about some circumstances in our lives.

But as challenging as it may be sometimes, we make a great team. We’ve learned so much from each other… And because we have disorders that are easily misunderstood, we are reminded to be compassionate towards things we don’t understand. It takes grace, patience, communication, and laughing at ourselves… laughing at ourselves a lot! Laughing every day! It’s a fun friendship. I’m so very glad for it.


Also, the following weekend we attempted to have a date at a comedy and music night at Keith’s parents’ church. We had a sitter for Adry and everything! But we failed. Miserably. …Well *I* failed miserably because I was sleep-deprived, mentally exhausted, and hormonal. We left early, but I like this picture someone snagged of us with Keith’s parents before we left:

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After that I practically slept three days straight (or at least tried to) and I’m feeling much better now! I just needed to give myself some recover time after working so much night shift and being sick. Plus, I’m a sappy mom and I really missed my Adry.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Keith Sweet Nothings

January 21, 2014
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November 13, 2013

“For better, for worse”
It’s no concern of mine, they’re all outside
The sun still shines; on all mankind
I will cling to you, for my whole life
The second half of me; my beautiful wife
I swear on my heart
That what I said is true
Nothing will keep us apart
I am nothing without you
You’re a wonder of the world,
I’m tethered to this plane, I just adore
When we share a name, my life is more

November 19, 2013

My dearest and most precious wife. I love you. You are so incredibly perfect for me, and I’m constantly being reminded at how lucky I am to have you. You are my best friend. You are my wonderful lover and I adore you. I love seeing you laugh. I love seeing your eyes twinkle and that mischievous look on your face. You are precious beyond these pithy words, and I am completely lost to you. I love you.

November 22, 2013

My dear wife. I know I’m articulate and I have a way with words, but it seems that no matter how many books I consume, or thesaurus I flip through, all the words I have collected, none of them can convey how much I love you. How much I appreciate you. How much I am desperately attracted to you, or how much I appreciate you. I love you, Jessica. I love every little thing about you. I am completely taken by you. Marrying you was simply the very best thing I have ever done, and I will never regret it. I love you with my whole heart, and I may be one man…one small individual on this planet teeming with millions, but when you look in my eyes, when you smile, when we kiss, it’s just you and me. You are my reason and my purpose. I adore you.

December 2, 2013

I adore you, my dear wife. I love you so incredibly much and I think we are absolutely perfect for each other. I miss you and I’m happy. I’m happy with my marriage and my life. You are the bestest

December 4, 2013

I am so incredibly happy being your husband. I did enjoy being there with you last night. Your warmth in my arms and your breath on my cheek. I love you an incredible amount and please believe me when I say that we will not only get through this but we will also thrive. It will make us stronger and better and we will soar. I will never ever leave you, my dear. You are my wonderful and perfect wife. You are my family. My lovely, intelligent, funny adorable wife and I absolutely worship you. I’m glad we are married and we are incredible together.

December 5, 2013

I miss you too love. I am so so happy with you, and I am glad I’m with you. I ache for you, I miss my completion. I miss my much much much better half.

I love you. I lust for you. I adore you. You are my light at the end of the tunnel. You are the reason I breathe, the reason my heart beats. I cannot imagine my life without you. You are my perfect soulmate. I love you.

January 9, 2014

Oh my god I love you. I keep overhearing servers bitch about dating and lovers and each time I hear something negative it makes me appreciate and adore you that much more. I cannot exist without you. You are my better half. You complete me in a million and one ways and I feel like I don’t show you my appreciation enough. I love you

January 16, 2014

Haha I miss you. I miss your smile. I miss chasing you and fighting for kisses. I miss looking into your eyes and seeing the same love and devotion for me that I have for you. You are the perfect other half for me and I adore you.




Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Our Little Apartment <3

September 13, 2013
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Keithy’s been working on a project lately: digging, laying bricks, building a patio for us…

The other day he was outside doing hard manual labor in all of his sweat, muscles, and sexiness when he noticed that a van was parked on the other side of the alley and an older man was just sitting at the steering wheel, watching.

Keithy continued to work, but the man didn’t leave.

After several minutes Keith decided to go check things out and ask the man if he needed any help.

The man said, “Do you live in that apartment?”

Keith told him that yeah, he did. And with a smile the man said, “In 1966 my wife and I were married and started our new life together in that apartment.”

OHMYGOSH, when Keithy relayed that story to me my heart just absolutely melted! Here this fellow was, almost 50 years later, driving by to reminisce about the good old days with his new bride and young life here in OUR apartment. The one WE were married in.

It has certainly reminded me NOT to take these days for granted. These ARE our good old days.

I hope that 50 years from now we will take a drive through Grandview to check our the little apartment in which we started our lives together. I hope we get to talk to another young couple who is living here and who is just as happy!


Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

“Mutual Submission”

August 31, 2013
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Rachel Held Evans did a week-long series on her blog on ‘mutual submission’, addressing the NT verses allegedly commanding wives to submit to husbands, children to their parents, slaves to masters, etc.

The supposed ‘patriarchal household code’ interpretation of those passages never fully made sense to me. After all, though Paul instructs wives to submit to husbands, he immediately turns around and instructs husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. And how did Christ love? He taught that anyone who wants to be first should be last and that whoever wants to be great must be a servant. And Jesus demonstrated this type of love himself. So it always seemed to me that the NT taught that husbands and wives should mutually submit and serve one another.

And that’s basically what this guest writer on Rachel’s blog talks about in her post: Aristotle vs. Jesus: What Makes the New Testament Household Codes Different. She considers the “household code” passages in light of culture, context, and author intent and comes to the conclusion that the established Greco-Roman code gets remixed when Jesus is in the picture, and no one is actually “in charge”.

Before we were married, Keith and I had several discussions about what our own household code would look like. I happen to appreciate feeling taken care of, and I don’t see myself ever being the career-driven, bread-winning type of woman. I told Keithy I’d be completely content relinquishing that responsibility to him so that the home and children could be my domain… But Keithy said he preferred to have more of a “partnership” wherein there is no one head-of-household; we just work together for a common goal. Seeing as how I happen to be really great at setting goals, organizing our life, and making decisions, I seem to have willingly and comfortably taken on the role of Keith’s ambition behind all of his dreams. He has the big picture dream in his head of what he wants to do and where he wants to go, and I seem to be making all the navigation decisions to get him there. When we disagree about something along the way, we lay it all out on the table and come to an agreement. It really is a relationship of mutual submission.

Growing up, there was never a clearly defined hierarchy in our household, either. I mean, the brothers and I were expected to obey our parents, of course, but we weren’t raised to unquestioningly obey authority. We were taught that respect is earned. My parents had reasons for and willingly explained everything they did and expected us to do. If I disagreed with my parents, I felt free to voice my opinion and act on it. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t disciplined. I was. (I also blatantly disregarded discipline if I felt I had good reason. There were a handful of groundings that I accepted and followed through with! haha!) I had friends whose parents had thought they had a firm grip on them, and thought their children were adhering to all their rules and thou-shall-nots, but if only they knew what their sneaky kids were doing behind their backs and all the lies they were being told! lol. My parents talk about how I’ve been blatantly defiant since I was a toddler and Dad told me to pick up my crayons. I told him no. He ordered me again to pick up my crayons so I looked him in the eye and slowly poured more of them out. I’m sure it’s stressful raising strong-willed children but I will say this about my brothers and I: We are each authentic and honest. We don’t sneak, cheat, lie, or bullshit. What you see is what you get. My brothers turned out to be such unique, inquisitive, independent thinkers. I am so proud of them on a daily basis! My point of this whole seemingly off topic rant about my family is just that I’m thankful we weren’t raised to be Yes Men! I’m thankful I didn’t have to be a quiet unquestioningly submissive child, nor do I have to be a quiet submissive wife. I’m free to be open and honest, and to voice my opinions and make decisions in humility, love, and respect.

I’m thankful Jesus taught humility and sacrifice and has blurred the lines of culturally accepted social orders!

“Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.’ He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.'”

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal