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How to win my heart

November 13, 2010
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1o Day MeMe:

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.

Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever).
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.
Day Ten: One confession.

I initially wasn’t sure how to write this one. Like, should I write about ways to win my heart in general as a friend or whatever? Or ways to win my heart romantically? I decided to go the romantic/love direction. Disclaimer: I did not keep anyone in mind when writing this! I blocked everyone- past or present- out and just wrote what I like. So I’m not blaming or hinting or remembering or affirming. AT ALL.

1) I am 100% a girly girl when it comes to small thinking-about-you gifts. I love flowers (ROSES), chocolates (GODIVA STARFISH AND TRUFFLES), notes, compliments, and stuffed animals. I mean, I know that these are surfacy things and they’re not going to earn my undying love and commitment, but they make my day and they sure don’t hurt.

2) Date nights… where the focus is just on me/us. Take me to a park. Take me to a dinner and movie. Take me on a drive. Plan a stay-in movie night. Set time aside for me and give me something to look forward to. On the flip side: surprise/unexpected visits. These things let me know I’m important to you and you care to invest quality time. I need to feel special; set apart; one-of-a-kind; desirable; desired.

3) My friends, my family, and my son… If you want to be a part of my life, you’ll HAVE to be a part of theirs, too. This is not an option. Get to know them, laugh off their quirks ;-), be comfortable hanging out and being part of the group. LIKE my son and embrace him as a part of me.

4) Take an interest in my interests and involve me in yours. I like having mutual respect for dreams, goals, hobbies and whatever else we do with our lives. Go places I like to go, let me listen to my music, peek at my journal every once in a while, and don’t make me feel silly for anything I like/like to do. Then take me places you like to go, involve me in things you like to do, too.

5) Chivalry. Oh my gosh, I should have been born in a much earlier decade when it comes to this. I want to feel protected and honored and respected. Be classy and sweet and affectionate and polite and attentive and kind and generous, but not suffocating. I’m okay and often prefer to take on a more ‘submissive’ role. I’m not sure if submissive is the right word to use…

6) For a more serious relationship… you must be interested in one day having: 1) A family and stability and routine and traditions; 2) BABIES; and 3) a LIFETIME commitment through the good AND bad times no matter what. You HAVE to know how to work through misunderstandings, disagreements, things you straight up hate, and god awful miserable times. You have to know how to communicate with gentle honesty when you are unhappy, and you have to work with me towards a resolution/compromise. I’m always willing to come together to nurture or work toward/fight for a healthy and happy relationship and I’d want the same from you. If the idea of marriage comes up I’d HAVE to feel secure that our relationship would last a lifetime and that commitment would always trump feelings.

7) On a lighter note: spontaneity. I adhere to a self-made and organized schedule every day. It helps keep me motivated and on track and productive. This is because, as mild mannered as I may seem (do I seem mild mannered? I have no idea), I need the discipline because I am entirely restless and impulsive. (Example: I got my tattoo the day I decided I wanted it.) I LOVE to be flexible; I LOVE to break out of routine; I LOVE the unexpected. This is by no means a required trait for winning my heart, but if you got a really impulsive idea in your head (as little as coming over just for a kiss or taking off with me to go somewhere random) at some crazy insane hour of the day and it really excited you… that would really excite me, too. This helps keep me from feeling like I’m in a rut.

8 ) Be patient with me. I’m moody, opinionated, temperamental, depressed, and anxious. I get social anxiety and can be backward. I get over-stimulated and stressed out very easily. I have trouble relaxing and slowing my brain down long enough to think things through rationally. I’m clumsy and ditzy to boot. Don’t get frustrated with me. Assure me, comfort me, be firm and honest with me.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Nine Things About Me

November 11, 2010
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1o Day MeMe:

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever).
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two smileys that describe your life right now.
Day Ten: One confession.

1) I had an invisible friend from about (two or)three-years-old through fifth grade. His name was January. He was a black floppy-eared dog. I remember meeting him in our living room while I was listening to ‘The Months of the Year’ song on cassette tape. He was hiding behind the couch and I had to go and get him and he was my pal ever since. He liked that I made Mom and Dad set a place for him at the table to eat. Down the road we acquired another invisible friend named Snickles who was a one-inch tall cat that liked to ride atop January’s head. Also, you may think upper elementary school is too old for imaginary friends, but not only did I still have January and Snickles in fourth and fifth grade, my friends all decided to get dogs and name them after their birth months AND cats, too, whose names rhymed with Snickles (I remember Wiggles, Giggles, and Zipples). And I also simultaneously had pet rocks named Bob, Sid, Rhonda, and Betty Lou. Yep. What did you play with as a kid? Barbies? 😉

I had an overly active imagination and I lived in my own little world. No, I mean I REALLY did. Once in elementary school I made up this entire elaborate murder mystery case and recruited Jessie and Jamie to help me solve it. We got so into it we crawled (literally- on our hands and knees) looking for “clues” that “Lucy” was leaving us in the sidewalks… We crawled all the way from school to our sitter’s house half way across a huge neighborhood. It took us so long to get home they almost called the police.

So! Apparently imagination is at least sightly appealing because my friends followed suit.

2) If I could I’d be tattooed all over the place and have dreads. Yep, DREADS. I.Love.Dreads. Maybe even pink dreads. I have this huge back piece tattoo all designed in my head. It’s this huge withering, dying tree- kind of dark and gloomy- except at the mid-top of the trunk there is a Roman crucifix nail and a few drops of blood and from everything they touch there flows life and beauty and COLOR and FLORAL and it wraps around the dark, dying tree bringing it to life… I would love for someone to draw that out for me.

3) I’m really hardcore craving a road trip and a dusty, dirty, sweaty music festival. So freaking much. I would LOVE to go to Cornerstone this summer. PLEASE SOMEONE TAKE ME!!!!

4) I’m trying to get ANY job in the medical field- an office job, an aid job, ANYTHING- because I want to gain experience so I can snag a job at OSU Medical Center to go to school for free for Ultrasound. I am so over education (in a classroom setting); I didn’t have any passion for it in the slightest. My DREAM would be to one day work my way up to working three 12-hour days (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) so that I can have four days/week to be home with my kids. That sounds amazing.

5) I have raging Baby Fever. Terrible timing. I mean, can the timing be worse? It’s enough to make a girl go insane. Octomom insane. I daydream of getting a job and settling down and being stable and having more kids. I ache for it. And I’m still unemployed and already 26 and still legally married, aaaaah! Reeeaallyyy ready to get things rolling!

6) I discovered pomegranate seeds for the first time on Sunday. Best things ever. My new favorite fruit.

7) I am now living under the same roof as my parents and both my brothers for the first time in nearly eight years. I’m not sure whether it’s easier or harder than being on my own. I have a lot of support and assistance with Adry… but… well, I mean, I haven’t lived under my parents for the better part of a decade and there’s pressure and stress and tension that seems to naturally accompany that, even though we get along wonderfully and they aren’t overstepping any lines or anything like that. Hm, I don’t know! It’s interesting! But I can’t imagine living by myself to be honest. I get far too anxious and lonely and depressed. I’ll probably stick around.

8 ) I’m feeling very hopeful about life right now. I feel confident. I’m finding purpose and trust and I feel a heck of a lot less needy. I just finally got to the point where I thought, ‘I’m tearing myself up and making myself miserable by not trusting anyone or anything, and worrying all the time. I need to STOP preparing for betrayal; I need to STOP wondering what’s going on behind the scenes; I need to STOP bracing myself for heartbreak. I NEED to have faith in MYSELF and the people around me. I just need to embrace beauty and life and my dreams and love people. I can’t control anything beyond that. Whatever happens happens. I’ll deal with it then.’ So, I feel alright.

9) I would like to go to NYC. Never been. I would like to go to LOTS of places I’ve never been, but NYC is at the top of my priority list.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

“So is that what you call a getaway? Tell me what you got away with, cause I’ve seen more spine on jellyfish.”

November 1, 2010
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A new emotion?

I just needed to JOURNAL (or, you know, indulge in my addiction and middle school drama) and get this off my chest.

Because of recent RIDICULOUS and INFURIATING (and completely unrelated to this post) events I went browsing through my old FaceBook messages and I saw her name…  ‘S B’.  And I saw our conversations: message after message after message of things I had confided in her.

Knife in the gut. Deeper and more painful than ever before.


Is it because the shock has worn off? Is it because I am just now beginning to suffer the consequences of being so damn jaded and cynical and skeptical and paranoid and scared? Because now I can’t look anyone in the eyes and TRUST that what they say is true and I am CONSTANTLY CONSTANTLY CONSTANTLY wondering what people are doing or saying when I’m not around? Is it because I’ve lost faith and self-worth and I’ve compromised and I’ve lowered my expectations? I EXPECT untrustworthiness and I mentally prepare myself for it to happen because that’s just life and I can’t hope for anything better, and I don’t deserve much better anyway…

Is it because she never apologized and just disappeared off the face of the earth and I couldn’t even ask her WHY.

WHY did you continue talking to him? WHY did you tell me you weren’t? WHY were you sending me messages of encouragement and ‘thinking-about-yous’? WHY did you work so hard to earn my trust and affection and then go behind my back? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY??? WHY did you lie so completely to me?

Is it because you were truly in love with him? Did you just like the attention? Did you need me to trust you so that you two could be friends again? Was ANYTHING you said sincere? At ALL?

For the first time I feel ANGRY at her. Hurt, betrayed, used, taken advantage of, and enraged. Because my family was torn apart and SHE acted like she cared as she watched and was a KNOWING participant in its breakup. And then she tucked tail and ran.

I’ve NEVER felt angry at her before. I’m bitter about EVERYTHING she has stolen from me: things that go far far far deeper than a husband.

Keep my husband; I want ME back.

I suppose it’s good that I am finally facing how I feel about her instead of keeping it buried only to resurface YEARS from now.

So maybe I can sort it out and find peace and forgiveness NOW so that when I am 55 years old I won’t run into her and ‘accidently’ trip and spill my kool aid all over her hopefully light colored outfit, and then get nauseated from the fall and puke in her hair, and then try to pull myself up and get my nails caught in her skin, and then have to tug them out with such force that I backhand her eyeball, and then apologize vehemently but forget I have a cold and sneeze in her face, and then afterwards ask her for advice because I have this cousin who’s prettyy smokin’ hot.

Would that be inappropriate?

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Sweet tea? Y’all want some sweet tea?

September 23, 2010
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September 19 AP 262– Sweet tea and talented actors. Two totally separate appreciations for today.  Not related to each other. Okay, and we are talkin’ straight up dirty south sweet tea. Like, take-a-gulp-and-get-Diabetes sweet tea. City Barbeque sweet tea. You could pretty much put this sweet tea on your pancakes for breakfast.  I.Love.It.  And on a completely different note, thank goodness for talented actors who can tear your heart to shreds with just one look. Sean Penn. I fell head-over-heels for Sean Penn several several years ago when I watched Mystic River… that part when he found out his daughter was dead? Wow. And from there I saw I Am Sam and then made sure to see every movie starring Sean Penn ever.  There are other actors I like of course, but we watched Dead Man Walking this day, so he gets the special mention.

September 20 AP 263– Candles. No particular reason.  I lit the ones in my room, which is a rare occasion for some reason, and enjoyed it.

September 21 AP 264– Having someone I can talk to comfortably… about anything. From completely random silly things to entirely intimately personal things. Feeling vulnerable and safe. I mean, I am usually an open book and my personal life just kind of flows from me without any filter whatsoever. However, my life is this Crazy Town ride now (admittedly an entirely boring and uneventful Crazy Town ride…) and I suppose I just don’t feel like yapping about it much. As a matter of fact, I have really withdrawn. My own little life is within my own little self where is is safe and secure and no one can touch it. So when someone comes along who can break in and share it with me… it’s nice.

September 22 AP 265– Being able to embrace the present and remember/appreciate the past. Let’s see, when this first went down I was a basket case. ALL I could think about was what I had lost and what would never be. I fought it. Kicking and screaming and crying and turning into a pathetic begging-him-back blubbering basket case, I fought it.  Then when I realized it was hopeless I hardened my heart and pushed it out of my mind. I didn’t let myself even consider it. I put all my energy into other things that made me completely forget about my situation and everyone involved. But lately I’ve been slowly letting thoughts surface, and I am able to linger on memories and cherish them then mourn them, one at a time, while feeling hopeful about and even enjoying where I’m at now. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t still hard as hell, no matter how miserable I was then or happy I may be now. As a matter of fact, I am crying while I write this. I still harden and withdraw, and feel insecure and skeptical. But I guess that’s what grief is: a process.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

“It’s unfortunate what we find pleasing to the touch and pleasing to the eye is seldom the same.”

September 19, 2010
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September 1 AP 244– Jamie. I appreciate all of the times she has soothed me while I cry, and her comfort and encouragement through the most difficult and precious moments of my life (the passing away of loved ones, bringing my son into the world, getting married, separating from my husband… She’s seen it all with me.) I appreciate growing up with her as my sister and knowing she will always be in my life, unconditionally. More specifically, I enjoy her smiley and bubbly personality and her Cool Calm & Collected demeanor… often a stark contrast of my own. I love her “goldilocks” curly blond hair, her gorgeous eyes with curly eyelashes, and her little waste and baby-making hips :). Oh! And her tiny hands and feet. Love you, James.

September 2 AP 245– So much love and support I couldn’t keep track of it all. I lost track of e-mails and comments, y’all. I’m terribly sorry if you took the time to write to me and I didn’t reply. I eventually just gave up and let them sit in my inbox until they became overwhelming. BUT I read EACH and EVERY word that you said, and it all meant the world to me. Some of you made me downright cry, some of you made me laugh, and I felt loved by all. Thank you.

September 3 AP 246– A NEW healing process: new hopes and possibilities. I tried to get my marriage on track on a healing process but was unsuccessful. Obviously. So now here I am with a chance at a new beginning. I can appreciate that at least.

September 4 AP 247– Feeling pretty. I’d convinced myself I was (too) fat and ugly and I never blamed anyone for not wanting me because I wouldn’t want me either… But then out of the blue, for no particular reason, and in the midst of dying my hair and painting my toenails blue and shaving, I just looked at myself in the mirror and thought, ‘Wow. I am beautifully made. And I want to take good care of myself and this created body.’ I love my hair that’s growing out, I love my brown eyes and long eyelashes, and I love this petite little frame hiding under all this depression weight. I’m going to get it back, darn straight! 😉

September 5 AP 248– My awesome brother T. Matt and my newly sewn/fixed purse and cardigan. What a good brother. Also, I appreciated a freaking awesome Sunday lunch (Food Woman MEAT LOAF) and all the new things going on at Cypress. I’m glad that earlier this year I decided to make CWC my home church.

September 6 AP 249– People reaching out and spending time with me and making for an easier transition period. Also, Ben and I seem to be cooperating when it comes to visitation agreements and parenting decisions and routines.

September 7 AP 250– Text messaging. Often the only cure to Lonely Mommy.

September 8 AP 251– Tay!!!!! I love that kid! I love him like a brother. And this September eighth he bid farewell to teenagerhood and launched right into his twenties. I appreciate spending time with him, and his Tay shoulder giggle and that big grin I catch on his face all the time. I appreciate that brain up in his head and his hard work at school. (He totally worked his butt off trying out for the OSU marching band, but he’s only a lower classman. Next year he’ll make it, y’all! Watch and see!! I WILL have a cousin in The Best Damn Band In The Land, and you bet I WILL be proud as heck!) I also appreciate Tay’s support and concern, and how he is willing to stand up for me :).

September 9 AP 252– Fall! It’s not technically Fall yet, but the weather is changing already. Let’s see… what I appreciate about Fall: campfire smells, beautiful foliage, hoodies and long sleeved weather wear, crisp fresh air, bonfires and roasted marshmallows, cozy blankets…

September 10 AP 253– Nick and his friendship. Dinners, letting the kids play, talking…

September 11 AP 254– I got to see: Bockscar, the plane that dropped the bomb on Nagasaki, “Little Boy” atomic bomb from Hiroshima, and a real piece of the Berlin Wall. Crazy. Dad, Mom, Matt, Adry and I spent the day at Dayton Air Force Museum and saw all kinds of interesting things. Adry loved the planes of course. It was a very pleasant day. Good memories.

September 12 AP 255– Inquiring children’s minds. They want to learn, they want to know, and the world is still fresh and full of wonder at every turn. Ugh, the inspire me.

September 13 AP 256– Caramel apples. mmm.

September 14 AP 257– William Barclay. And his bible study series. He said he wanted to make the “best biblical scholarship available to the average reader.” That guy knew his stuff and I learn so much from him. And his head isn’t in the clouds. I have trouble with many bible studies because they’re often so idealistic and religious. When Barclay studies he shrugs off preconceived notions and culturally formed morals and just gives a raw study of the bible. And I know I’m not explaining that well, but I don’t know how else to. He’s realistic, down-to-earth, and science-minded. He takes into account EVERYTHING when studying the bible: author, purpose, culture, history, language, interpretation… And he is NOT a literalist.

September 15 AP 258– Columbus, Ohio. So many things I love about Columbus. Some of them I’ve listed here in a post I wrote not that long ago… And I also LOVE this post that Alexz wrote about Ohio back in March: Dear Ohio.  Please read it!!!

September 16 AP 259– A great boss: her concern and willingness to listen. How many people get to say they love their boss!?

September 17 AP 260– Having a great helper and getting my garage project all done. So THAT’S finally off my back and out of the way.

September 18 AP 261– Buckeye football and community. Can Buckeye community really be described?  I am far too appreciationed out to go into why I love Ohio State football fans.  So, hey– YOU tell ME what you love about Buckeye community and I will post your response.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

The Critic

April 21, 2010
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April 19 AP 109– I am simultaneously critical and compassionate and loving.  I used to view the critic side of my personality as a bad thing- I called myself negative or a pessimist.  Except, although hidden by my social anxiety, I have a huge huge huge heart that is often breaking with compassion for the very people I may criticize; I love to hope; I love to have faith; I love to see the world as a place of endless opportunity; and I love to appreciate the beauty of every single situation…  so how can that be so negative and pessimistic?

 I finally did away with calling myself a pessimist and instead I consider myself a critic.  I can’t help but reflect on the flaws of everyone and everything, including (especially) myself.  I USED to think that love was all about brushing things under the rug and just focusing on the positives and strengths, but that is so against my nature it’s not even funny.  The truth is- I am kind of an idealist.  I have this picture in my mind of perfection, and obviously everything and everyone falls short of perfection.  But I enjoy to constantly strive for it.   EVERYTHING and EVERYONE can improve!  And people HAVE to be aware of their imperfections and weaknesses in order to change and strengthen and come closer to goal.  It’s just my nature to constantly reflect on my daily mistakes and weaknesses and create sort of plan of self-improvement (No, literally.  I have schedules and goals written out for myself to tackle my self-discipline problem, my time management, and my overall lifestyle).  And I guess it’s just in my nature to notice the flaws in about everything/everyone else, too (movies, church, politicians, etc.)

I think this is why one of my biggest issues is arrogance– people who are so missing the mark because they justify ev.ery.thing and they think they can do no wrong– people who refuse to say ‘sorry’.  I completely *GET* most ALL sins of the flesh and heart because TRUST ME I have been terribly tempted and am capable of committing ALL of them.  I have a fiery personality and an incredibly impulsive nature, and I am constantly putting out one fire or another within myself.  I screw up a lot.  But it’s one thing to actively sin, and another to pridefully justify it.– not okay.

Anyway- I think there is one main issue with being a critic by nature, and that is that it may discourage those who have the everything-is-positive fever.  I’m working on that.  I like to be authentic.  I’m not all about pleasing people and feigning approval, but I don’t want to discourage, either.  Balance, balance, balance.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Appreciating Depression

April 18, 2010
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April 18 AP 108– 2 Corinthians 12 and Depression.  Anxiety, depression, anxiety, depression.  If it’s not one it’s the other, and sometimes both at the same time.  I hate anxiety.  Hate it.  HATE.IT.  But I’ve never altogether hated my depression.

Don’t get me wrong.  It sucks.  It is about the most horrible feeling on Earth, I’d say third to grief and anxiety.
And I’m feelin’ it now.  Not just the numbing kind that you can try to fight through to get through the day with a smile on your face for the benefit of others.  No, today I have the dead weight in your tummy, elephant on your chest, sad sad sad kind.  I want to curl up in bed in the safe haven of my blanket and pillow cave and cry and do nothing and be nothing.  I just want blackness… unconsciousness… to cease to think, feel, exist.  (Not to be confused with suicidal thoughts.  I’m not suicidal.)  I know this isn’t the worst it can get, either.  But still… I don’t mind it.


"7To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

I cling to Him when I am depressed.  I turn to Him.  I have physically felt him hold me, you guys.  It is all too clear to me that I am His, and this life is His, and I run to nowhere and gain nothing when I try to take control and live for what I want.

I don’t think God GIVES me depression.  I think it is a natural result of my chemical makeup, and of a fallen world.  God planted his seed and tends to his beautiful creation garden, and whether by a simple snap of His fingers or a beautifully and perfectly crafted evolutionary process, I am the way I am.  I know that God will not take depression away from me.  I know this.  He’s made it clear.  He’s given me the strength and willpower to fight anxiety and panic attacks, but I know in my heart of hearts that depression is a lifetime companion for me.  But He uses it– He uses it to soften my heart, to humble me, to slow down my otherwise racing thoughts so that I can Be Still Know That He Is God.  He uses it to break down my walls so that I may accept His strength and comfort.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal