Ridiculously Epic…

Right and wrong are just words. What matters is what we do

2014 in Review by WordPress

This is really cool – but I need to do better next year!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 310 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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S-U-C-C-E-S-S…what’s that spell!?

I have been struggling lately with this feeling that there’s something missing in my life. There are so many amazing and wonderful things, and I am an incredibly lucky person to have the life that I do, but I still can’t shake the feeling that I could be doing more. That there’s this void that I’m not filling, but I have no idea how to fill or even what the void even is.

I always seem to run into this idea that I’m never good enough for me, but have no idea how to make me better. I always want to do more, be more, more more more more more. And I always let myself down because I have no direction. “Success” is usually defined as some interpretation of the following “accomplishing your goals.” But what if you don’t know what your goals are? What if you don’t know what you want to accomplish? What if all the things you thought you wanted to accomplish still left you…unsatisfied?

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89 Years

There have been about 1,001 topics that have crossed my mind the last couple weeks as to what I wanted to write my next blog about…our dog, the absurdity of  the wedding-beautification-prep trend, work, my future, etc…etc…etc…

But today as I looked through totes for a picture for my brother, I realized that there is something that has been weighing on my heart and mind. Something that is difficult to talk about, even though it’s been 3 1/2 months.

November 2012, taken by my great-aunt

November 2012, taken by my great-aunt

That is my great-grandmother, whom I’ve referred to as Mémè my whole life.

Mémè is short for mémère, Mémère is French for “grandmother.” Her husband, who passed away when I was 2 years old, was Pépè (short for “Pépère” which is French for “grandfather.”)

Mémè passed away on January 30, 2013. She was 89 years old, and had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic cancer in December 2012. June 21 of this year would have been her 90th birthday.

My Mémè was an incredibly special lady. She was kind, funny, generous, loving, and selfless. She was born in Canada, and had this adorable French accent when she spoke. One of the strangest, yet fondest, memories I have of her is that when you hugged her – her hearing aid would squeak and she would always ignore it just to keep hugging you (oftentimes accompanied by laughing on both ends about it).

I was her first great-granddaughter, and for 17 years – her only great-granddaughter. She had 4 children, 8 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. The oldest is my brother who will be 29 this year, the youngest is 3 years old. To say that we were all lucky to have her in our lives is an understatement.

My Mémè was always with us growing up – she was almost always there for family trips, dinners, random get-togethers, and of course all the holidays and birthdays. Until recent years, she never forgot a birthday or anniversary – I still have every card she gave me. (Mémè had a cognitive memory disorder that affected her short-term memory).

Ernest and I took a trip to Vermont in June, and I am so glad he got a chance to meet her once before she passed. It was also the visit where my cousin got married, and Mémè was so funny at the reception. She loved sweets, and the favors were chocolate turtles made by my uncle – Mémè was collecting everyone’s treat who didn’t want them. By the time we left, she had at least 4 of them to take home with her and looked happier than a kid in a candy store.

About a month before she passed, I started a large 1/4 sleeve tattoo on my left bicep honoring my Mémè, great-Aunt Lynn, and maternal grandmother. Each lily represents each person, and the color corresponds to the cancer they battled. As an added touch, I had each person write the word “love” and had the tattoo artist incorporate it into the design. 

Phase One

Phase One

The finished product

The finished product

As much as my heart still hurts when I think about Mémè, as often as my eyes fill with tears, as much as I miss that quirky and wonderful woman – I will always carry her with me in my heart. There is a reminder every day as I see my beautiful tattoo of that wonderful woman. There is a reminder every day that I can be a better person, to strive to be more like my great-grandmother. She was one of the most amazing people I’ve ever known in my life, and I can only hope that I will be half as inspiring to my great-grandchildren as she was to me. .

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We Got Hitched!

I know – I’m absolutely horrible when it comes to posting on here regularly. But in all fairness, I’ve been planning a wedding y’all!

We got engaged in November 2011. We got married March 30, 2013. And let me tell you – I was a lucky bride. From Day 1, the planning was so easy and everything fell into place so nicely. (I seriously thought our venue was going to catch on fire the day of the wedding because everything else had gone so smoothly!)

We made a lot of decisions that help cut our costs, which in the end was amazing. I am so grateful for all the help we received from our family and friends…like I said – I was a lucky bride!

And now for pictures!

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It was a beautiful and perfect day. I honestly couldn’t have asked for more 🙂

 

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Plump, Heavyset, Chubby…The “Fat” Problem

I am 26 years old. Since I can remember I have had self-esteem issues. I don’t want to say that I’ve always struggled with my weight, because I honestly never considered myself fat, just self-conscious in tight clothes.

Until recently.

Clients at my work commented that I was pregnant…a stranger in the Coach outlet store said “Oh, you’re pregnant!” when trying to decide on whether the bag they were looking at would suffice as a diaper bag…and it hurt. I made it to the car without breaking down completely, but then I was a complete wreck for about 20 minutes in the car with Ernest, and there was nothing he could say or do to fix it because I am the problem.

I am stuck in a vicious cycle. I’ll hate the way I look, and make up my mind to eat better, track my food and calories on Spark.com, do more physical activity, etc. etc. etc. But then I don’t. I may do it for a couple weeks, but then I lose steam. Tracking every single thing you eat is kind of ridiculous and really difficult. I refuse to measure out 2 ounces of peanut butter to make a serving size, or measure out 2 tablespoons on salad dressing, 3/4 cup of cereal…so on and so forth, Some people have the patience to do it, but not me.

Let’s get real, I effing love Chiptole. Bacon Cheeseburgers with french fries and ranch dressing? Yum-O. Ice cream? Amazing. Don’t get me wrong…I don’t eat those things all the time, but I am not willing to give up some of my favorite foods or kill myself working out because people are insensitive assholes.

I am a victim of the media. I see the celebrities in their bikinis and tiny little clothes that will never, ever fit me and feel like a fat cow in comparison. I keep thinking that I should be a size 2 when that’s not a realistic expectation for my body type without looking unhealthy.

I love seeing celebrities like Adele, who don’t let the media get to them. It saddens me that amazing and talented people who are considered “heavy” or “plus sized” lose weight just to get out of the harsh and judgmental spotlight. I mean, have you seen Drew Carey lately? Jessica Simpson…she’s still freaking beautiful but the media killed her and now she’s promoting WeightWatchers instead of embracing her post-birth and curvy body and standing up to the critics. (I just Googled Jessica Simpson and the first 3 suggestions were “Jessica Simpson,” “Jessica Simpson Weight,” and “Jessica Simpson Weight Loss.” Case closed.)

(Side note…I don’t think there is anything wrong with losing weight to better your health, but when celebrities do it I question their motives. Are they really doing it to be happier and healthier because they struggle like I do, or because their agent pushes for it?)
 

Philip DeFranco is a hilarious, intelligent and insightful vlogger. But when he posts his new videos to his Facebook page, more often than not it is accompanied by a picture of a scantily clad, big boobed, stereotypical “hot” woman to draw attention to his new post. I get the idea, but it makes me want to NOT want to watch his videos, regardless of how much I love them, because he is just another person perpetuating this cycle of women feeling inadequate because they don’t look like that picture.

One of my favorite bloggers is Brittany Gibbons. She is funny, honest, insightful, and makes me feel amazing after reading her stories. She is the Editor in Chief of the Curvy Girl Guide. She’s inspiring. She makes me not want to starve myself to be skinny, she makes me want to go out and purchase copy-cats of most of her outfits (Sorry Brittany, I just can’t get with the yellow pants even though you rock them) because she looks stunning in them.

And then I found this. She is wonderful, and she made me realize something:

I. Am. Average.

I’m 5’3, I wear a size 7 shoe, I wear a size 14-16 pant. Average. And average ain’t so bad.

Here’s the point: I am me. Ernest loves me for me, curves and all. In fact…he has flat out told me that he doesn’t want me to lose my shape because he thinks I am beautiful and sexy. I will totally still have those days where I want to cry because I feel fat, or days where I want to throw away my whole closet because I hate the way I look in everything…but those days will pass. And I will still be me, and I will still love who I am…love handles and all.

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Almost a Year…

Ernest and I have been living together for a year, and I love our life together 🙂

So some updates…

I am now the Customer Service Manager. Most days I love what I do, I love being the manager and I love what I’ve accomplished in turning the Customer Service Department around to be more efficient and accurate. There definitely have been some bumps in the road, but it’s all been worth it. Some days I’m on my way to work and I think to myself “This is my job? How did I end up here?!” That’s not necessarily a bad thing…just not where I pictured myself when I graduated college 4 years ago.

Ernest and I got engaged! 🙂
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Ernest proposed on November 14, 2011. We will be getting married on March 30, 2013. I couldn’t be happier with our life. He is just the perfect man for me, and I can’t believe that I am lucky enough to be marrying him.

We are also moving out of our apartment (YAYYY!!!!) and into a house this Saturday. We’re just renting for now, but it’s a HUGE step up from what we’re doing now.

Ernest and I took our first vacation together to visit my family in Vermont and to go to my cousin’s wedding. It was a fantastic week filled with all kinds of fun touristy stuff (Ben & Jerry’s, Magic Hat, Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Church Street Marketplace, etc), some not-so-touristy stuff (cliff diving), seeing my grade-school friends, and time with the family. I wish we could have stayed longer than a week, but alas work gets in the way of funsies. At least we know that the drive isn’t too bad and we can easily accomplish a drive to Vermont (or back) in about 10 1/2 hours, depending on stops.

Me, Grandma O, Grandpa O and Ernest

Me, Mom and Ernest

My brother and I

After cliff diving

Eating creemees together 🙂

Ernest and I are the top of Church Street Marketplace

Outside the Vermont Teddy Bear Company

Outside the Vermont Pub and Brewery with my friends!

At the wedding

So hopefully I’ll be spending more time blogging…less time doing other crap that is less interesting…but we’ll see.

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I love my life with you…

I went to Chicago at the end of June for a belated birthday celebration.

Lincoln Park Conservatory

I spent time relaxing on the beach, experiencing my first turtle races, exploring the Taste of Chicago (most delicious day of my life, I think), visited the Lincoln Park Conservatory and Lincoln Park Zoo, and just enjoyed my visit. Upon my arrival back in Cleveland, my amazing boyfriend surprised me with a potted lily. All in all a pretty perfect trip 🙂

A few days later we were hanging out in my living room when he looked at me and said “You know, we’re going to have to find a place for my desk in here.” I just stared at him for a second and said “What do you mean?” He responded with “You didn’t really think we’d wait an entire year to move in together, did you?”

I could have punched him!

In short, we decided to move in together. We added him to my lease, then inquired about the procedure to move from my 1 bedroom to a 2 bedroom in the same building. The original plan was for him to move in slowly, a little bit at a time over a couple of months. But if we wanted a 2 bedroom, we needed to be out by the end of July.

Ooooh, pretty couch...

So we did it. We moved July 30. We bought a red couch, and took a huge step, and moved in together. We couldn’t be happier.

I told him the other day that it’s a little surreal, living with him. That I sometimes have to remind myself that No, really…we do live together. And Ernest is not going to be going home, because he already is, in fact, home. It’s awesome.

Toothless

We also got a gecko from my friend – we named him Toothless. He’s nocturnal, and loves baby food. We love him!

The other fun thing, is I left the daycare. And I’m back with my old company – The Barkley. Except this time I’m doing something a little different…re-writing the Customer Service Training Manual and Marketing. I still have a LOT to learn in the marketing department, but it’s OK because my main focus has been this manual, which is extremely time consuming. Starting at a computer screen all day can be a bit…well…boring, but it’s all good. It’s not all I’ll be doing. Lots more things to cover, explore and try out in the coming months. Exciting stuff.

Life is good. 🙂

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“It’s been a long time….”

(Title inspired by the song “Long Time” by Cake. Super awesome song.)

I moved. Like, 3 weeks ago. And living alone is cool, cause you can run around my apartment in your underwear (if your name is Ernest), or listen to music really loud and vacuum at 11pm (if your name is Jessi and your family/your boyfriend’s family is coming over the next day and you haven’t cleaned yet because you hit your head and spent 40 minutes on the couch holding ice to your head and drinking a Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat). But it’s also boring, and lonely. I don’t have internet or cable yet…it’s coming though. July 2. And I can only watch a movie, play my Wii, or play the Sims so many times before I want to poke my eyes out.

Which is why I wasted $6.12 on a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup at Panera when I have a freezer/pantry full of food, so I could use their interwebs. And why I bug Ernest to come over all the time. OK, so I don’t actually bug him to come over all the time…he likes to come over, and does so willingly. I promise!

Former-Roomie-Jess and I hung out a few days after the move, and we decided that we can’t live with each other, but we can’t live without each other either. Sad business.

Something else exciting happened. I moved, AND I had a birthday. I turned 25. It was a good day, and a fantastic weekend. I’m a quarter of a century old, bitches.

And despite the fact that I’m bored, and a little lonely…life is really great. I’m the happiest I can remember being in a really long time, aside from some expected job dissatisfaction.

I have never been so happy and discontent with my life at the same time before. I want to do more with my life than what I am currently doing. And I want to move on from this stage of my life. But you know what they say, all good things in time. Or whatever. It is what it is. But isn’t it the case, to always want more than what you have?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for what I have…I’m just tired of feeling mediocre and like I’ve hit a plateau. I’m just waiting.

Well, this was an incredibly random post. But I’m tired. And I’ve been sitting in a Panera for like, 1.5 hours. Cut me some slack.

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Agitation

There are a lot of things in this world that are agitating. Except you can’t write about them on a public blog. Mostly because if those things are your friends, boyfriend/girlfriend, parents, other family, dog, job, etc….the people who are are agitated at are more than likely to find out. And most of the time, if you’re agitated…you’re just going to be agitated and not do anything about the situation. So you don’t want said people to find out.

Except your dog, cause he can’t read anyway.

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6 Months

Six months isn’t really that significant to most relationships. It’s half a year, which is cool, but most people don’t celebrate or recognize it. But since Ernest and I went through the ringer to even get to this point, I thought that we should do something a little different than normal in recognition of our achievement 🙂

Here’s the story: My ex broke up with me in March 2010. After a couple months I joined plentyoffish.com to see what else was out there, and to help myself move on from Kevin. Ernest messaged me in June (I think), and we chatted via plentyoffishmail for a month or so and then I gave him my phone number. We texted and tried to make plans, and were eventually able to find a day that worked for the both of us – July 6. We met at Tomaydo Tomahhdo for dinner, and got awesome balloon animals.

After Tomaydo Tomahhdo we decided to go to a metropark nearby (we weren’t sure what was going to happen after dinner A: In case we didn’t hit it off and B: It was disgustingly hot that day, but cooled off enough after dinner).

I hopped in Ernest’s car and we headed to Squire’s Castle where we spent a few hours talking and walking around on the trails in the woods. Neither of us wanted the date to end, so we decided to go back to my place (I know, I know…what a terrible idea for someone who just met a guy off the internet! But clearly, he is not a rapist/murderer, so my judgement was sound!) and watch Wall-E. We continued to see each other at least 3 times a week for the next few weeks.

At this point, my ex had decided that he wanted me back and was trying to prove to me that he was a changed person and that we belonged together. I was incredibly confused because on one hand I had been with Kevin for 5 years and although I wasn’t sure that we belonged together, I didn’t want to play “what if” with him. But on the other hand, we had broken up because Kevin wasn’t ready to commit and I had met Ernest, who I was clearly smitten with at this point, and didn’t want to play the “what if” game with him either. I eventually broke things off with Ernest so that I wasn’t leading him on while I tried to figure out where my feelings fell on the Ernest-Kevin spectrum.

A couple weeks later Ernest decided that he wanted me in his life, even if it was only as friends so we started hanging out again. Clearly we had feelings for each other, and “just friends” wasn’t quite working for us so this time Ernest ended things. Ernest had also decided that since we couldn’t be more than friends, then we weren’t going to be just friends either.

I had also realized by this point that I wasn’t on the same page with Kevin, and although I thought I wanted what he wanted, I was wrong. And I also had feelings for another man. So I was trying to find the best way to tell Kevin this without feeling like a total jerk.

After a few weeks of barely talking to Ernest and fighting/crying with Kevin, I finally got Ernest to agree to hang out with me. I went over to his house and had dinner with him and his parents, and then we all hung out in the back yard around their fire pit having a couple drinks and talking. His parents eventually went to bed, and Ernest and I decided to address the elephant in the room that had been there since I arrived; “us.” We realized that “just friends” wasn’t going to work for us, and not being together wasn’t going to work for us. So, enough was enough and we decided to be together, forreal.

The next day I had the conversation with Kevin, via text. I wanted to do it in person, or at least over the phone, but he didn’t want to come over or call, so text it was. I suppose text was easier than phone/in person, but in all fairness – he broke up with me over a phone call. Anyway, that’s besides the point. After the conversation was over, Ernest and I made it official on Facebook and there began our journey to today.

It hasn’t been easy, not even a little bit. But it’s been worth every struggle/problem we’ve faced and overcome. Our relationship is fun, silly, amazing, and strong.

So today we had lunch, went to a library book sale, then Half Priced books, then to the metroparks and sat by Tinker’s Creek…

…took a walk around Bridal Veil Falls…

…then went to the Tinker’s Creek Gorge Scenic Overlook on our way back home.

It was damn near perfect…the weather was absolutely amazing.

 

 

Long (no seriously, long…I am incapable of telling short/quick stories) story short, I love this man. ♥

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