Bright, Shiny, and…30

So yesterday…it happened…somewhere in middle of long hours at the office, time spent with my family, cuddles with my husband and our furry kids…. I turned 30.  I remember when I thought 30 was “old”, it’s not old in my book…Heck 95 isn’t even old, it’s crazy how your perception of “old” changes as you age.

I don’t know what I expected 30 to look like, I mean in all honesty I don’t feel any differently then I did two days age when I was 29.  I don’t know if you are familiar with Tim McGraw’s “My Next Thirty Years” if not you can check it out here:

I need to figure out my next 30 years… the things I know the will be included in my next 30 years:

Life is too short to live it stressed, you can only do what you can do.  I do know I am going to start concentrating on my health–weight management is part of that, as well as stress reduction, and taking time to truly relax (taking time to smell the flowers).  We live in such a fast paced instantaneous world, and I want to learn to slow down a bit.  While I believe working hard is important, I am also learning that spending time with your loved ones and taking time for yourself is just as important–no one on the their dying day ever said I’d wish I’d spent more time at the office.

Keep your sights on what’s important.

XOXO,

Jackie

 

Wondering but not worrying…

So I have some pretty heavy stuff going on in my life right now.  My family is well, our health is good…I just have some other stuff going on but that’s neither here nor there–it just brings my most recent exchange with God.  Worrying is a tool of the devil.  God doesn’t want us to worry.  So today I am giving all my worries to God.

Lately I’ve been down on myself…Thing that I should be further in life, career wise and I should have more money saved for a rainy day then I do.  You see in roughly two months I will be 30 years old–or 30 years young however you want to look at it.  I am not what I would consider accomplished– I didn’t finish school, I don’t earn six figures, my car is worn out, I am not a size 2, we don’t take lavish vacations to Caicos, our house is small…Yada, yada, yada…I told my mother today how I didn’t feel like my happy old self…I had no one to blame, especially because life lately has been just how I wanted it… I wanted nothing more in life than to marry my best friend–I had checked that off my list nearly two years ago…I had wanted nothing more than to have an amazing relationship with my parents–I’ve had that for as long as I could remember.  I thought the void in my life was God– and it turns out while although I wasn’t as close as I wanted to be with him (this relationship is constantly evolving and it’s amazing), I was pretty steady in my faith.  So where my sadness and this impending feeling of doom was coming from I had no idea.  After a good long talk with my mom while driving home this afternoon (not once did she ever tell me I was nuts, or ungrateful) she brought to light the fact that I have way more than I thought.

I’ll touch on all the things I thought made me less of a person than the next 30 year old:

I didn’t finish school–but I have skills, and they are pretty darn marketable if I do say so myself.  I can write and communicate professionally and effectively.  I am a people person, and after I’ve helped you with your situation you’ll walk out my office feeling like the most important person on the face of the earth or at the very least like your banker cares about you–because truth be told I do.

I don’t earn six figures–but I do make an honest living.  Many may say banker and honest don’t belong in the same sentence–I beg to differ.  My job is to help you make sound financial choices, I wouldn’t recommend something to you that I wouldn’t recommend to my own family.  I believe in what my company offers hence while I sit behind the desk I do. So while I don’t make six figures, I make a honest living in which I am able to put a roof over our heads, and food in our bellies.

My car is worn out–but I have one…I’ll leave this one alone, I am thankful to have 4 wheels–paid for with no payments, the day is coming when old Gertrude is going to have to be put to rest…I am just asking her to give me like 3 more years…I am not ready to get a new set of wheels yet.  Oh Ms. Gertrude lets make it through at least 1/3 of my 30’s together…

I am not a size 2–nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be.  This is me…I want to get healthy, I want to be smaller…But I don’t need to fit in with what society wants me to be, my husband thinks I’m pretty, my family still loves me…I just want to get healthy, that’s it!

The lavish vacations–while these would be nice, it’s just not me…I like to be home by the time the sun goes down.  I am in my pajamas before the street lights come on unless I am stuck at the office.  The only place I have a yearning to go every so often is to Destin, FL.  Is it lavish?  No…but when my heart wants to wander when I need a get-away, it’s where I’m destined to be, and it’s pretty darn exhilarating to me!

My house is small–but it’s warm and it’s cozy.  It’s ours.  My family helped pick it out, my mother handled most of the paperwork, my grandparents gave me the down payment, my dad painted the walls, my husband put his love into making it “Our Home”…It’s home…and without my family, it wouldn’t be anything.

So I guess what I am saying is I am not going to worry about the future, worry about the past, punish myself for what I consider are my “wrong doings” or “short comings”.  I am going to be thankful for each thing I have taken for granted and thought made me less of a “30 year old”.

I’ll wonder about my future, our future, but I won’t worry!

God Bless you all,

Jackie

My hiatus…

I took a pause, but I am back!!!!

So I haven’t written in a little over a year.  I feel like I owe some type of explanation as in why I haven’t sat down to pen my heart out to you.  I know of one faithful reader, my mom who often encourages me to write and reminds me to write–and still the words haven’t flowed from my fingers.  My mother enjoys my writing so if no one else ever reads what I’m thinking that’s okay, just as long mother can read my inner most thoughts.

My mother–the woman who doesn’t judge me no matter how much she has a right to (after all she did bring me into this world)…My mother is amazing and there is simply no better word to describe her, I tell the woman virtually everything and if there’s something I missed out I’m sure she’ll read it here.  I do feel that I write better than I can speak, maybe that’s because my mouth moves faster than my brain during conversation, but when writing my brain, my fingers, and my eyes can dance like a well-choreographed dance team.

So a lot has gone on in the last year, but then again I feel like nothing has changed.  My home life is good–every day I fall deeper in love with my husband, and I wonder how on earth did I end up with such amazing fur babies.  I started two home based businesses- Origami Owl and Younique Make-up.  I was drawn to Origami Owl, because it’s about putting your story in a locket–and we all have a story!  I fell in love with Younique by accident–I love the confidence it brings to women. I am still working in a Bank and loving what I do there. But this blog really isn’t about how I’m doing financially–because you know what…Yes you are going to hear a banker predominantly in a sales position say this…There is more to life than money, yes it’s needed to survive…but there is so much more…there is family, friends, and JESUS….

There is JESUS!!!  The biggest change in my life in the last year is that I have gone back to church.  I’ve done this several times, but this time is different–I am on my path to Jesus with my Mom!!!  I am not trying to bargain with Jesus as I have done so many times before…You know the way it goes, I’ll do this Jesus if you give me this…But the truth is everything, and I mean EVERYTHING is in his timing.  I am no longer praying for God to give me anything specific just to watch over my loved ones and I.  I am asking him to put me where HE WANTS me, and I am asking HIM to USE ME as HE SEES fit.  I’ve noticed some positive changes in me, but as Matchbox Twenty would say…”I’m still trailer trash in new shoes”…And just to clarify I am not judging you or calling you trash if you live in a trailer–it’s just lyrics from my all-time favorite band.  I have a lot more work that needs to be done with myself: I still curse too much, and sometimes judge others, and sometimes I say mean things… The beautiful thing about Jesus is that he has already forgiven me for my wrong doings I just pray that he makes me more wholesome every day!

Yours Truly,

Gracefully Rambling

When you make a choice of ceasing to exist

So I promised to write about my Dad’s side next…but sometimes life brings you an unexpected storm and you need to adjust your sails…so without getting into personal detail… Let me just say this, if my blog conveys one thing to you– let it be that LIFE is worth living wether you are at rock bottom or not…if life is the worst it’s ever been, good news it will get better. If you are sad talk to someone, get help, seek counseling–but what ever you do, don’t seek the alternative of ceasing to exist. When you cease to exist due to your own will, you leave those who love you and cared about you drowning in sorrow. It’s not like passing from a disease that couldn’t be cured, or a heart that stopped beating–it’s knowing that someone you loved hurt so much inside and you didn’t even know. It’s knowing that you weren’t there with a reassuring hug, or a shoulder to weep upon, or shoulders broad enough to help your loved bear their burden. The ones left behind are the ones who suffer in the end, they are the ones who bear a burden there is no solution for because the end has already came, and the out come is final.

For something I feel so strongly about I thought the words would flow from my finger tips, but they just aren’t… Maybe it’s because it’s so final, we all came into this earth the same way by birth and will all leave by death. Life is precious, the good times and the bad.

I believe we are given bad times so we can have a true appreciation for the good times.

Those that paved my way…ma familia…

After conversing with my mother several weekends ago and others in my family, it only seemed natural that this blog post would follow…

Before I start out let me just say I love both sides of my family equally… However, I’ve always felt like I identify more with my Italian side, I don’t really know why though–maybe it’s because I love Italian food, maybe it’s because I was intrigued by the Italian Mafia and spent endless hours scouring the internet looking for familial surnames in Italian Mafia history, maybe it’s the warmness my family always displays when I come to visit although I don’t visit that frequently we always pick up where we left off…or maybe it was because that part of my family is so large and intertwined, the stories passed down never become old or mundane, or maybe it’s because my grandfather who can speak Italian is one of the best story tellers I’ve ever known, or maybe it’s because I’m only 3rd generation American and can pretty much trace my family roots. My great grandpa was born in another country so I can’t help but be intrigued.

My German and English side–well I don’t know much about my German side as my grandfather passed before I was born, and my English side well I’ve lived that life everyday for the last 28 years and I’ve studied American History, in addition to the fact that I live in the town my family has lived in for years as well– so there was nothing new to learn.

My grandparents on both sides have been nothing but amazing, supportive, and loving.

My maternal grandmother passed away when I was in 4th grade. I have fond memories of my grandmother who kept crayons (she pronounced them crowns) in a tin and coloring books for me to color (she pronounced it keller) in. She had a rotary dial phone. Pots and pans that hung from the ceiling. Trees planted for my cousin and I in her backyard. My grandma hosted Thanksgiving dinner, we went to her house every Christmas Eve– on the way home my Dad would point out “Santa” in the sky. My grandmother served wine for special occasions in her “Naked Lady Glasses” which were wine glasses in which the stem was a silhouette of a nude woman. She charted my cousin and my heights on the wall. Grandma drove a big ol’ Buick. Before I could really build a relationship with my grandmother, she’d been diagnosed with Breast cancer and I’d lose the first of my loved ones.

My maternal grandpa, is the best story teller I’ve ever known. He knows no stranger. He hugs everyone whether he knows them or not–he’s a Baptist minister so I feel like that is part of Gods way to spread love to those that need it. My grandfather can comfort people in ways I can’t explain. He was a carpenter in Philly, and worked very hard to support his wife and daughters. My mom has told me numerous times about the time she saw my grandfather carry a washer machine by himself on his back. There’s no way I can convey how genuinely loving and caring he is. My grandfather was far from wealthy in his wallet, but he is wealthy in love and that’s where it matters. I could listen all day to mom recount memories of she and her dad, maybe it’s because I also know what it’s like to have such an incredibly deep love for my parents. My grandpa used to play guitar, and my mom has recounted on several occasions how she’d stand in my grandfathers guitar case as a little girl and smell the crushed red velvety lining. My grandpa is a true Italian, when my mom and I go to visit there’s often fine cheeses and olives… He and nanny blue eyes have a beautiful garden, it’s such a skill to be able to grow such beautiful plants.

Up next: My dad’s side…

A full life…

So I have this sign in my home office and it reads:

“Find a passion and pursue it.  Fall in love.  Dream Big.  Drink wine, eat great food and spend quality time with good friends.  Laugh Everyday.  Believe in magic.  Tell Stories.  Reminisce about the good old days but look with optimism for the future.  Travel often.  Learn more.  Be creative.  Spend time with people you admire.  Seize opportunities when they reveal themselves.  Love with all your heart.  Make time to enjoy the simple things in life.  Spend time with family.  Forgive even when it’s hard.  Smile often.  Be grateful.  Be the change you wish to see in the world.  Follow you dreams.  Be thankful.  Be nice to everyone.  Be happy.  Live for today.  And above all…Make every moment count.”

This sign is how I intend to live this next year.  So let me tell you why each piece of this is important, and what it means to me–and let me challenge you to tell me what it means to you…

~Find a passion and pursue it:
I have found my passions and they are writing (hence this blog), my crafts (hence my craft business), baking, and cooking.

~Fall in love:
Fall in love with someone who compliments you and I don’t mean compliments you by saying nice things (yes they should do that too), but someone who balances you out.

Fall in love with yourself, you are worthy of love and respect. You are beautiful, you are a creature of God and he doesn’t make ugly things.

Fall in love with life, life is beautiful. Life is too short, so laugh, love and live life to the fullest.

~Dream Big
Dreaming is one of the most beautiful and most affordable things to do to–it’s free!!!! It doesn’t cost to dream, now putting your dreams in motion that costs…but dream away, dream everyday, let your mind wander, and bask in your dreams they are beautiful!

~ Drink wine, eat great food and spend quality time with good friends
Drink wine–expensive or cheap…spend quality time with friends–good friends are far and few between, I only have a handful of good friends and they are rare gems. Real friends are family! Break bread together, enjoy a drink, and be merry!

~Laugh everyday
In my opinion a laugh a day helps keep the doctor away. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Marry someone who can make you laugh even when tears are streaming down your face. One of the reasons I fell in love with my husband is his ability to make me laugh! Some of the best laughs I’ve shared are with my husband, family, and friends, and those laughs have gotten me through some of my worst days!

~Believe in magic
Magic… Well I don’t believe in magic, but I believe in miracles. If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it! Miracles happen, and they happen because of the big man upstairs. So give thanks, pray, and rejoice in our Lord… Miracles are real!

~Tell Stories
Share stories with your loved ones, stories of your life, the good, and the bad. Perhaps your story can provide insight to someone else struggling. Perhaps your story can provide a laugh. We are messengers of God, sent to help our fellow brothers and sisters–sometimes help can be in the form of sharing an experience we’ve had with someone else who is in a similar situation.

~Reminisce about the good old days but look with optimism for the future
Don’t forget where you’ve been, but don’t lose sight of where you are going. It’s important to reminisce about the good old days, sometimes a simpler time. It’s also important to remember that there are good days ahead, days in which you should look at your glass as half full and look forward with anticipation of great things!

~Travel often
Travel often… That doesn’t mean you have to get on a plane once a month and visit some place new (while if you can, go for it)… Travel often by visiting new places, you’d be amazed at what’s in your back yard no matter where you live. As a child my parents and I took many day trips, and a few awesome vacations–but the day trips…that’s where a bulk of my memories were made. We didn’t stress about packing, or catching a flight–we just got in the car (well truck in our case) and drove. My mom and I played Roadside bingo, we sang together to the radio, my mom, dad, and I talked without a distraction of a television, or a smart phone, the biggest distraction was either a magazine or my Walkman. Visit breathtaking places, visit places where you can blend in with the locale and live like they do, only then will you truly get the full effect of your travels. When visiting new places, I urge you to eat at local eateries instead of chains–so much is said for eating food indigenous to where you are visiting, you can get that chain food at home…

~Learn more
Never stop learning!!! Learn a new word, fact, hobby, beauty technique, savings technique, patience, whatever you do….learn something new…

~Be creative
Write. Draw. Craft. Woodwork. Bake. Cook. Invent. Whatever you do, find a way to be creative. Creating stimulates your brain and it gives you such a sense a accomplishment!

~Spend time with people you admire
Surround yourself with people who you can model yourself after. You don’t have to be exactly like that person, but if they have a trait you admire–my golly spend sometime with them, pick their brain, learn how they think, ask questions, and let them know you are thankful for them!

~Seize opportunities when they reveal themselves
There’s an old saying the early bird gets the worm… If someone is waving a worm in your face you better bite it, unless of course you are a fish. If it’s too good to be true it usually is, so be cautiously optimistic…and if determined legitimate seize any opportunity to better yourself and help others when you can. I don’t want to be left asking 20 years from now “what if”. Take chances, and remember if God brings you to it he will bring you through it. When you have the opportunity to spend time with those near and dear to you take it!

~Love with all your heart
If I love you, I will love you with every ounce of my being. There’s only one way to love in my opinion and that is unconditionally. When you love with all your heart, forgiveness and acceptance come much easier. When loving with all your heart, don’t forget to love yourself, loving yourself will help you to determine who is and who isn’t worthy of your love.

~Make time to enjoy the simple things in life
Make time to feel grass between your toes, lay in bed for hours snuggled with a loved one, feel the warm sun bask your face, the simple things don’t come with a cost and they are truly the best gift of all.

~Spend time with family
Family is important! My definition of family isn’t those related by blood, but it’s the people who stood beside you and never left. It’s your rocks, the people who help break the storm from your shores. It’s the people who love you, when you’ve forgotten how to love yourself, and the people who have loved you when you were unlovable. Spend time with family. We are only on this earth for so long, and we must take every chance we get to let those we love know they are important to us. Additionally, your pets are your family too, they might only be a piece of your world, but you are their whole world–enjoy the wet noses and puppy kisses!!!!

~Forgive even when it’s hard
Forgiveness can be hard, but really life is too short to hold grudges. Not one of us walking this earth is perfect, we mess up. If someone says they are sorry, accept their apology and move on. While you should forgive, don’t allow yourself to become a doormat. Just because you’ve forgiven someone doesn’t mean you need to continue to have them in your life, if they aren’t good for your mind, body, or soul, forgive them and let them go.

~Smile often
A smile can turn your day around and someone else’s too, so smile big and smile often. A smile a day helps keep the stress away!

~Be grateful
Be grateful for all you have, there are many with less than you.

~Be the change you wish to see in the world
You don’t have to fit in with society’s expectations, be the change you want to see in the world. If you want more kindness, practice being kind. Do good, and you’ll never falter.

~Follow your dreams
Put your dreams into action. You are in control of your destiny. It’s your life–own it!

~Be thankful
Be thankful, you weren’t owed anything unless you worked for it. Be thankful for opportunities, chances, family, friends, and experiences good and bad. Be thankful for everything because it helped you grow in some way.

~Be nice to everyone
Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. You don’t know what people have going on at home, so be nice to everyone.

~Be happy
Life is too short to be anything but happy!!! Look at every obstacle as an opportunity, and every glass as half full.

~Live for today
Today is called the present because it’s a gift, tomorrow isn’t promised. Almost everyone that died yesterday had plans for today. So live in the moment, don’t live for the past because it gone, and don’t live for tomorrow because it is not promised.

~And above all…Make every moment count
Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away. Make the most of each moment and make every moment count.

So what does all this mean to you?!?! I hope if nothing else it’s made you think about life, and all that is important to you.

Warm wishes,
Jackie

2015 is knocking on the door….

The New Year is creeping around the corner and in an attempt to help me reach my goals and maybe inspire a few people along the way I am going to start a blog….

So a little about me… I recently married my best friend, I’m in my very late 20’s, my family is everything to me, I am a full time banker, my husband and I have two dogs and they are our children. I love to craft, write, bake, and cook. There are so many things I yearn to accomplish in life. I’ve struggled with my weight pretty much my whole life. My cup is always 1/2 full, God is very important to me–however at times I am guilty of trying to steer the car when I should just be throwing my hands up and letting Jesus take the wheel. I love country music, and well I guess the rest you’ll learn along our journey together.

In the New Year I’d like to:
-become a better Christian
-have Christmas in my heart all year long
-spend more with time my family, which includes my husband and pooches
-become more frugal, and focus on savings and pay down debt
-grow my craft business
-get healthy once and for all
-focus on my career and go the distance
-no longer allow myself to be the victim of bullying

With that being said my thought for the day is: Sometimes the people with the least are the most generous, and they don’t count their wealth in riches or material things but in the joy they bring to others.

Happy New Years Eve friends see you next year 😉

Warm Wishes,

Jackie