Hello. Watch Your Step

 

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WHOA. It’s been awhile since I’ve been in this space. There is a seven inch layer of dust on EVERYTHING and I’m sorry about that. I will find you a place to sit as soon as possible. But I’m not going to stress out about that, because NOPE. You know that I love you even if things aren’t super hospitable around here right now. They will be. Pretty sure. As soon as I figure out what the hell I’m doing.

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I bought this pen pouch a couple of months ago because, well, because I have a sick obsession with office supplies and pens and all things for my bullet journal and I also love joy. SO. Yes. I bought the pouch of joy.

(Please note that I don’t actually call it that.)

But what I *am* saying is that I love it. It’s the perfect-ish size and it is a fabulous reminder of finding joy on the daily.

Which is why I am here.

I don’t exactly know what to do with all this space anymore but what I DO know is that I’m happiest when I put my joy here. Shit that makes me happy. People that make me happy. Beautiful things that make me happy. It’s going here. Because if there’s one thing we all need more of it’s JOY.

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This may look different for everyone.

(I don’t set fire to things. Almost never. But I do watch Pitch Perfect whenever I can.)

But…joy. That’s what’s happening here.

And since Sarah and I sat down and talked about our love for all things Kimmy Schmidt for Cap City Moms this week, I feel like that should start us off. Because Titus and Kimmy 4EVER. Sarah and I have been known to have gif-offs with each other on messenger or hangouts and what I will tell you is this: These ridiculous message of gifs BRING ME JOY. Which is the damn point of all of this.

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Joy. Get it.

Left Foot on Green

I’m stuck.

It’s my own fault. I don’t know what ‘unstuck’ looks like. I’ve been too busy with being so busy, I haven’t stopped for two seconds and figure things out. I haven’t really been listening. I haven’t really been paying attention.

I may, or may not, be ignoring all the signs.

I read this Facebook status today. I, in no way, am trying to make someone else’s sadness or tragedy about me. But there’s this part that I can’t get out of my brain. Like she wrote it for me even though I know for certain that she didn’t:

Fifteen years ago, my pastor Veronica said that when she had no clue what direction to take, she imagined standing in a spotlight, as if on stage, and waited, prayerfully, until one more spotlight began to appeared nearby. Then she would go stand in that circle of light.

 

I surrendered. I lay down my weapons and went over to the winning side. I am a recovering Higher Power.

 

I’ve been standing still for a really long time. (I mean, metaphorically speaking of course.) I’ve been resisting change. You know, standing in my own way like I do. Tying my own shoelaces together and attempting to run. Falling flat on my face because, well, you can’t get very far like that. If I could just get my feet untangled and start walking, maybe I’d figure out where the heck I’m supposed to go?

I’m feeling very Dorothy, yellow-brick-road, need a brain/heart/courage right now.

But that pastor and standing on the stage and the light. Knowing what your next step is. Or the next place. Maybe it’s just knowing the plan or having a plan. Maybe it’s not. What if it’s all about putting your feet *right there* and then (THEN!) you’ll know what comes next.

It’s like Twister for real life.

That’s pretty powerful stuff. Not just because it’s a lot like Twister.

I’m just saying, A LOT could be learned by putting left foot on green.

Or stepping into your light. THE light. And just knowing.

 

 

More in 2014

About 9 or 10 years ago, I started blogging as an attempt to keep myself sane. That’s a lot of pressure to put on one blog named after one of my favorite quote in Drop Dead Fred, but there you have it. Telling some of my life stories helped me to gain perspective and, more importantly, realize that I wasn’t alone. I also wasn’t as crazy as I thought I was. Or…maybe I was, but I certainly felt better after spilling my guts onto the interwebs. With everything I was going through, I used that blog as my punching bag and where all my snark or sarcasm lived and breathed. No one had to know. But the problem with blogging anonymously and then finding yourself not quite so anonymous, I started to feel pretty anxious about people I knew in real life reading my words.  So I scrapped that blog and started a new one. And then another one after that. I believe it was the blog after that where I started to blog a little more “out loud” and where I allowed myself to be a little more vulnerable, even though there were people I knew in real life reading my words. Getting more comfortable in my own skin, I finally felt ready and was able to buy by own little internet real estate and name it Life of Jill. It had been a long time coming.

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With a bit more experience at putting myself out there, especially being a part of Listen to Your Mother, I found myself entering into a world of blogging I hadn’t previously been. Through all the different platforms and spaces of blogging, I had never really attached myself to the blogging community or putting myself out there for different  opportunities. I had watched from afar (well, read about) the different blogging conferences and experiences over the years but that was something *other* people did. But last year, things changed a bit. I went to a couple conferences. I had some of the most amazing fun because of blogging opportunities. I’ve met some pretty fantastic people.

And I’m about to meet some more.

In a little over a month, Sarah and I will be flying to Atlanta for the Mom 2.0 Summit. Amazing at it sounds, I am the More in 2014 winner and still completely blown away that this is even happening. First of all, I get to hug on people I’ve never actually met in person. (And some that I have.) I’m sure there are more going that I haven’t even realized yet. There is so much to look forward to, and tons to be nervous about! Although, more than anything, I’m really excited and so very honored to have this opportunity.

So, thank you Mom 2.0 for all this awesome. I absolutely cannot wait.

Turn the Beat (Year) Around

I’ve had writer’s block for almost two weeks. I can’t decide if it’s because I don’t know what to say, or I don’t know how to say what I want. I have things that I want to talk about…to write about…to hash out and try and make sense of things that don’t always make sense. I want to start conversations and get the ball rolling. I want to be creative and wake up that side of my brain that seems to be sleeping away the rest of 2013.

We had a wonderful Christmas. We enjoyed spending time with family. We surprised the hell out of my mother in-law on Christmas Eve with visiting family from Mexico. I still get verklepmt when I think about how excited she was (and still is.) My sister came to town a few days ago, so we’ve been spending time with her and her family, too. We’ve gone to a hockey game, we’ve gone to Apple Hill…we’ve tried new things around town that we’ve never tried before. I’ve spent time with friends. I’ve enjoyed my family.

So maybe it’s not that I have true writer’s block. Maybe my energy has just been spent on being present and enjoying my loved ones.

Maybe sometimes you just need to realize that you’re where you need to be.

I’ve taken some time to think back on 2013. To say it’s been a big and busy year is a tremendous understatement.

I started Life of Jill.
I chopped off all my hair. Because of course.
Sarah and I ran the Tinkerbell Half Marathon.
Ramona turned 11.
I was a cast member of Listen to Your Mother – Sacramento.
Beezus went to prom.
I went to a couple of amazing conferences.
Campfire Wednesday was the best thing to happen to summer.
We bought a house.
A Giants game where they lost, but we had a blast.
We met some amazing people and had some amazing experiences along the way.
Beezus turned 16.
Ramona started middle school.
My brother got married.
Paisley turned 1.
Cap City Moms became a (softly launched) reality.
Celebrated 16 years of marriage.
College Visits? Ooph.
I enjoyed the hell out of my family and friends.

 

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That’s not even all of it. Not even a little bit!

Yeah, there were stressful and hard times and sad times mixed in. But when I think about 2013, there were some pretty badass things that I’ll be celebrating tonight.

And maybe that’s where I get stuck.

I focus so much on the past. I am celebrating a fantastic year coming to an end. I think about all the good that happened. I am thinking about all the fun that was had and all the love that was shared. But for some reason, I get stuck on how great things were, and I have difficulty looking ahead. I prepare myself for disappointment in 2014 because 2013 was so rad? That’s a pretty piss-poor way to do things if you ask me.

AND YET.

I basically have about 15 hours to celebrate and enjoy the end of a very awesome 2013 and snap myself into realizing that 2014 could be even more. More fun. More family time. More awesome. IT COULD HAPPEN.

Instead of sitting here worrying about what could go wrong. I should focus on all that is so totally right.

Life is what happens when you’re too busy making plans, right? Well, sometimes you can’t even make plans because you’re stuck looking back at the past and trying to walk into the new year backwards.

So yes…I have 15 hours to celebrate an awesome year. But I also have 15 hours to turn myself around and start walking face forward and get ready for what an amazing year 2014 will be.

Happy New Year, everyone.

not exactly how I planned it…

So, the our anniversary weekend didn’t go as planned. My in-laws were going to take the girls Saturday night but ended coming down with a bug. They still were expecting and willing to take the girls, but we just felt bad. Hopefully we can arrange a do-over! But since I was looking forward to having a nice “staycation” with my husband, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. But you know what? It was still a really great couple of days.

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Even though we had staycation plans, we knew that our early Saturday would be busy. Beezus had a big softball practice for the team’s upcoming tournament, so The Dude headed that way with her. Ramona and I headed out to join our family tradition of Pomegranate Weekend.

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The main point of this family tradition is to seed/press the pomegranates for the juice. That juice, in turn, is used to make some pretty fantastic things. Mainly the (somewhat famous, maybe kinda) pomegranate jelly. We also have an amazing tradition of pomegranate punch. But there’s also been pomegranate ice cream and wine made from the fruits of the family labor.

This was the 42nd weekend that our family has gotten together to do this. The process has changed over the years, but it’s still a big deal to all of us. And obviously, this has been a part of my history for more than all of my life. Sometimes sporting events get in the way, but I loved that I could be there for so much this year. And, believe it or not, this was the first year that I took part in every step of jelly making. I think I’m usually outside and not much more than a helper when it came to getting the jelly happening. But this year? Thanks to my aunt and my gram, and (bless you) my cousin, I actually made jelly.

This is probably more shocking to me than most. But still.

I. Made. Jelly.

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Hopefully it’s just as delicious as it should be! But if it’s not, well…it’s really no wonder. I probably shouldn’t have been trusted with all that sugar and juice and such.

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If you follow Life of Jill on Facebook, you may have seen a few things mentioned about Operation Eleanor. Today is November 4th and NOT TO LATE to join us as we choose to do one thing each day that scares us. And it’s amazing what can happen when you have fear but you do it anyway. Getting out of your own way is job one. Or at least it was for me. Once I got out of my own way, I started seeing a lot clearer…and making some kickass to do lists and some pretty rad plans.

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I hope you’ll join in. It’s amazing…it’s hard…and it’s so very worthwhile.

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I forgot to show you some cute kids on Halloween:

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Or some BABIES that were married 16 years ago that just so happened to be featured on Fancy Pants Weddings.

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Yeah. I don’t have any words either. Except BABIES WE WERE BABIES OMG.

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This has nothing to do with anything, but this my breakfast yesterday. Actually, Eggs Benedict has everything to do with EVERYTHING so really it’s important that I’ve documented it here.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a lovely weekend…it’s about to be a REALLY busy week for our family over here. So I’m glad that I could look back on a great weekend, even if it REALLY didn’t go as planned.

I’m still holding out for that DO-OVER.

saying goodbye to a really long week

I have written several paragraphs for a few different blog posts that I can’t seem to grab on to. I think this one is my fourth try. (Apparently the third time is NOT the charm. I’ll speak to someone about this.) I know I’m exhausted, so that doesn’t help. I feel like this week has been painfully long. Beezus is stressed about school schedules and making the right choices leading up to her senior year. Ramona is completely overwhelmed by all things middle school and doesn’t feel well at all. The Dude and I are pretending we know what the hell we’re doing, but I’m pretty sure you all know that we don’t. Much like most parents, I would guess.

We all seem to fly by the seat of our pants. I think that’s the only way to survive this parenting gig.

But here’s what I do know: THREE DAY WEEKEND.

It’s so needed around these parts. Even if there’s an insane softball tournament for part of the next few days, I feel like 3 days of weekend seems like a glorious idea. There are a few fun things coming up in the next few weeks, so I hope to get back into the swing of things this weekend.

In case you missed it, I wrote about how gross our house kinda was when we bought it. And then I also wrote about the paint colors and new carpet that made it all better.

I also wrote about being a little more me and getting comfortable with people knowing that I have a (gasp!) blog.

But most importantly, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

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