Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rude Awakening

This morning, I overslept. My alarm went off, and rather than hit snooze, I just turned the whole thing off entirely.

I'd love to say it was an accident but I think somewhere deep down in my subconscious I did it on purpose.

So sure enough, Grant wakes up and realizes I'm still in bed and not 20 minutes down the road as I should be at that time. He starts pushing me in the arm... "Babe... get up... you're late... wake up.... Jen...... hey, Jen.."

At this point I was like "OKAY! I HEAR YOU!"

But he didn't stop. He kept pushing me and saying "Come on, I'm serious, you're really late... get up... Jen"

I then declared,"WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE SO RUDE?!?"

"I'm not being rude"

"Yes, you are. You could at least be nice about it and gentle and quietly wake me from my slumber".

"Or, I could be poking you incessantly and tickling you repeatedly until you get up".

".................. okay I'm up".

Monday, March 29, 2010

Goodbye, Sweet Little Civic

It's official.

The sweet, reliable, zippy little Honda Civic that Grant has had for the entirety of his adult life is gone.

We traded it in.

For a big, gas-guzzling, maroon, 4-door Ford F-150 XLT.

Grant needed something a bit more updated since he takes clients out a lot now. There is a part of us that thinks we are insane since the Civic had NO payments left and was still running just fine, but it was time to make the upgrade after 10 years.

We really are excited, even though saying goodbye to the Civic was bittersweet. Grant picked me up for our first date in that car! The first time he kissed me? We were leaning against that car! That's the car that got him to and from Denton to come visit me in college. That's the car we were in as he drove me to our engagement party just minutes after we got engaged. We brought Moxie dog home to our apartment for the first time in that car.

It was a good little car.

You were good to us, little Civic.

And we are super excited about our truck adventures!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dear Sweet DVR

I'm not gonna lie. Television is a major part of our household. An even bigger part of our household? THE DVR. I am so glad that I live in an era where the DVR exists. It is an extremely important tool in our lives.

There are several series that record every episode of. What shows do Grant & Jen record, you wonder? WELL LET ME BREAK IT DOWN FOR YOU HERE ON THE BLOG!

Let's begin.

This is Jim and Pam. They met at work in The Office and they just got married. They have a baby girl named Cecilia Marie. I am a little bit in love with Jim Halpert, but that's okay. I have not missed a single episode of The Office. Ever. Thanks to DVR.

And this is Derek and Meredith. They had a one night stand and then they started dating and then they broke up a few dozen times cause he had a cheating wife back in New York. And then she almost drowned and then something happened with a veterinarian and then they got married on a post-it note. Sounds like a quality show, doesn't it? DO NOT JUDGE ME.

And this is Bob & Jillian! They are not a romantic couple, they are more of a "I'm gonna yell at you until you lose 150 pounds" couple. I do love me some Biggest Loser. I am not as big of a fan of the contestants this year but I am making it work.

CHUCK!!! We LOVE Chuck! It is such a fun show. It is funny, entertaining, it has heart, not to mention that Zachary Levi who plays Chuck is seven kinds of adorable. (Did you know he is a Christian? True story!) We love the show and everyone in it.

Okay, this one is a bit more gritty. Southland started on NBC awhile ago and then it got cancelled and we were bummed. But then TNT picked it up and it started back up last month. We really like this show. It is compelling, but a bit gory. Viewer discretion is advised.

So, I know that technically this show hasn't even started yet, but we will be watching it. Here is why: Ali is cute. Ali is a little melodramatic which keeps it fun. She will collapse onto the floor in hotel hallways if she is especially upset. Also, her crying noises are really annoying.

Holla, American Idol! Last night we narrowed it down to the top 10. Last season, I wrote a post about How to pick an American Idol that you should read. It's important stuff. I still haven't picked my favorite for this season yet, but I will let you know.

Community is a sarcastic, smart, silly, sweet little show that comes on before The Office. I like the way it highlights the wide array of people that go to community college. Senor Chang is a great character and we LOVE Abed who has Asperger's Syndrome. Cracks us up. I also am a fan of the weekly little jab at Ryan Seacrest.

Hey! It's Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear! I love them both so much and sometimes I think that maybe I'll dress horribly for 6 months or so and then maybe they will come give me all new clothes. The only thing that bugs me is that 98% of the time they cut the person's hair waaaaay too short. No thank you.

I love me some Joel McHale. I love me some Soup. His sarcasm just pushes my funny button. Plus, I don't watch nearly enough television (clearly) and he gives me all the highlights.

I used to be much more obsessed with Law & Order: SVU then I am now. I can miss episodes here and there but I still try to catch them when I can. I love Benson & Stabler and I love the opening song. In college, my roommate and I used to get up and do the "SVU Dance" everytime the show came on. We're special like that.

This is another show I watch occasionally. Honestly, I am really into crime shows. What I love about this show is it is all real. You follow real detectives around as they are in the process of solving a murder. Plus, the interrogations of suspects is quite amusing sometime. The suspect's street names are also entertaining.

I do not watch Oprah everyday. Most of the time, her show annoys me and gets me all irritated. However, there are some shows that I just looooove to see. The celebrity interviews. The room makeover shows. The surprises. Oprah's favorite things. The intense human interest stories that I remember forever. You know...the way her show used to be.

Okay, I'm just gonna come right out and say it. I love the Ellen show. SHE. IS. HILARIOUS. And the stuff they come up with... when they had Dennis Quaid walk into a Starbucks with an earpiece and made him repeat anything Ellen said in his ear ("DENNIS QUAID IS HERE!! DENNIS QUAID WANTS COFFEE!!") I could not stop laughing. She does funny things and I just love it.

This one is kinda hard to explain. We have never watched How I Met Your Mother on television. But we love this show. Let me explain... awhile ago we started renting all the seasons on DVD. We have watched them all now... up until this current season. But when we finished the last DVD, the current season had already started airing episodes. So now, we have to wait till this season ends, buy that DVD, watch them as fast as we can, and then start watching in real time at the beginning of next season. I have strong opinions about watching episodes out of order. It doesn't work for me. But we do love love love this show and Marshall is my favorite.

Please do not start telling me all the shows I am missing out on. I know, I know. I know I need to watch 30 Rock and the Amazing Race and Parenthood and Dancing With the Stars. I know all of this. But I JUST DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TIME, PEOPLE!!!

So what about you? What shows are on your DVR?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Weekend Pictorial

Let's have a little weekend photo recap, shall we?

A highlight of the weekend was when I met my BFF Lindsee at Barnes & Noble for a very special book signing. Francine Rivers (Hello Redeeming Love! Hello Atonement Child! Hello Mark of the Lion Trilogy! I LOVE her books) and Beth Moore (Does she really even need an introduction?) were signing their new books. I already had Beth's new book and brought it from home and purchased Francine's book while at B&N. It was such a fun morning.
Here is me and Lou. She had a minor meltdown after she realized that her memory card was not in her camera and she had to resign herself to the fact that she would be taking photos today with her iphone. Homegirl was not happy. She made that very clear. "Oh, stink! I cannot believe I did that! Oh, darn it! What is wrong with me? I CANNOT BELIEVE I DID THAT! Well, poop!"

Here I am with Francine Rivers. She wrote Redeeming Love. Yes she did.

We also got our books signed by the radiant Mrs. Beth Moore. But someone else took the picture and I don't have it... boo.

After that, I headed out to my sister's house for my nephew Dean's first birthday!

Look at our big 1 year old birthday boy! I love you Dean Jackson!

Here is his sock monkey cake. My dad made it.

Happy Birthday to Dean! Happy Birthday to you! (My sister is gorgeous and such a wonderful mommy!)

My nieces, Scarlett, Juliet and Grace eating the cake that Pops made.

My dad (Pops) and the birthday boy.

Aunt Jen with the twins, Scarlett and Juliet. The fact that they will be 4 in May makes me get all emotional and I just can't talk about it right now.

This is my most favorite picture ever in life. I asked my darling Scarlett to give me her biggest smile. And she did.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Some Things Have Been Happening

I'm still in the midst of of my blogger's block.

Which is sad since Sunday was my 3 year Blogaversary.

When I started this blog, we hadn't even been married for three months.

So much has happened in 3 years.

We moved back to Houston.

Grant had a new job.

Grant got laid off.

Grant got another new job.

We searched for 67 years for our first house.

We bought our first house.

Grace, Evan, Emily, and Dean were born. Scarlett and Juliet turned 3. One more niece is on the way! (Yes, that makes our grand total SEVEN!!)

I am obsessed with food.

I am obsessed with television.

I don't like to exercise.

I love my husband.

I hate being hot.

I like to be horizontal. **Update: it has come to my attention that the meaning of this sentence is unclear. Horizontal means that I prefer to be laying down or sleeping at all times. Sitting up/standing is not as fun. That's all I meant. This is a family friendly blog, yo.

We love our church.

We love our friends.

We love our family.

I love this blog.

I love all the people I've met.

I love all the people I will soon meet. (Hey KIM and FRAN!!)

It has tapped into my creative juices.

It has released emotion and taught me things about myself.

And now the big question:

Is over 3 years of marriage grounds to change my blog name? Can I still be Jen the Newlywed?

**Afterword: It took me a sweet forever to find all those links and I regretted my decision about halfway through the process. Please click on a link so I don't feel like I just waited 45 minutes. I love you. **

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Song of the Beautiful

Many of us are going through Beth Moore's new book "So Long Insecurity" right now. I don't know about you, but it has been a life-changing, perspective altering book in my life. If you aren't reading it, you should. Even if you don't think you struggle with insecurities. Read it.

One thing I've never been more confident of is who I am in Christ. I am His daughter, His beautiful creation whom He formed with His own hands. He knew the things that would make me tick. He knew the things that would motivate me. And since I've started reading this book, I have had to pray a few times and ask the Lord to change what motivates me. To give me peace in situations that would usually trigger me and slowly guide me in a better direction.

I am so deeply flawed, yet I serve such a perfect God. There are things I don't know, things I don't understand, things I choose to ignore and things I outright rebel against. But I am made complete and whole in HIM. Praise the Lord!

I absolutely love Christy Nockels' new CD, "Life Light Up". I was immediately drawn to the songs "By Our Love", "A Mighty Fortress" and "You are Able".... but in this season of my life and in the midst of the walls I am currently trying to break down, I am really finding such comfort and encouragement in her song "Song of the Beautiful".

Song of the Beautiful by Christy Nockels

The broken, weary and poor
Finding... you are the cure
The weak and dying... glorifying You in it all

It's the song of the beautiful,
Jesus loves me
It's the song of the beautiful,
Jesus saved me
The song of the redeemed
The echoes of those made free
It's the song of the beautiful
Jesus loves me

The fallen back on their feet
The fatherless now complete
The innocent suffering, rising from wounding to find
You were there all along!

It's the song of the beautiful
Jesus loves me
The song of the beautiful
Jesus saved me
The song of the redeemed
The echoes of those made free
It's the song of the beautiful
Jesus loves me

Oh how He loves me
Oh how He loves me
Oh how He loves me

The broken, the beautiful

The prodigal running home
The widow never alone
The one who is waiting, rising and singing,
"You, Jesus You are my all!"

It's the song of the beautiful
Jesus loves me
The song of the beautiful
Jesus saved me
The song of the redeemed
The echoes of those made free
It's the song of the beautiful
Jesus loves me

I find such deep comfort in that reminder. Oh how He loves you! The broken, weary, imperfect, wounded, you.

The Mighty God we serve is capable of the impossible. If you think "I'll never change", think again. He cannot be overestimated. He is powerful. He can accomplish the impossible.

He can take the parts you hate most about yourself and He can make them clean. He can hold your hand when you walk through the most daunting of circumstances. He is ALWAYS there with you. Whether or not you choose to acknowledge Him is where we have issues.

When you're struggling, tired, exhausted, exasperated, why would you choose to go anywhere else but to the Heavenly Father, who brings you comfort and rest?

He is peace!! He is comfort!! He is the affirmation, the encourager, the teacher, the helper, the guide, the shepherd, the One who makes the rough places smooth, the communicator, the listener, the healer, the forgiver, the knows-all-your-secrets and knows-what-makes-you-tick best friend that always knows what to say, the perfect solution, the answer, the thing that makes it better. HE is what you need.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Blogger's Block

March has not been a very bloggity month for me. I just haven't blogged very much, and not for lack of trying. I come here and start writing and then I get bored with myself and delete everything.

See, I just typed out that paragraph, and now I've got nothing to say.

I just took Moxie on a walk. It was lovely, except for the fact that he almost rips my arm out of socket anytime he sees a squirrel.

Last night I made lasagna, it was yummy. Grant is making steaks tonight. The side item is my job and I have chosen 3 cheese tortellini and alfredo sauce. Yes.

Should I start using the tanning cream now? I feel like we are approaching the warmer months and perhaps I should make my legs a little darker so I don't offend people with my blinding light of paleness.

This week is Spring Break. This doesn't really affect me because I am not in school and Spring Break is just like any other week for me. However, I am loving having less traffic. And on Wednesday nights I am usually at church all evening but all events were cancelled this evening so I am enjoying an evening of rest. So I do have little Spring Break happy moments.

I'm watching last night's American Idol performances and none of these songs sound like Rolling Stones songs.

This morning for breakfast I ate a "Breakfast-on-a-Bun" sandwich from Whataburger. It was amazing and did wonderful things for my diet.

Okay, this blog is so painful that I am going to slowly back away.

I'm ending it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Had a Diet Coke Yesterday

Yesterday marked exactly one month since my last Diet Coke.

So, I celebrated.

By having a Diet Coke.

We went out to lunch with some friends after church.

It was Mexican food.

At Chuy's.

Did you know that my first date with Grant was at Chuy's?

Different location.

But still, I was all overwhelmed with emotion.

And there were chips on the table.

And the man asked me what I wanted and I said "Diet Coke".

Now, I only had ONE glass.... no refills. The rest of the time I drank water.

So how did it taste?

You know the videos they show on the news when a soldier comes home from war? Where the family is standing there with a sign that says "Welcome Home!" and then they run and hug and cry?

Well it was kinda like that.

Diet Coke is the family running to hug me.

And I am the soldier.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


This last Thursday, Lindsee and I went on a little road trip.

The circumstances were not so fun, but the whole day was one I will never forget.

The whole time, I kept thinking, "I need to document this". Thank the Lord for blogs. And while it's a few days late, I am now ready to type it all out. Here goes.

1. The morning began around 6:00am when I texted Lindsee to ask her if she was going to wear her funeral clothes now or change when we got there. We both agreed that we should dress comfortably for the drive and then find a place to change somewhere along the way.

2. Lindsee was late because she blew a fuse at the house and really needed to iron her dress.

3. It cracked me up that both of us brought approximately 3 different outfit choices.

4. Before we got on the road, we stopped at Starbucks. It was the first time I had had caffeine in three weeks. Blessed be the name of the Lord. She got a pumpkin loaf. I got a banana loaf. Then Lindsee asked for 1 Splenda and the girl insisted several times that she take multiple Splenda just in case.

5. We got on the road and spent the first hour of the trip on the topic of "The Bachelor". We discussed Vienna, the way the media has trashed her, Jake's possible motives in choosing her, and whether or not they will last. This was a very important conversation.

6. At one point I showed her a clip on You Tube that has become her new obsession and she hasn't stopped talking about it since. It even got an entire blog post devoted to it.

7. In Dallas, we got about a mile away from the church and decided to stop at Chick-fil-A for lunch. We spent most of the time discussing where we were going to change clothes. We opted for the Chick-fil-A bathroom but it was a bit intimidating since this was the grand opening day of this particular Chick-fil-A and people were EVERYWHERE. We discussed whether or not this Chick-fil-A was the best place. I told Lindsee we could change in the car and she informed me that this was not an option for her as she had to change into a dress.

8. We changed in the Chick-fil-A bathroom. We teased and sprayed our hair in the Chick-fil-A bathroom. It was a shining moment for us.

9. Back in the car, I attempted to put my makeup on but dropped a big goop of foundation on my black pants. I ran back into the Chick-fil-A to grab a napkin and some water to try to wipe it off but all I did was smear it and get chunks of napkin all over my black pants. Lindsee got out of the car (still in the Chick-fil-A parking lot) and sprayed her hair as people passed by in the drive-thru line.

10. Lindsee asked me approximately 36 times if what she was wearing was okay.

11. We drove to the funeral. We saw Jo. We cried.

12. We sat through the funeral. Thankfully, I brought 2 packs of Kleenex (one for me, one for Linds) that we also shared with our entire row. It was the most beautiful service, and horrible all at the same time. I will never ever forget the look on those parents' faces for as long as I live. But it was wonderful and was such a celebration of that sweet precious boy. God was praised.

13. We rode to the cemetery with Joanna's parents and we got lost.

14. The short service at the cemetery was beautiful and more emotional than the funeral. Some of sweet Carson's little friends were incredibly emotional and that was very hard to watch. At the end, Joanna walked up to Lindsee and I with open arms. The three of us hugged for a very long time. It was one of the most precious moment of our friendship to date. I will cherish that memory always.

15. At this point I realized that there are no more tears in my body.

16. We went back to the church for the reception. Lindsee and I spent about 10 minutes in the wrong reception. Then we found Jo.

17. We had to say goodbye at this point. We hugged our dear friend. While we were sad that we had to go so soon, I was so happy that I could be there and hug my Jo. We don't get to see her very often.

18. On the drive home, we started to get a bit delirious. When we decided to stop in Ennis for dinner, Lindsee proclaimed loudly "We'll see you in 5 minutes, Ennis Texas!"

19. We stopped at Whataburger and changed back into comfy clothes in the Whataburger bathroom because we are classy like that.

20. Enter the Pandora section of the trip. We used Lindsee's iPhone to put the "Glee Cast" station on on Pandora. We had a lively mix of Broadway, Glee, and most of all, Disney. We sang hits from Aladdin. We sang hits from Beauty and the Beast. Then Lindsee said "I hope it plays Let's-get-down-to-business-to-defeat-the-Huns". Now, most people wouldn't know what this means, but I know that she is referring to the first lyric in "A Man Out of You" from Mulan, sung by Donny Osmond. And lo and behold, THAT WAS THE VERY NEXT SONG.

21. We sang each song with great conviction.

22. Lindsee looks to me and very seriously says, "Jen, I feel like my gas is getting lower". Yes, dear, it is.

23. The last hour was pretty rough. We were both oh-so-sleepy.

24. Linds drove me back to my car where we hugged and I got all my junk (including my 3 outfit choices) and said our goodnights at 11:15pm.

25. I love that Lindsee more than words can express. More than she will ever ever know.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oscars 2010

Well, my friends, It's time for Jen's Red Carpet Recap- Oscar Edition. You can see the links to previous Oscar recaps here and here. But let's just get right to it, shall we?

This is Amanda, who is very pretty, but I just feel like there needs to be some color somewhere. Don't think I'm knockin the pale... I am all about her ROCKIN the pale, but some colored accessories would've made her look less like an ice princess. I just think she is so pretty.

I really do like this dress... but I wish it was just one shade darker.

I'm pretty sure Cameron wins for Best Dressed. Absolutely stunning. There is nothing I don't like. And her hair is just lovely.

Okay, dear one, you're nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, and this is what you have chosen?

The back of Charlize's dress is very pretty.... It is ruined, however, by the front of the dress which features purple roses indicating where her boobs are.

I'm not gonna lie. He's pretty. George Clooney and his new girl. Her dress is a FABULOUS color.

Hello, Demi. Aren't you just peachy.

Um.... no. Just.... no.

Lovely color!

I just have so many questions about this. First things first, is it made of bubble wrap? Who told her that this was a good idea? And why that color? And seriously, is it made out of bubble wrap?

Kate, are you attending the Oscars on a futuristic space ship?

What in the world is Kathy Ireland doing at the Oscar's?

Hey, you have a pretty dress on and people love your movies and why the heck don't you ever SMILE?! For the love.

The bottom of this looks like an airbrush t-shirt you can get on vacation in Cancun.

Not impressed.

Mariska, my dear detective Olivia Benson, you look pretty, but you belong at the Emmy's, silly girl!

Matt Damon and his cute wife who is wearing a lovely shade of pink. I like them.

Meryl in white! Nice choice!

I just need the bodice to be a bit taller and then this would have been a homerun.

Her earrings are A-MAZING though. Absolute perfection. And my eyelashes look like that all the time.

Molly.... Molly.... I just.... I just can't say anything to you. I will give you a thumbs up on color as redheads look good in jewel tones but that's all I can say.

The flower is oddly placed.

He looks silly. She looks pretty. Way to go, Mrs. Downey Jr.

Words cannot express how much I don't like this.

Muy bonita. The color is lush and wonderful.

I adore Rachel McAdams. I halfway love this dress and halfway think that it looks like a watercolor painting. I just think maybe it's not very Oscar-esque. Maybe the Golden Globes or something? Or the SAG Awards? I don't know. In any case, I like her very much and think she is a wonderful actress.

He looks like a Ken doll. He also has gotten substantially cuter in the last 5 years.

SANDRA! This is an excellent choice for someone who is nominated for Best Actress. She is very very metallic and golden. I like that she just left the hair down and plain. I'm a huge fan of hers. Congratulations to her for winning Best Actress!! I am typing this before the end of the Oscars and so I technically don't know if she won yet, but I am assuming she will. If you are reading this and she has lost the Academy Award, then consider me very angry. If she wins, then I am very smart.

Okay, Sarah Jessica..... I just don't even know what this is.

Tina has a better dress on than she usually does.I like her.

This just makes me want to say a cuss word.

Top of the dress: Elegant and divine. Bottom of the dress: Cha Cha from Grease's skirt. It started off wonderfully but got worse as it went down. Cameron is my winner. Who is yours?