Sunday, August 25, 2013


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In some nebulous, intangible ways I am a different person than I was just over 5 months ago. I am more cautious I think. It is impossible for me to make plans ahead of time. I value people even more than I did before. I am quicker to anger (is that possible?) but also much more forgiving. More subdued in some situations and more awkward in others... do I talk about her? do I not?

Despite all of that, life is slowly returning to a sense of normalcy - it feels weird to say that but it’s true. I have my garden and my work and my friends. Last Wednesday I went dancing. I didn’t cry at all on Saturday (5 months since my sister died) but I did sing “Summer of ‘69” by Bryan Adams at Karaoke (poorly. Very poorly). Why is it then that I just saw the date August 30 (her birthday) and my heart jumped into my throat?

No matter how normal my life seems on some days, there is always the anticipation, the waiting for those awful days. Those still exist. The days that make it difficult to get out of bed, have a normal conversation with someone without for-real-crying, not adorable-single-tear-down-the-cheek-crying, sit on the couch after work and watch mindless television with a beer in hand days. Days where I don’t want to see my friends or answer my phone, even when it’s someone I really like calling. The anticipation of those days is almost worse than the actual days.

♥ Jessa

Posted by at 04:00 PM
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Friday, August 02, 2013

Portland Rose Garden

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While we were in Portland this past time we finally visited the famous Rose Garden! I can't believe that we didn't do this before because these gardens are now on my short list of favorite beautiful spaces. There really isn't much to say about this. See for yourself.

That one reminds me of when the Red Queen painted all the white roses red in Alice in Wonderland.

See what I mean? How could I have missed this for a whole summer?! And it's free!

♥ Jessa

Posted by at 10:12 PM
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Wednesday, July 24, 2013


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Part of my weekend in pictures...

::Amazing, delicious, super sweet watermelon from the garden::

::Turning old shirts into yarn::

::Thai hot chili peppers from the garden::

::Figs from our tree::

::Always wear gloves when mincing hot peppers or your hand will burn like fire::

::My favorite way to eat figs, with cheddar cheese::

::I made hot sauce using this recipe (too tomato-ish, like spicy marinara but good)::

::Stuffed eggplant with eggplant from the garden::

♥ Jessa

Posted by at 12:12 PM
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Oregon Again

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Wayne and I travel a lot. In the past few months we’ve been to Nashville, several cities in Oregon, Amelia Island, Miami, and Breckenridge (the last two separately). Next week I travel to Orlando and Atlanta for work. It’s quite a bit but all of this traveling reminds us to enjoy every moment together. It is also pretty wonderful to know exactly what we like about each place we visit and to do those types of things while we are there.

Oregon is always going to have a special place in both of our hearts. That state is about great friends, really delicious and affordable wine and beer, the outdoors, and great weather.

I certainly wasn’t going to miss the wedding of my little to her love, so we had to go to Oregon anyways. I don’t know if you know this but cross country tickets (almost the furthest you can possibly go) are pretty spendy - spendy enough that we decided to make this a more serious trip than a weekend. 8 days in Oregon seemed perfect enough, but then Wayne surprised me with my first FIRST CLASS experience because it wasn’t that much more moolah!!

I will seriously never fly coach again always try to fly first class. It was so wonderful that I really didn’t care whether the flight ended. I watched two newish movies, beat the other other flyers at trivia, had plenty of room to stretch my legs and wiggle around, got a hot breakfast and two delicious snack times, and drank mimosas all morning long. The flight attendant even suggested a lunchtime switch to margaritas and made me love her forever. (Reminder: next time bring dolla bills for tip).

Then we spent some time in Hillsborough with friends, Forest Grove with other friends, then Portland for two nights with even more friends. We visited wineries and breweries and spent entire days basking in the Oregon summer sunshine. It was wonderful. Then we headed to Eugene and I got to hang out with my beautiful lady friends AND a former cohort mate. Wayne and I worked the whole week but 3 hours ahead so I was done with work by 2pm each day. That leaves plenty of time for hair appointments and thrifting and Champagne Thursday.

We even managed to re-experience last year's father's day. We went to two of the same wineries that we did on Father's Day last year and they were having the exact same special events. Pork and Pino and a special vertical tasting. It was seriously an amazing vacation - or the closest thing to one we’re going to get this summer.

Yes, those are Louboutins. I found them in the Portland Goodwill for $7. Yes they fit. No I didn't buy them. They were ugly and I'm dumb because I totally could have sold those on eBay.

♥ Jessa

Posted by at 04:36 PM
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Monday, July 08, 2013

SCOTUS Decision

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Often friends of mine or students of mine will be all "How the heck did you know about that?" Most of the time the answer is "I have really smart friends who have my back and send me awesome articles/resources all the time". So I should probably be a better friend/resource to all of you and show you the links and awesomeness that I love to read all the time. Hopefully I can do this once a week and give you a bunch of links to goodness. This week, however, I have more to say than just a link.

For me the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) decisions about same sex marriage could not have come at a more perfect or poignant time. I just returned from Eugene, from the first wedding that I have attended since my sister died.

My sister and I were alike in many ways. Strong personalities, loud voices, energetic, loved to dance, loved the beach. We had some similar mannerisms and she is known for the “I’ll miss your face” line that I started saying to her when I went to college. Out of the two of us, though, she was the one who wanted to get married and have babies. She was the one with dreams of walking down an aisle and declaring her love to the world. I couldn’t care less.

But I was the only one of us who could legally marry the person I love. That has always been so strange to me. I have been an active advocate and ally so that one day my sister would get to lead the life she wanted to lead - free from persecution and stares and restrictive nonsense laws. You can understand why the first wedding would be a little difficult for me (although it was an immense help that one of my the other bridesmaids/new best friends was also sad and twisty about it).

This decision opens the doors to a new kind of life for everyone, one where we are all validated and can make the same decisions. Obviously, we are not there yet - but the next few years will be a critical time where important questions get answered by the government. I am so happy that one woman was strong enough to stand up for herself and her rights and LOGIC.

I just wish that my sister was here to see it and benefit from it.

♥ Jessa

PS Elizabeth skyped me last week and said “When are you and Wayne getting married.” Our answer has always been “When DOMA is repealed and it is legal for everyone to get married.” Keep in mind, we still live in a state that until a 1971 Supreme Court ruling forcing them to change, was using a 1868 law that prohibited all sexual activity between two men or two women as a felony (and related it to beastiality). Even though the Supreme Court again struck down all sodomy laws in 2003, Florida still has an unenforcable one on the books. Both same sex marriages and civil unions are banned in Florida’s state CONSTITUTION. Whether or not you can be in a domestic partnership here is based on what city/county you live in. And, Florida state law does not address discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. There is a long road ahead of us. SCOTUS just put gas in the tank.

PPS Here are a few links for if you want to read what some other wonderful people have to say or are doing. First, Mackelmore had some nice words. Second, Florida's work isn't done.

Posted by at 10:30 PM
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